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Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine$
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Isabelle Dussauge, Claes-Fredrik Helgesson, and Francis Lee

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199689583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689583.001.0001

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A moral economy of transplantation

A moral economy of transplantation

Competing regimes of value in the allocation of transplant organs

(p.98) (p.99) 5 A moral economy of transplantation
Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine

Phillip Roscoe

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the development of protocols for allocating transplant organs in the UK’s National Health Service. It explores how the implementation of protocols has enacted disparate regimes of value in the transplantation sector, producing a fluid and elusive moral economy of transplantation. Allocation protocols reconfigure notions of value around materially embedded calculative techniques: the value of the organ exists solely in relation to potential recipients and therefore becomes apparent only after the implementation of allocation regimes. The chapter emphasizes the role of the epistemic in the construction of values; allocation protocols not only determine who should receive the organ, but also make clear to practitioners what matters. This chapter clearly demonstrates that stabilization of value is an elusive, ongoing endeavour.

Keywords:   transplantation, allocation, moral economy, value, market devices, calculation, materiality, National Health Service

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