Organ Donation and Transplantation: Body Organs as an Exchangeable Socio-Cultural Resource

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From a background in ethnography, Israeli teacher Ben-David aims to understand the meaning of organ donation and transplantation from the perspectives of the three major partners involved: donors, recipients, and the medical teams. The participation of all partners, each with specific interests, enables human organs to become an exchangeable commodity with social significance.

Applying the resulting information from her comprehensive study, Ben-David assesses the roles played by life and death in organ donation within the Israeli Jewish community. She also examines issues of social legitimacy connected to organ donation in the Israeli society, institutionalization of transplantations, and transplantation as a trigger for transformation to hero status.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Drawing on observations, interviews, and research that he has carried out in Israel since 1991, Ben-David examines the social processes inherent in organ transplantation within the framework of social exchange theory, asking how it is that human organs become exchangeable resources. He looks at the motives of medical staff, donor families, and recipients, and discusses cultural concepts of the body, life, and death."


SciTech Book News

"[B]en-David offers citizens affected by organ transplantation a platform to express their sentiments on an issue that has been studied and discussed largely from the perspective of physicians and transplant doctors…. Given an opportunity to shed light on a largely misunderstood issue, Ben-David's research undoubtedly represents groundbreaking insight into the emotional and psychological aspects of individuals directly involved in transplantation procedures….[t]he searing aversion she repeatedly and so poignantly conveys for the medical community becomes the most memorable feature of the work."


Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275979188
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 186
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

ORIT BRAWER BEN-DAVID teaches Medical Sociology and Anthropology in the Department of Nursing at Tel-Aviv University, and in the Interdisciplinary Department for Social Sciences at Bar-Ilan University.

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Table of Contents

1 Journey into the medical world 1
2 Partners for a common destiny 11
3 Is organ transplantation a gift exchange? 49
4 The body in organ transplantation 83
5 Life and death 105
6 In their death, they will their lives to others 131
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