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CEPPA Talk – Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Lok Chan (Duke University)

May 12 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Title: ‘Should Responsibility Affect Who Gets a Kidney?’

Abstract: About 98,000 people in the US are waiting for a kidney transplant, but only around 20,000 kidneys become available each year. As a result, doctors sometimes have to decide who gets a kidney. Many people (though few medical providers) hold that, when two patients need the only available kidney, and one but not the other is responsible for their own kidney disease, then the patient who is not responsible should get the kidney, other things being equal. We report two experiments that reveal what people hold patients responsible for and how responsibility affects how people allocate fault and kidneys. We also discuss some theoretical and practical implications of these empirical studies.