We are thrilled to request a reviewer for Sherine Hamdy‘s ethnography ‘Our Bodies Belong to God: Organ Transplants, Islam, and the Struggle for Human Dignity in Egypt’ (University of California Press, 2014). Expressions of interest are welcome from across the medical humanities, but this book might be particularly well suited to somebody with an interest in anthropology or an understanding of bioethics.
‘Why has Egypt, a pioneer of organ transplantation, been reluctant to pass a national organ transplant law for more than three decades? This book analyzes the national debate over organ transplantation in Egypt as it has unfolded during a time of major social and political transformation—including mounting dissent against a brutal regime, the privatization of health care, advances in science, the growing gap between rich and poor, and the Islamic revival.
Sherine Hamdy recasts bioethics as a necessarily political project as she traces the moral positions of patients in need of new tissues and organs, doctors uncertain about whether transplantation is a “good” medical or religious practice, and Islamic scholars. Her richly narrated study delves into topics including current definitions of brain death, the authority of Islamic fatwas, reports about the mismanagement of toxic waste predisposing the poor to organ failure, the Egyptian black market in organs, and more. Incorporating insights from a range of disciplines, Our Bodies Belong to God sheds new light on contemporary Islamic thought, while challenging the presumed divide between religion and science, and between ethics and politics.’
If you would like to review ‘Our Bodies Belong to God’ (approximately 1,000-1,500 words maximum in length), then please email our reviews editor with a short explanation of why you are well placed to review the book.