Spare Parts

Spare Parts : Organ Replacement in American Society

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Description

Spare Parts centres on the developments that have occurred in the field of organ transplantation during the 1980s and early 1990s, and on the rise and fall of the Jarvik-7 artificial heart in that period. It is vividly written in a narrative ethnographic style. The interconnected stories of organ transplantation and the artificial heart are recounted in an interpretive framework that attributes their most enduring significance to the triple themes of uncertainty, gift exchange, and the allocation of scarce material and non-material resources, and to the way that they open questions of life and death, identity and solidarity.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 566.99g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195076508
  • 9780195076509
  • 2,002,155

Back cover copy

The developments that have occurred in the field of organ transplantation during the 1980s and early 1990s, and the simultaneous rise and fall of the Jarvik-7 artificial heart, are the subject of this vividly written and absorbing new book. In Spare Parts, fascinating, interconnected stories of organ transplantation and the artificial heart are recounted in an interpretive framework that explores the vision of "the replaceable body". Themes of uncertainty, gift exchange, and the allocation of scarce material and non-material resources underscore a discussion that openly examines the escalating ardor about the goodness of repairing and remaking people with transplanted organs. Likewise, the stories open questions of life and death, identity, and solidarity. This important book offers insights into the symbolic and anthropomorphic meanings associated with the human body and its organs, and into the ways that medical professionals come to terms with the concomitant aspects of transferring vital body parts. Both artificial and donor organs, as well as the process of transplantation, are the subject of a thoughtful discussion which touches on the medical myths and rituals that they generate. Chronologically, Spare Parts begins where the authors' previous book, The Courage to Fail leaves off. More than a sequel, however, this work reflects their increasingly troubled and critical reactions to the expansion of organ replacement. Likely to be controversial, this book is must reading for bioethicists, medical sociologists and anthropologists, health-care lawyers, planners, and administrators, nurses, physicians, medical journalists and science writers, and concerned lay readers.show more

Table of contents

Introduction: Rebuilding people; PART I: ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION: Patterns and issues in the 1980s; Of wonder drugs, the transplant boom, and moratoria; Organ transplantation as gift exchange; Alterations in the theme of the gift; Transplantation and the medical commons; PART II: THE JARVIK-7 ARTIFICIAL HEART EXPERIMENT: Desperate Appliance: A short history of the development and use of the Jarvik-7 artificial heart; "Made in the U.S.A.": American features in the rise and fall of the Jarvik-7 artificial heart; Who shall guard the guardians?; PART III: THE PARTICIPANT OBSERVERS: Final Journeys; Leaving the field; Notes; Bibliography; Index.show more

Review quote

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 ... Fox and Swazey have tried to convince readers, through a wealth of details and analysis, that organ replacement has gone too far. * Peter A. Ubel, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, Volume 5, Number 2, Summer 1994 * The book is 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. * Ivor Lensworth Livingston, Howard University, Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 35, No. 5) *show more

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