Organ Wars: The Battle for Body Parts
Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 1995 Sep; 9(3): 335-356.
Transplantation surgeries contribute to conceptions of the body as a collection of replaceable parts and of the self as distinct from all but its neural locus. There remains substantial cultural resistance to these conceptions, which leads the medical community to attempt to link the surgeries to social values that are sufficiently powerful to minimize the sense of a disjuncture between traditional concepts of personhood and those consistent with transplantation. The controversy over how to increase the supply of transplantable organs reveals two diametrically opposed sets of values invoked by advocates of transplantation: altruism and individual rights. The article analyzes these as the ideological equivalents of immunosuppressant drugs, designed to inhibit cultural rejection of transplantation and its view of the body.
Altruism; Anthropology; Attitudes; Attitudes to Death; Autonomy; Body Parts and Fluids; Brain; Brain Death; Cadavers; Commodification; Consent; Death; Determination of Death; Donors; Drugs; Economics; Emotions; Family Members; Gifts; Human Body; Incentives; International Aspects; Legal Aspects; Metaphor; Organ Donation; Organ Donors; Organ Transplantation; Personhood; Property Rights; Psychological Stress; Psychology; Property; Remuneration; Rights; Scarcity; Self Concept; Social Values; Third Party Consent; Tissue Donation; Tissue Transplantation; Transplant Recipients; Transplantation; Values;
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Joralemon, Donald; Cox, Phil (2003-01)Proposals to compensate families for transplantable organs are gathering momentum. The proposals assume that the body is dissociable from the self and can be treated like property. But such a view is out of step with the ...