When an organ is affected by a disease, or you get into an accident that affects your organs, treatments don’t always work.
For those who are suffering from kidney failure, dialysis doesn’t necessarily work.
However, when all treatment fails, organ transplantation is usually the next best alternative. Sadly the supply of organ donation doesn’t match the need.
In this post, we’ll be examining a couple of books that take a look at the subject of organ donation.
1. The Organ Donor Experience: Good Samaritans and the Meaning of Altruism
This book explores the stories of more than 20 good Samaritans that have donated a bit of their liver, parts of their lungs, a kidney, to complete strangers. It explores the motivations behind such actions.
Most books on organ donation tend to direct their view on the needs of recipients and the shortage of organs.
The organ donor experience, however, brings you a compelling and unique perspective from the viewpoint of the donor.
The organ donor experience not only brings to light the facet of organ donation that is rarely talked about, but it also does a good job celebrating these good Samaritans.
2. Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death
In this book, Margaret Lock takes a look at the world of organ transplant and compares the industry in Japan and North America (as well as bits of Europe).
The overall theme of the book isn’t to look at the positives or the negatives of organ transplant, but rather to explore how our view of death has changed so that the technology of organ transplant could evolve and improve.
Apart from the analysis of the popular representation and professional literature on the subject, Lock also borrows from extensive interviews conducted with transplant surgeons, donor families, physicians, political activists opposed to the recognition of brain death, members of the public in both North America and Japan.
3. The Global Organ Shortage: Economic Causes, Human Consequences, Policy Responses
The Global Organ Shortage was put together by three economists. If you consider the fact that one of them, David Kaserman, has always been outspoken about providing incentives for donation, it is no surprise that the book concludes the way it does (favoring incentives).
The nine-chapter book has excellent flow with each chapter building on the momentum of the one before it.
In the book, David Kaserman, Rigmar Osterkamp, and T. Randolph Beard surveyed and evaluated nearly the entire existing literature on organ shortage and the possible solution.
They concluded their research by saying the best way to increase supply is to compensate organ donors including the cadaveric and the living.
The Global Organ Shortage is a brilliant guide to the literature of organ donation, which is why it is the number one literary source for anyone who wants to understand the cause, the effects, and the solution to the global organ transplant shortage.
4. Matching Organs with Donors: Legality and Kinship in Transplants (Contemporary Ethnography)
Matching Organs with Donors is a sensitive ethnography by Marie-Andrée Jacob that divulges the mindsets and methods of donors, patients, administrators, gray-sector workers, doctors and sellers in Israel’s kidney transplant bureaus for the living.
The book tells how viable matches are pinpointed between recipient and donors using terminologies “borrowed” from definitions of kinship.
5. The Ethics of Organ Transplantation
This book deals with both living organ transplantation (such as the transplantation of non-vital organs like a kidney) from a healthy donor and the transplantation of vital organs from the deceased.
While it is clear that both cases are examples of transplantation, it is necessary to differentiate between both cases from the beginning as each situation carries its ethical problems and questions.
A good portion of the book deals with the underlying issues surrounding the transplantation of vital organs. It also explores the somewhat vague borderline that crosses living and dead organ transplantation.
The Ethics of Organ Transplantation provides a detailed as well as a multi-perspective view on the status quo of organ donorship and transplantation.