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From the Publisher
“The issue of organ transplantation has attracted growing interest from sociologists and anthropologists over the last decade. As high medical technology, organ transplantation raises serious philosophical, ethical, and sociological problems. . . . [This] is the most comprehensive book on organ transplantation published so far. . . . Spare Parts is very well written, and the material is well organized and presented.”
—Orit Ben-David, Contemporary Sociology
“Spare Parts: Organ Replacement in American Society. . . considers medical history and new major developments in the field of organ replacement. . . . College-level readers will appreciate the survey of biomedical advances, social and cultural changes in the perception of organ transplantation, and the history of the Jarvik-7 artificial heart in the U.S. Descriptions are based on primary data gained from interviews, participant observation, and analysis of medical journals and newspapers alike, with a new introduction reviewing some recent developments in the field.”
—The Health/Medicine Shelf
“Spare Parts is a historical, sociological, and moral essay on organ replacement in American society, culminating 40 years of research into the biomedical and sociocultural significance of kidney dialysis. . . and transplantation. . . . But this is more than just an academic study. Through its careful, grounded analysis, Spare Parts is a powerful indictment of recent trends in American biomedicine and American culture.”
—Gail Henderson, American Journal of Sociology
“Fox and Swazey are the most knowledgeable and experienced analysts of the development of organ transplantation. Their previous study, The Courage to Fail, set the standard for studies of the social, ethical, and policy implications of medical research. This book continues their study of organ transplantation by concentrating on developments in the 1980s and early 1990s.”
—George J. Annas, Annals of Internal Medicine
“In some ways a continuation of their earlier work (The Courage to Fail, 1974), Renée Fox and Judith Swazey’s Spare Parts: Organ Replacement in American Society offers a close, critical examination of the contemporary American project of organ transplantation. They undertake this examination in two parts, dividing their discussion into a review of biomedical advances in transplantation in the 1980s and an in-depth analysis of the rise and fall of the artificial heart that draws on their sojourn as participant-observers of the first human trials of the device at the University of Utah and Humana Hospital Audubon, St. Louis. . . . In addition to extensive endnotes for each chapter, Fox and Swazey include a lengthy biography of sources on organ transplantation in particular and bioethics in general.”
—Bette-Jane Crigger, Medical Anthropology Quarterly
“In Spare Parts, Renee Fox and Judith Swazey have updated us on their continued and lifelong study of the ethical, moral, social, and cultural processes of therapeutic innovation. . . . Their 'research physicians' have adapted to market forces as the field of transplantation exploded from the experimental kidney transplant. . . to broad acceptance of transplantation of the heart, liver, heart and lung, and more experimental segmented organ transplants, in efforts to save or prolong life. . . . Much can be learned from the experiences reported by Fox and Swazey in Spare Parts and applied to AIDS and other new fields of endeavor in this decade.”
—Robert E. McCabe, Journal of the American Medical Association
“A collaboration of nearly a quarter century between medical sociologist Renée Fox and biologist and historian of medicine Judith Swazey has produced the second of two major works on organ transplantation in America. . . . The text under review brings the earlier work up to date by charting the extraordinary developments of the 1980s, including an astonishing proliferation of organs and organ groups considered transplantable and a significant shift in the medical discourse on transplantation from 'gift giving' to commodities in short supply. . . . The authors’ long engagement in the field provides a unique perspective on the medical and sociocultural issues attending the expansion of organ replacements.”
—Donald Joralemon, Medical Anthropology Quarterly
“Transplantation of hearts, livers, and kidneys is now accepted therapy for a variety of end-stage organ diseases. . . . Despite its successes, many people remain deeply troubled by organ transplantation. . . . It is refreshing to see a book that cuts through the perfervid media attention that often surrounds organ transplantation and challenges us to assess the practice more realistically. . . . Fox and Swazey provide valuable insights into the abuses that can occur in the process of technological innovation and identify many of the problematics of solid-organ transplantation.”
—John A. Robertson, Science
"Provides a unique view of the world of transplantation. . . . a fascinating behind-the-scenes view."
—Paul J. Brooks, American Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
"Can be profitably read by those looking for a concise source of details about recent trends in transplantation. Readers will find many useful references and quotations, as well as interview materials gathered by the authors that are not available elsewhere. . . . A wealth of details and analysis."
—Peter A. Ubel, The Journal of Clinical Ethics
"Spare Parts offers a critical and compelling account of US medicine's ongoing fascination with organ replacement. In Spare Parts, Fax and Swazey deliver an engrossing account of medicine's preoccupation with organ replacement through a combination of insightful observations, lively argumentation, and moving personal accounts."
"The authors' perspective highlights the personal and societal problems engendered by these immensely difficult, risky, costly procedures. This fascinating book has messages for all of us."
"An encyclopedic source. . . . This is an important book which warrants close study and thought by all those who share an in-depth or even cursory interest in the area of replacement therapy or organ transplantation."
—vor Lensworth Livingston, Howard University, Social Science and Medicine, UK
"Excellent—very current information, easy, enjoyable to read."
—Lydia D. Schafer, PhD