A Death Retold
"The linchpin for this remarkable set of essays is the death of an illegal immigrant due to a 'botched' transplant... Contributors raise vexing questions about medical citizenship, human rights and justice, and the global activity of organ tourism and trafficking." Margaret Lock, author of Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death
In February 2003, an undocumented immigrant teen from Mexico lay dying in a prominent American hospital due to a stunning medical oversight—she had received a heart-lung transplantation of the wrong blood type. In the following weeks, Jesica Santillan's tragedy became a portal into the complexities of American medicine, prompting contentious debate about new patterns and old problems in immigration, the hidden epidemic of medical error, the lines separating transplant "haves" from "have-nots," the right to sue, and the challenges posed by "foreigners" crossing borders for medical care.
This volume draws together experts in history, sociology, medical ethics, communication and immigration studies, transplant surgery, anthropology, and health law to understand the dramatic events, the major players, and the core issues at stake. Contributors view the Santillan story as a morality tale: about the conflicting values underpinning American health care; about the politics of transplant medicine; about how a nation debates deservedness, justice, and second chances; and about the global dilemmas of medical tourism and citizenship.