Organ Transplantation: Meanings and Realities

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Overview

This thought-provoking book ponders the far-reaching connections of organ transplantation to human experience. A collaboration among an exceptional group of scholars and physicians, it explores matters of life and death, body and mind, psyche and soul, self and other. Sponsored by the Chicago-based Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethics, the volume is the result of discussions among a group encompassing many religious and cultural traditions and many fields of expertise: philosophy, art, religion, folklore, psychiatry, anthropology, literature, history, social psychology, and surgery. Whether considering scientific advances in organ transplantation and their implications for medical morality, ambiguous images of organ transplantation in centuries of art and literature, and practices of organ procurement, or the complex bonds that are forged between donors, recipients, and their families, these essays carry our understanding beyond the typical scientific and pragmatic issues raised in discussions of bioethics and public policy.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Patricia A. Marshall
This edited volume explores a broad range of cultural, religious, and humanistic dimensions of organ donation and transplantation. Medical and social practices in organ transplantation are examined through the phenomenological lens of human experience. Dualities of life and death, body and mind, self and community are considered as they relate to organ procurement, donation, and transplantation. Sponsored by the Chicago-based Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith and Ethics, this book is the result of ongoing discussions among an interdisciplinary group of experts representing diverse fields: philosophy, religion, art, folklore, literature, psychology, anthropology, and medicine. The contributors have achieved their goal to move beyond traditional psychosocial, biomedical and ethical perspectives on the transplant experience. Informed by their individual background and expertise, each author addresses the existential crises raised by the sophisticated science and technology of organ transplantation. This book would appeal to a wide audience, including healthcare providers, bioethicists, philosophers, theologians, social scientists, and scholars in the medical humanities. Organ transplant specialists would be particularly interested in the humanistic approach to questions of meaning stimulated by transplantation practices. Each chapter begins with a biographical statement that provides context for the author's interest in transplantation. This technique sustains organizational continuity between the chapters. Extensive notes and references are at the end of each chapter. The index is comprehensive and helpful. Scientific advances in organ transplantation continue at aremarkable pace. Organ donation and transplantation challenge beliefs about the nature of what it means to be ^^human.^^ This book represents an exciting and significant contribution to the field because of its unique emphasis on humanistic interpretations of the experience and practice of organ transplantation. It is insightful and well written. I recommend it highly.
From The Critics
Reviewer: Patricia A. Marshall, PhD (Loyola University Medical Center)
Description: This edited volume explores a broad range of cultural, religious, and humanistic dimensions of organ donation and transplantation. Medical and social practices in organ transplantation are examined through the phenomenological lens of human experience. Dualities of life and death, body and mind, self and community are considered as they relate to organ procurement, donation, and transplantation.
Purpose: Sponsored by the Chicago-based Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith and Ethics, this book is the result of ongoing discussions among an interdisciplinary group of experts representing diverse fields: philosophy, religion, art, folklore, literature, psychology, anthropology, and medicine. The contributors have achieved their goal to move beyond traditional psychosocial, biomedical and ethical perspectives on the transplant experience. Informed by their individual background and expertise, each author addresses the existential crises raised by the sophisticated science and technology of organ transplantation.
Audience: This book would appeal to a wide audience, including healthcare providers, bioethicists, philosophers, theologians, social scientists, and scholars in the medical humanities. Organ transplant specialists would be particularly interested in the humanistic approach to questions of meaning stimulated by transplantation practices.
Features: Each chapter begins with a biographical statement that provides context for the author's interest in transplantation. This technique sustains organizational continuity between the chapters. Extensive notes and references are at the end of each chapter. The index is comprehensive and helpful.
Assessment: Scientific advances in organ transplantation continue at a remarkable pace. Organ donation and transplantation challenge beliefs about the nature of what it means to be ^^human.^^ This book represents an exciting and significant contribution to the field because of its unique emphasis on humanistic interpretations of the experience and practice of organ transplantation. It is insightful and well written. I recommend it highly.
Booknews
Comprises 12 interdisciplinary essays exploring the phenomenological reality of organ transplantation and its human and cultural meaning. Contributions offer insight into organ transplantation from such perspectives as ancient Greek and Roman myth, sociology, medicine, psychiatry, literature, health and illness studies, philosophy, and religion. Paper edition (unseen), $22.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299149604
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Pages: 298
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 3
2 The Realities of Organ Transplantation 19
3 Some Must Die 32
4 Why Organ Transplant Programs Do Not Succeed 56
5 Fearful Symmetry: Corpses for Anatomy, Organs for Transplantation? 66
6 Organ Vendors, Families, and the Gift of Life 101
7 Organ Donation and Transplantation - A Surgeon's View 126
8 Deadly Disputes: Ideologies and Brain Death in Japan 142
9 Choosing Life: Aspects of Judaism Affecting Organ Transplantation 168
10 Transplanting Myths of Organ Transplants 194
11 Cosmas and Damian: Of Medicine, Miracles, and the Economies of the Body 221
12 Afterthoughts: Continuing Reflections on Organ Transplantation 252
Contributors 275
Index 279
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