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5_2_05_216j_rev - 21A.216J Dilemmas in Bio-Medical Ethics...

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21A.216J Dilemmas in Bio-Medical Ethics 2005/5/2 (M), Week 13, Class 23 Continuing Margaret Lock. Twice Dead. Class Business. Dissertation by Aslihan Sanal -- HASTS student. Dept has mostly anthropology graduate students. Tried to trace illicit organ transplant economy/market in Turkey. Followed a film crew across borders. Found that illicit traffic of organs follow drug trade, immigration, prostitution, arms trade. What was interesting was that Turkey, largely Muslim (institutional review board paper), organ transplantation is legal since 1979— when was brain death recognized?—few cadaver donations, few living cadaver donations. Bones cannot be taken, within Islam—not much detail in that. Scandals—took the bones of the body—urban legend. When family received the body for ritual washing, broom handles came out and body fell apart. Is this true? She could not verify but it was circulated widely, horror stories. Also mentioned the language of the gift of life. Purify the sin by donating organ. Surah in Koran says something like, if you save a life, you save the world. How different religious theologies are used to make sense of these technologies. Followed mafia doctors, engaged in illegal operations. Organs are donations for dowry. Used to enable people to acquire things—form of currency. How it follows along lines of poverty, inequality. UK Guardian article “Designer Babies”: Creating/destroying life to treat other life Student Presentation Situated Departures. Focused on situation, context, culture, social, not the individual Conservative definition of death—because it cannot go the other way Are there false positives, alive but thought dead? There is no way to know. Question: should organ donation be a factor in determining death definition of brain death came about in order to take organs from live cadaver Waking up from coma v donating organs— Definitions of death—you’re not dead until your putrefying, when your body goes cold Roman conception—head contains soul; liver contains seed of passion Early Christian period became increasingly important; heart was fairly dominant (199) Page 200—Fear of death; reminded us of rapture. © 2005 MIT OCW 1
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Rectifying death—is it more arbitrary based on religious beliefs vs scientific knowledge? is the definition of death—for example, many of cases, and definitions can be defined in multiple ways—so do you feel that the definition is becoming more and more arbitrary? o Science is moving forward—science is more likely to follow scientific explanations—brain. Less scientifically based ideas—liver, heart; more centralized Historical, cultural variability of importance of organs, essence of persons. Among intensivists that also varies—they may accept brain death definition, but
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5_2_05_216j_rev - 21A.216J Dilemmas in Bio-Medical Ethics...

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