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This volume draws on the French experience to examine the on-going international debate surrounding organ procurement. Commentators have tried to explain the dramatic differences in procurement rates in different countries in terms of legal variables, highlighting the variety of legal systems regulating consent. The general assumption has been that Presumed Consent (opting-out) systems produce better results than Express Consent (opting-in) systems. This study uses the French case to challenge this widely held assumption. The author argues that the French presumed consent systems coexist with patterns of behaviour that in practice do not mobilize the law. It is suggested that cultural, contextual and relational factors explain differences between procurement rates rather than the legal ones.
The book explores four areas that are key to current research in socio-legal studies: (1) Presumed consent systems to organ donation assume generosity between anonymous citizens. How this is dealt with in practice reveals much about the state and nature of social solidarity. (2) The changing legitimacy and scope of projects of social engineering via the law, and thereby the changing nature of the citizen-state relationship. (3) The legitimacy of state intervention in mourning situations and state discretion in the use of corpses. (4) Recent modifications of the status of medical professionals as figures of authority and agents of state policy.
This title will be a valuable resource for researchers, academics, policy-makers and practitioners with an interest in this complex and topical subject.