• Altruism, gift giving and reciprocity in organ donation: a review of cultural perspectives and challenges of the concepts

      Sharp, Chloe; Randhawa, Gurch; University of Bedfordshire (W.B. Saunders, 2014-10-01)
      Living and deceased organ donation are couched in altruism and gift discourse and this article reviews explores cultural views towards these concepts. Altruism and egoism theories and gift and reciprocity theories are outlined from a social exchange theory perspective to highlight the key differences between altruism and the gift and the wider implications of reciprocation. The notion of altruism as a selfless act without expectation or want for repayment juxtaposed with the Maussian gift where there are the obligations to give, receive and reciprocate. Lay perspectives of altruism and the gift in organ donation are outlined and illustrate that there are differences in motivations to donate in different programmes of living donation and for families who decide to donate their relative's organs. These motivations reflect cultural views of altruism and the gift and perceptions of the body and death.