Choosing to Donate Life: WHY MORE PEOPLE ARE NOT REGISTERED AS ORGAN DONORS AND HOW TO ENCOURAGE DONATION IN THE UNITED STATES
Posted by Kaitlin Garofano '13
Every day, the lives of 79 people are saved from receiving an organ transplant. Yet, 18 people will die because there is a lack of available organs. One donor can save up to 8 lives, and improve many others through organ and tissue donation. What is it that causes a person or a person’s next-of-kin to choose to donate his or her organs?
Every day, organ transplant surgery saves many lives, yet patients still die because there is not a large enough supply of organs to meet the demand. I use the term ‘supply’ loosely, as it makes it sound as though these organs can come from anywhere, when, in reality, they have to be altruistically donated with permission from the family of a person who has recently been declared dead. A literature review of anthropological books and articles on the subject, supplemented by psychological and biomedical literature, illuminates reasons people choose to donate or not donate their organs after death, including religious, gift-giving, and cultural beliefs. I consider these examples when looking at methods currently being used or suggested for increasing organ donation rates to determine that organizations that work to increase donation need to focus more on the anthropological issues involved in the process.
Posted by Sara Gross '13
As an anthropology student, I have been lucky enough to learn about many of the world’s cultures and about some of the ways anthropologists and archaeologists study them. I have greatly enjoyed learning about Mesoamerican archaeology, phenomenology, and the development of ancient cities (to name a few topics), but I have found it equally rewarding to study local Saratoga Springs culture. The town has a rich history, though it only spans a few centuries, and the local history community here is vibrant and thorough. Because of the efforts of local historians, we do know a lot about the people that have lived here over the years—we can read about their efforts and triumphs, infer details about their value systems, and reconstruct the built environment with which they interacted. However, because wealth and tourism were major factors of the town’s development, much of the historical record is dominated by those who were wealthy, played a role in tourism, or simply happened to get their name in the paper.
Posted by Alex Becker '13
Bordering an 188-space parking lot on the corner of High Rock Avenue and York Street in Saratoga Springs, NY rests a piece of character on the edge of concrete, an 1885 three-story brick Victorian house that sits solo, abandoned by any homes similar. After spending a summer working for the Pedinotti family at this very house, which is now a restaurant, I became curious about its history within the context of the surrounding neighborhood. In unraveling one family's story within the larger picture of Saratoga urban changes, this project explores the relevance of this history in the context of the city, today, by revealing how an ongoing conflict over space reflects a larger relationship between two families and one city over time; it is this relationship that becomes reconfigured as the city changes and grows.
Posted by Anna Balser '13
The first paddling day on the Futaleufu in Patagonia, Chile brought us through rapids that peaked at a class III level of difficulty. In comparison to the rapids that lay ahead it was an easy run meant to acclimate us to the river. With this in mind, it came as a surprise to all when a raft flipped going through a class III, depositing 6 women and their guide Diego into the river. Safety kayakers and other rafts plucked the group from the water quickly and no one was hurt. The brief panic that enveloped the larger group subsided into retellings of and jokes about the flip. The women in the raft were dubbed the “Futa swim team,” and the other guides ruthlessly teased Diego about flipping in such an easy rapid.
Posted by Gabriela Perez '13
Focusing on Saratoga Springs, New York, this project examines how a local not-for-profit institution, Shelters of Saratoga, works to combat homelessness within the community. Using a public anthropology approach, this project will use interviews and personal observations to highlight the climate of homelessness in Saratoga Springs and how a local intuition works to remedy this issue in their community.
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