Transplantation as an abstract good: practising deliberate ignorance in deceased organ donation in Denmark
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article › peer-review
This article investigates valuations of organ transfers that are currently seen as legitimising increasingly aggressive procurement methods in Denmark. Based on interviews with registered donors and the intensive care unit staff responsible for managing organ donor patients we identify three types of valuation: the needs of recipients, respect for donors' autonomy and support of donors' relatives in their grieving process. Sometimes these modes of valuation conflict with each other, and we show how our informants then respond with a form of deliberate ignorance. We suggest that deliberate ignorance has a more general salience in the organ transplant field by way of facilitating a perception of organ transplantation as an abstract moral good rather than a specific good for specific people. Furthermore, we suggest that multiple forms of ignorance sustain each other: a desire for ignorance with respect to the prioritisation of recipients sustains pressure for more organs; this pressure necessitates more aggressive measures in organ procurement and these measures increase the need for ignorance in relation to the actual procedures as well as the actual recipients. These attempts to avoid knowledge are in remarkable contrast to the otherwise widespread policy emphasis on education and information in this medical domain.
|Journal||Sociology of Health and Illness|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - May 2015|