10.22.09 - MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 227 22/10/2009 GUEST...

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MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 227 22/10/2009 GUEST LECTURER: MARGARET LOCK(E) on THE COMMODIFICATION OF BODY PARTS Body parts can be transferred from a donor as “therapeutic tools” o Skin grafts o Blood transfusions o Organ transplants Living related donors Living unrelated donors Brain-dead donors (Very recently dead) BODY COMMODIFICATION IN THE WEST: Extensive in the Western, European societies, less so elsewhere until the increase of globalization. ETHICAL PROBLEMS: Conflict of interest between biological focussed medical practitioners vs. Emotionally involved families TERRY ERKHEART: Down syndrome needed a lung transplant. His application was originally rejected because he was not of “sufficient intelligence”. Hospital rewrote policy and Terry was put on the list. o Many people threatened to rip up their donor cards if “retarded people” would routinely get organs o Some supported Terry’s right to get an organ ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEMES ASSOCIATED WITH ORGAN PROCUREMENT o The organ transplantation enterprise is, in most parts of the world, associated with inequities and exploitation of the poor o Organ transplantations involve transformations in and blurring of body boundaries, and what counts as the self, or other o Relationship of “gifts” and “commodities, transplantations enterprise blurs and manipulates this dichotomy o Organs procured from “brain dead” raises the question of what counts as the end of human life, death itself has become a moving target. SALE OF ORGANS: LAWRENCE COHEN: o Organ donors in India: Living related Clearly defined as brain-dead Exceptional cases (must be authorized by medical burocracies) This has made it EASIER for individuals to buy Kidneys, people don’t want to risk their family o BIOAVAILABILITY: Harmful bodily exchanges Poverty as a driving force Chronic Poverty: Women believe that kidney donation (selling) is what is expected of them, as a citizen, to support their family. Chronic poverty: Men refuse to sell organs: emasculating
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This note was uploaded on 10/23/2010 for the course ANTH Anth 227 taught by Professor Lisastevenson during the Fall '09 term at McGill.

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10.22.09 - MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 227 22/10/2009 GUEST...

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