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Grant number like: FO-252232-17

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Amy Borovoy
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ 08540-5228)

Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$33,600 (approved)
$33,600 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 8/31/2017

Organ Donation and Medical Practices in Modern Japanese Culture

Research and writing leading to publication of two articles on the cultural, economic, and ethical issues affecting live organ donation in contemporary Japan.

In technologized societies, traditional moral notions of kinship obligation are being stretched and challenged as medical advances extend life. I seek to explore how imperatives to care for others are being conceptualized and materialized in the context of emerging choices around organ donation and life extension in Japan. Japan is an important site to explore these tensions, a country with the highest per capita rate of people on kidney dialysis in the OECD, and a small yet growing number of citizens living with kidney transplants, mostly received from living donors who are family members. The project seeks to explore medical decision-making and the cultural and social meaning accorded to live kidney donation in the context of the massive business of dialysis in Japan and a system of social welfare that relies heavily on women’s care for family members.