Organs, tissues, contexts: Politics and practices in the era of transplant medicine

11:00am - 4:00pm / Friday 22nd September 2017 / Venue: Halsall Room Foresight Centre (Block J)
Type: Symposium / Category: Research
  • Suitable for: All welcome
  • Admission: Free to attend - please register via emailing
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Over the last fifty years the global demand for transplantable tissues and organs has grown exponentially, leading to a diversity of measures to increase supplies of these reportedly ‘scarce’ resources. In turn, these efforts have been the subject of growing (bio)ethical controversies and legislative/policy responses relating to issues around: how and when death occurs in potential donors; where and by what means organs and tissues are obtained; and who qualifies to receive these resources. Social science research has, in turn, made inroads in the task of understanding these phenomena and their associated controversies by examining the local practices and contexts which both shape and are transformed by these technologies.

In September a group of Early Career social scientists from across Europe will be convening to discuss their cross-cutting research on these issues, and how social science can help understand the most pressing concerns surrounding organ and tissue transplantation in the 21st Century. A keynote talk will be given for the event by Professor Klaus Høyer and Dr Anja Jensen, who will discuss their extensive research into organ donation and transplantation in Denmark.

The event is being held in partnership with the Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences of Health, Medicine and Technology (CHSoHMT) at the University of Liverpool, and has been generously funded by the Wellcome Trust’s Institutional Strategic Support Fund at UoL, and a Research and Development Fund from the School of Law and Social Justice.

Programme details:
11.10: Introduction: Organs, Tissues, Contexts – Seán Columb & Jessie Cooper (University of Liverpool & City, University of London)
11.30: The More the Merrier: Understanding the Incremental Desire for Organs, Donors and Data in Danish Transplantation Practices – Anja Jensen & Klaus Høyer (University of Copenhagen)
12.30: Regulation of Uterus Transplantation: When Assisted Reproduction and Transplant Medicine Collide – Amel Alghrani (University of Liverpool)
13.00: Lunch
13.45: No Heroics, Please: Mapping deceased donation practices in a Catalan hospital and giving another account of organ donation – Sara Bea (University of Edinburgh)
14.15: Incisive Decisions: The Politics of Waiting Lists in Germany – Julia Rehsmann (University of Bern)
14.45: Break (tea/coffee)
15.00: Romanian ova provision: From ‘surplus’ to ‘scarcity’ – Alexandra Gruian (University of Leeds)
15.30: An organ transplantation through the writ of habeas corpus in Kerala, India – Abin Thomas (Kings College London)
16.00: General discussion (grants, special issue journal articles)