Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Franklin G. Miller have a (perhaps controversial) new paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics [ungated] on morality, killing, and vital organ transplantation; here’s the abstract:
What makes an act of killing morally wrong is not that the act causes loss of life or consciousness but rather that the act causes loss of all remaining abilities. This account implies that it is not even pro tanto morally wrong to kill patients who are universally and irreversibly disabled, because they have no abilities to lose. Applied to vital organ transplantation, this account undermines the dead donor rule and shows how current practices are compatible with morality.
I suspect that a fair number of people will have complaints with the argument put forward by Sinnott-Armstrong and Miller, especially insofar as they accept that their view on killing and organ transplantation might be regarded as representing a “ radical departure from traditional morality and medical ethics.” But I’ll be particularly curious about how they will complain since the argument — at least on my reading — is pretty carefully constructed.