I stab you and destroy your kidney, should you get one of mine?

I attempt to rob you at knifepoint. You struggle. I stab you in the back.

Your kidney is so badly damaged that it can’t be repaired.

I have two kidneys. Should you get one of mine?

Or, we struggle even longer and by some absurd coincidence I manage to damage both of your kidneys beyond repair. Should you get one of mine?
Note: I’m not asking what the law is. I’m asking what should be.

Are your kidneys even compatible with mine?

For the sake of this, let’s say that you can use my kidney(s).

Any organ/tissue/blood would work for the hypothetical, so if you’d rather substitute something else, feel free.

I question whether the risk of kidney surgery is worth replacing a single damaged kidney if you’ve got at least one fully functional one.

Legalities and organ compatibility aside, I would answer the OP “no.” We’re not (yet, anyway) a society that would morally accept a surgical “eye for an eye, kidney for a kidney” form of restitution for crime. Prison and big big fines, definitely and appropriately, but not “OK, buddy, get on the table so we can punitively take out your kidney.”

Besides, maybe your kidney will turn me into a knife-wielding kidney-stabbing maniac.

There was a fellow, some time back, who advanced just such an ethic. Came to a sorry end, I’m told.

This isn’t an eye for an eye mentality though. Eye for an eye implies harming someone as they have harmed others. This is most along the lines of community service sentencing and such, making the criminal do something positive.

On a strict moral basis I’d say yes, the perp owes the victim a kidney.

But this scenario is so unlikely to play out in the real world that I don’t see much point in even discussing it.

Why did the OP choose kidneys? I think it’s a problematic choice for an ethics thought experiment, since the victim can live with one kidney and so can the perpetrator.

Would anyone’s answer change if the organ in question were the liver? Heart? Pancreas?

Prison and big fines, yes, surgery, no.

This would be restitution, not vengeance. So, if you destroy my car, and you own a similar kind of car, should the law require yu to give your car to me? It doesn’t at present, but it does requyire you to give me the value of my car as compensation. (In practice, this is complicated by cars normally being insured, and by many people who go round destroying valuable things not having enough assets to compensate).

If kidneys could be bought and sold legally, and you destroyed my kidney, then you could be required to pay me the value of a kidney in the market. However, there is of course no legal market.

In addition, I suspect that there would be public policy reasons for not requiring tort-feasors to give up body parts as compensation.

It makes some sense. If there was such thing as an artificial kidney, for example, I’d expect the perp to pay for one for the victim. Even currently, I’d expect the perp to pay for the transplant from a willing donor, or at least for the doctors to stop the bleeding.

However, actually expecting the perp to give up a kidney? Not really practical, ethical issues aside. Even something like blood is more easily obtained from another source and then paid for later.

Absolutely. And that is true regardless of the body part. I don’t see this as an eye for an eye, for that old nugget means that if you take out my eye, I take out yours. The OP has changed it so the punishment is not punitive (solely) be restorative. I’m with it 110%.

Doesn’t the federal government already underwrite all kidney transplants?

If you destroy someone else’s kidney’s, I think you have a moral/ethical obligation to them to try to restore them to good health.

If they lose only one kidney, then to me, that would mean you should be responsible for the medical bills needed to restore them to proper order–it is my understanding people can live long and healthy lives with just one kidney.

If you destroy two kidneys, to me that means you need to do everything in your power to restore at least one kidney to them. If that kidney cannot be found from a donor, then you should offer to give one of your own (if they are compatible.)

That is what I think your ethical obligations are, however, I believe that despite those being your ethical obligations, it would be unethical to force someone else to do give up a kidney.

I do of course, think if you stab someone and they lose both kidneys and die from lack of transplant, you should be prosecuted for murder with all the penalties that suggests–and I imagine a lot of people who are facing life in prison or a death sentence might be willing to give up a kidney to keep their victim alive since they would then be facing significant jail time but not life in prison or the death penalty.

No, but you should have to be my butler.

What would we do without your clear-eyed guidance?

No, but I wold expect you to pay for my dialysis, any expenses necessary for me to get a new kidney (including buying one if need be), and a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs.

I have two reasons why I don’t think compelling a criminal to undergo an organ transplant would be a good idea.

First, I think the criminal justice system should primarily be about the rehabilitation of criminals, with the acknowledgment that there are some who simply must be locked up or executed because they’re a continuing danger to society. If we are to accept the basic principle of rehabilitation, someone should have a decent shot of returning to a normal life after serving his time. Leaving a permanent sentence of someone living without a some body part just creates someone who can either never overcome the punishment (live with one kidney, one fewer finger, etc. the rest of their life) or creates additional demand on the medical system to cough up a kidney/eye/finger/earlobe to make that guy whole again. I don’t like the moral implications of the government disfiguring people for crimes, and I don’t like the practical consequence of making our medical system deal with two patients instead of one. We cannot arbitrarily shut our minds off to the fact that the victim has more medical options than harvesting organs from one’s attacker.

Second, it’s just fucking Frankenstein-like creepy. Yuck!

That’s actually why I chose kidneys, though I did add the question about two kidneys being involved.