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Donald Joralemon received his B.A. from Oberlin College (1974) and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (1983).
Joralemon is the author of Exploring Medical Anthropology (1999) and the co-author, with Douglas Sharon, of Sorcery and Shamanism (1993). Among his published articles on Peruvian shamanism is the essay "The Selling of the Shaman and the Problem of Informant Legitimacy" (Journal of Anthropological Research, 1990).
His present work focuses on the anthropology of organ transplantation and medical ethics. His article "Organ Wars: The Battle for Body Parts" (Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 1995) won the Polgar Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology.
Joralemon has published additional articles on the ethics of organ transplantation in the Journal of Medical Ethics (2001) and in the Hastings Center Report (2003). He also has written on the topic of medical futility for the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (2000). The third edition of his textbook, Exploring Medical Anthropology, was published in September 2009. It includes a new chapter on biotechnology.
Joralemon is currently experimenting with an online publication of his new manuscript, Mortal Dilemmas: Why Is It so Hard to Die in America?
At Smith, Joralemon teaches Medical Anthropology (ANT 248), Native South Americans (ANT 237), Dying and Death (ANT 255) and the seminar Topics in Medical Anthropology (ANT 344).