Embodying Mortality: Exploring Women's Perceptions of Mortal Embodiment in Shaping Ambivalence Towards Cadaveric Organ Donation

This paper explores how the notion of “mortal embodiment” shapes perceptions of cadaveric organ donation among potential female donors in the UK. We seek to contribute to the growing literature on embodiment and mortality within consumer research. Using a phenomenological approach, multiple active interviews have been conducted with 6 potential female donors, aged 21-30 who claim to harbour ambivalent perceptions towards organ donation. Our research aims to understand how their experience of embodying mortality shape the way they negotiate, appropriate and resist the meanings of the “gift-of-life” inherent in the promotion of organ donation. We focus on how informants’ contemplation of embodying the dying process has evoked many deeply held existential concerns pertaining to the finality of death and the appropriateness of transplant technology in prolonging life. By enacting various interpretive positions, our informants constructed a personalize narrative to illustrate that the decision to consider cadaveric organ donation is highly complex and laden with ambivalence.


Ai-Ling Lai, Janine Dermody, and Stuart Hanmer-Lloyd (2005) ,"Embodying Mortality: Exploring Women's Perceptions of Mortal Embodiment in Shaping Ambivalence Towards Cadaveric Organ Donation", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7, eds. Karin M. Ekstrom and Helene Brembeck, Goteborg, Sweden : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 360-366.


Ai-Ling Lai, University of Gloucestershire
Janine Dermody, University of Gloucestershire
Stuart Hanmer-Lloyd, University of Gloucestershire


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7 | 2005

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