While stakeholders in hand transplantation (HTx) recognize the importance of assessing quality of life (QoL), QoL has historically been inadequately defined and measured in such assessment procedures. Current conversations related to QoL in HTx could be enhanced by a phenomenological account of the lived body-namely, by illuminating the ways in which humans develop a holistic QoL through meaningful orientation in their interactions with the world and others. This meaningful orientation involves many factors; this essay considers how QoL is shaped by temporality (how past and future inform present satisfaction), embodiment (habituated, generally unconscious, meaningful attunement to the world), and intersubjectivity (how our identity as selves is constructed through social relationships).
Bahler, B. (2019). What hand transplantation teaches us about embodiment. AMA Journal of Ethics, 21(11), 996–1002. https://doi.org/10.1001/amajethics.2019.996