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Relay of life


Last Saturday we invited Professor Ann Mongoven (See Jan.5 and 20) to Osaka University, and we had a conference on comparative bioethics on brain death and organ transplantation. It was an informal meeting but very exciting and fruitful.

Mongoven talked about the metaphor of "gift of life", which is widely used in the USA, and that of "relay of life", which is prevalent in Japan. She asked us from when, and why, this term has been used. I couldn't answer her question because I have never thought about it, but I guess that the concept of "relay of life" might have some connection with Japanese image of "life" that is often used in connection with the image of "interrelatedness" of each life. (See my paper "Concept of Inochi (life)".

It was intersting that just on the night of the conference day, Japanese ABC TV broadcasted a drama about the living donor liver transplant, and the subtitle of that drama included the words "relay of life". In Japan there has been very few transplants from brain dead donors, but instead, lots of liver transplants from living donors. taka talked about living donor liver transplant in Japan and his theory of "narrative consent". This was also very interesting.

Photo: Escalator

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

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