Hagai BoasDec 20, 2022
The Political Economy of Organ Transplantation
Where Do Organs Come From?
This is the story of organ transplantation, told from the organ’s point of view.
Organs for transplantations come from two sources: living or post-mortem organ donations. These sources set different routes of movement from one body to another.
Postmortem organ donations are mainly sourced and allocated by state agencies, while living organ donations are the result of informal relations between donor and recipient. Each route traverses different social institutions, determines discrete interaction between donor and recipient, and is charged with moral meanings that can be competing and contrasting.
The political economy of organs for transplants is the gamut of these routes and their interconnections, and this book explains what such a political economy looks like: its features and contours, its negotiation of the roles of the state, market and the family in procuring organs for transplantations, and its ultimate moral justifications.
Drawing on Boas’ personal experiences of waiting, searching and obtaining organs, each autobiographical section of the book sheds light on a different aspect of the political economy of organs – post-mortem donations, parental donation, and organ market – and illustrates the experience of living with the fear of rejection and the intimidation of chronic shortage.
Boas combines a rigorous academic analysis of the political economy of organ supply for transplantation with autobiographical narratives that illuminate the complex experience of being an organ recipient.
The author, Hagai Boas invites your comments and questions. Contact him at Hagaib@vanleer.org.il
Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, writer, Middle East television commentator and host of The New Books Network’s Van Leer Jerusalem Series on Ideas. Write her at email@example.com. She's on Twitter @embracingwisdom. She blogs here