• Domesticating Organ Transplant: Familial Sacrifice and National Aspiration in Mexico

    Pages: 336
    Illustrations: 3 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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  • Acknowledgments  ix

    Introduction  1

    Part I. Giving Kidneys (Or Not)

    1. Living Organ Donation, Bioavailability, and Ethical Domesticity  33

    2. Cadaveric Organ Donation, Biounavailability, and Slippery States  65

    Part II. Getting Kidneys (Or Not)

    3. Being Worthy of Transplant, Embodying Transplant's Worth  109

    4. The Unsung Story of Posttransplant Life  147

    Part III. Framing Transplantation

    5. Gifts, Commodities, and Analytic Icons in the Anthropological Lives of Organs  187

    6. Scientists, Saints, and Monsters in Transplant Medicine  225

    Coda 261

    Notes  267

    References  285

    Index  307
  • "This superbly crafted ethnography draws readers deeply into the domain of organ transplantation in Guadalajara, Mexico. Megan Crowley-Matoka lays bare the ubiquitous moral and social consequences, tragic and joyful, associated with kidney transfer from one family member to another, that reverberate for years among extended family members, transplant teams, and society at large. These findings have implications for all forms of medical manipulation involving the procurement and transfer of bodily material among humankind."  — Margaret Lock, author of, The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging

    "Domesticating Organ Transplant is an insightful, ethnographically rich, and original work that adds to the growing corpus of anthropological scholarship on human organ transfer. Megan Crowley-Matoka's in-depth work with families, firm grounding in bioethics, and ability to interweave key analytical concepts—such as bioavailability, domesticity, blame, and materiality—is compelling. Crowley-Matoka's profound observations and analyses in this beautifully written and heartfelt book took my breath away." — Lesley A. Sharp, author of, The Transplant Imaginary

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  • Description

    Organ transplant in Mexico is overwhelmingly a family matter, utterly dependent on kidneys from living relatives—not from stranger donors typical elsewhere. Yet Mexican transplant is also a public affair that is proudly performed primarily in state-run hospitals. In Domesticating Organ Transplant, Megan Crowley-Matoka examines the intimate dynamics and complex politics of kidney transplant, drawing on extensive fieldwork with patients, families, medical professionals, and government and religious leaders in Guadalajara. Weaving together haunting stories and sometimes surprising statistics culled from hundreds of transplant cases, she offers nuanced insight into the way iconic notions about mothers, miracles, and mestizos shape how some lives are saved and others are risked through transplantation. Crowley-Matoka argues that as familial donors render transplant culturally familiar, this fraught form of medicine is deeply enabled in Mexico by its domestication as both private matter of home and proud product of the nation. Analyzing the everyday effects of transplant’s own iconic power as an intervention that exemplifies medicine’s death-defying promise and commodifying perils, Crowley-Matoka illuminates how embodied experience, clinical practice, and national identity produce one another.

    About The Author(s)

    Megan Crowley-Matoka is Assistant Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Northwestern University.
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