A Death Retold: Jesica Santillan, the Bungled Transplant, and Paradoxes of Medical Citizenship

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Keith Wailoo, Julie Livingston, Peter Guarnaccia
Univ of North Carolina Press, Sep 15, 2009 - Medical - 392 pages
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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.

Contributors:
Charles Bosk, University of Pennsylvania
Leo R. Chavez, University of California, Irvine
Richard Cook, University of Chicago
Thomas Diflo, New York University Medical Center
Jason Eberl, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Jed Adam Gross, Yale University
Jacklyn Habib, American Association of Retired Persons
Tyler R. Harrison, Purdue University
Beatrix Hoffman, Northern Illinois University
Nancy M. P. King, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Barron Lerner, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Susan E. Lederer, Yale University
Julie Livingston, Rutgers University
Eric M. Meslin, Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Susan E. Morgan, Purdue University
Nancy Scheper-Hughes, University of California, Berkeley
Rosamond Rhodes, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Carolyn Rouse, Princeton University
Karen Salmon, New England School of Law
Lesley Sharp, Barnard and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Lisa Volk Chewning, Rutgers University
Keith Wailoo, Rutgers University

 

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Contents

Chronicles of an Accidental Death
1
PART I MEDICAL ERROR AND THE AMERICAN TRANSPLANT THEATER
17
PART II JUSTICE AND SECOND CHANCES ACROSS THE BORDER
117
PART III CITIZENS AND FOREIGNERSELIGIBILITY AND EXCLUSION
235
PART IV SPEAKING FOR JESICA
297
Acknowledgments
361
Contributors
363
Index
369
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About the author (2009)

Keith Wailoo is Martin Luther King Professor of History and author of the award-winning Dying in the City of the Blues: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race and Health (from the University of North Carolina Press).

Julie Livingston is assistant professor of history and author of Debility and the Moral Imagination in Botswana.

Peter Guarnaccia is a medical anthropologist in the Department of Human Ecology and has published numerous articles on cross-cultural issues in mental health.

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