Have you signed to be an organ donor?

Treat this story as a mystery story.  A bad deed has been done.  The mystery is in how it is undone. 

Background:  A family member  died  three weeks ago; the circumstances made her an excellent organ donor, which she wanted to be.  Presumably, a number of  people now have better lives because of her death.

The bad deed:  The hospital where her organs were collected have charged her widower for the procedure.  Or, more precisely, they’ve charged the insurance.  But insurance comes with a deductable.  The bill is very high; around $20K.**

I’ve looked around on the internet.  The family of the donor is never charged, many sites say.  In fact, one site says, sometimes the hospital donates the costs.  In any case, if something has to be paid, it is the recipients’ responsibility. 

I cannot find any reference to any legal protection the donor’s family has.  But stay tuned.  You can bet that if you hand an unjust bill for 20K to a very stressed out individual, there will be objections.  And the insurance company is not too happy either.

This is all in the US, of course.


**Actually, the whole bill is $38K; she arrived at the hospital brain dead, but it was about 15 hours before that was officially determined and declared.  It looks like those hours may have cost somewhere around 15-18K, from what  I understand.

This may well seem quite insane.  It is medicine in American.

Crop Circles Explained

Or, The Sunday Cat likes Stoned Wallabies.

“The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,” Lara Giddings told the hearing.
“Then they crash,” she added. “We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high.”

Thanks, Jender-Parents!

Searching– Women plenary speakers for conference in France

Prof. dr. Dvora Yanow sent this request to the FEMMSS list serve and I am sending portions of  it out to all of you with her permission.  She is in search of  French scholars (working outside of France is ok; or it could be a non-French scholar working in France).


I am assisting a group planning the 2010 Interpretive Policy Analysis conference, which will be at one of the universities in France.

The leader of that group blanked when asked about a woman to include as a plenary speaker.

I unfortunately don’t know colleagues there myself.

Can anyone  make some suggestions?  To give you a sense of the thing, they are planning to ask Bruno Latour.  So someone from sciences-po or with that orientation, and/or who engages questions of phenomenology, hermeneutics, critical theory, discourse analysis, etc. with application(s) to science studies/science policy or other areas of public policy, especially someone concerned with the methodological side of things.

Please write me at d.yanow@fsw.vu.nl

Many thanks in advance,