Ordinary Medicine: Extraordinary Treatments, Longer Lives, and Where to Draw the Line
Sharon R. Kaufman is Chair of the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the author of …And a Time to Die: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life.
For Whose Benefit?: Our Shared Quandary
This chapter returns to kidney transplantation because that example so dramatically illustrates how fairness, realized in equitable access for all, has been reinvented in our aging society through medical procedures. The growing demand for kidneys among older patients has created a fairness and access problem because older persons are receiving an increasingly greater proportion of the total number of available deceased donor kidneys, which contributes to greater scarcity for younger patients in need. The ordinariness of organ transplantation at older ages links issues of scarcity and the right to health with notions of the public good and a broadened conception of public health.