Wan-Zi Lu

Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, University of Chicago

How and why do individuals commit to serving the public good in urgent and heart-wrenching moments? Social scientists and policymakers have tackled this question, particularly amid ongoing health calamities. In my mixed-methods research, I study the regulations and practices to incentivize organ donation for transplants globally. Across Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, particularly, governments enact organ donation regulations representing the full range of possibilities worldwide—from legalized compensations for donors, voluntary donation, to kin-restricted gift-giving, respectively—even though the three societies share existing moral practices to keep the body intact challenge organ donation. Given these different regulations, however, the deceased kidney donation rates have been similar in the three polities. My research explains such unanticipated outcomes by comparing the arrangements of medical and emotion work that channel effective moral narratives to make altruism work.

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