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  1. Narrative Methods for Assessing “Quality of Life” in Hand Transplantation: Five Case Studies with Bioethical Commentary.Emily R. Herrington & Lisa S. Parker - 2019 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 22 (3):407-425.
    Despite having paved the way for face, womb and penis transplants, hand transplantation today remains a small hybrid of reconstructive microsurgery and transplant immunology. An exceptionally limited patient population internationally complicates medical researchers’ efforts to parse outcomes “objectively.” Presumed functional and psychosocial benefits of gaining a transplant hand must be weighed in both patient decisions and bioethical discussions against the difficulty of adhering to post-transplant medications, the physical demands of hand transplant recovery on the patient, and the serious long-term health (...)
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  • Ka Mura Ka Muri: Understandings of Organ Donation and Transplantation in Aotearoa New Zealand.Rhonda Shaw & Robert Webb - forthcoming - Medical Humanities:medhum-2020-012038.
    In this article, we refer to the separation of solid organs from the body as bio-objects. We suggest that the transfer of these bio-objects is connected to emotions and affects that carry a range of different social and cultural meanings specific to the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. The discussion draws on research findings from a series of qualitative indepth interview studies conducted from 2008 to 2013 with Māori and Pākehā concerning their views on organ donation and transplantation. Our findings (...)
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  • Found in Translation: Navigating Uncertainty to Save a Child's Heart. Paediatric Cardiac Surgery in Cape Town, South Africa.Lauraine Margaret Helen Vivian, Cynthia Hunter, Lawrence Tan, George Comitis, Guy Neveling & John Lawrenson - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):112-122.
    This medical humanities paper describes our qualitative research into pathways to care and informed consent for 10 children who had cardiac surgery in the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. Our multidisciplinary team consists of cardiologists, anthropologists, a social scientist and a general practitioner in two sites, South Africa and Australia. This paper builds on our first publication in a specialist cardiology journal on a ‘qualitative snapshot’ of these children’s life stories from 2011 to 2016 but (...)
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  • The Haunted Heart and the Holy Ghost: On Retrieval, Donation and Death.Joshua Hordern - 2020 - Medical Humanities 46 (4):362-371.
    This enquiry examines problems which haunt the ‘heart’ and its donation. It begins by examining the heart’s enduring significance for culturally mediated self-understanding, its vulnerability to misunderstanding and abuse and its relevance to challenging the determination of death by neurological criteria. Despite turns to brain-centred self-conceptions, the heart remains haunted by the hybrid experiences of identity accompanying organ transplant, the relational significance attached to dead hearts witnessed in the Alder Hey scandal and claims that heart transplants commonly constitute the legitimate (...)
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  • Pump, Person and Parfit: Why the Constitutive Heart Matters.Hugh Farrell McIntyre - 2020 - Medical Humanities 46 (4):384-393.
    The historical view of the heart as a source and repository of characteristics of individual persons remains prevalent in speech and literature. A more recent scientific view regards the heart as just a replaceable mechanical device, supporting a hydraulic system. To accept the pump-view is to reduce the historical view of the heart, and reference to it, to metaphor. To address whether this conclusion is justified, this paper investigates what constitutes an individual person over time and whether the heart has (...)
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  • Estranged Relations: Coercion and Care in Narratives of Supported Decision-Making in Mental Healthcare.Meredith Stone, Renata Kokanovic, Felicity Callard & Alex F. Broom - 2020 - Medical Humanities 46 (1):62-72.
    Supported decision-making has become popular among policymakers and mental health advocates as a means of reducing coercion in mental healthcare. Nevertheless, users of psychiatric services often seem equivocal about the value of supported decision-making initiatives. In this paper we explore why such initiatives might be rejected or ignored by the would-be beneficiaries, and we reflect on broader implications for care and coercion. We take a critical medical humanities approach, particularly through the lens of entanglement. We analyse the narratives of 29 (...)
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