Gift of Life
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Analyzing one of the most dramatic of the new medical technologies--Organ Transplantation 'Gift of Life' covers those aspects that have general implications for public policy and sociological theory, and describes the social-psycho-logical impact of kidney transplantation itself. 'Gift of Life' beginswith an examination of the overall, unresolved ethical issues related to kidney transplan-tation--the problem of selecting patients for a scarce therapy.., the problem of withholding treatment from patients of greater physical and psychological risk ... the issue of utilizing living related kidney donors vs. cadaver donors. The book concentrates on organ donors and their families, and studies the effect of this type of extreme altruism. It also examines the stress for the family as the members try to decide who, if anyone, will give a kidney. The work shows how individuals and families make major decisions under stress. Discussed in detail are family communication processes and emotional relationships between donor and recipient, as well as the impact of donation upon the family of the cadaver-donor. The final analysis deals with the health care delivery issues and the questions of funding created by the rapid rise of this new technology. 'Gift of Life', with its exposition of decision making communication, and reaction to stress, is of relevance to social science theory and policy.