Recent scholarship suggests that the practices of selling sex and selling kidneys can be understood as examples of serious harms that are sometimes chosen by autonomous individuals who find themselves in difficult straits. This analogy between kidney sales by live suppliers and prostitution deserves careful, rigorous consideration. Ideas about autonomy, paternalism, systemic oppression, commodification, and the human body are at the core of each controversy. This paper seeks to use the well-developed, radical feminist literature opposing prostitution and critiquing the liberal tradition’s account of autonomy to explain why the sale of kidneys by live suppliers should continue to be prohibited in the United States.

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