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2 Local Warehouse Health and Medicine- History of Medicine

Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk, and Sperm in Modern America

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Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk, and Sperm in Modern America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Scientific advances and economic forces have converged to create something unthinkable for much of human history: a robust market in human body products. Every year, countless Americans supply blood, sperm, and breast milk to "banks" that store these products for later use by strangers in routine medical procedures. These exchanges entail complicated questions. Which body products are donated and which sold? Who gives and who receives? And, in the end, who profits? In this eye-opening study, Kara Swanson traces the history of body banks from the nineteenth-century experiments that discovered therapeutic uses for body products to twenty-first-century websites that facilitate a thriving global exchange.

More than a metaphor, the "bank" has shaped ongoing controversies over body products as either marketable commodities or gifts donated to help others. A physician, Dr. Bernard Fantus, proposed a "bank" in 1937 to make blood available to all patients. Yet the bank metaphor labeled blood as something to be commercially bought and sold, not communally shared. As blood banks became a fixture of medicine after World War II, American doctors made them a frontline in their war against socialized medicine. The profit-making connotations of the "bank" reinforced a market-based understanding of supply and distribution, with unexpected consequences for all body products, from human eggs to kidneys.

Ultimately, the bank metaphor straitjacketed legal codes and reinforced inequalities in medical care. By exploring its past, Banking on the Body charts the path to a more efficient and less exploitative distribution of the human body's life-giving potential.

Synopsis:

Each year Americans supply blood, sperm, and breast milk to "banks" that store these products for use by strangers in medical procedures. Who gives, who receives, who profits? Kara Swanson traces body banks from the first experiments that discovered therapeutic uses for body products to current websites that facilitate a thriving global exchange.

About the Author

Kara W. Swanson is Associate Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law.

Northeastern University

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674281431
Author:
Swanson, Kara W.
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
History
Subject:
History - United States/20th Century
Subject:
Law-Property
Subject:
Medical-Health Policy
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
Subject:
Property law
Subject:
Health and Medicine-History of Medicine
Publication Date:
20140531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 halftones
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Politics of Health Care
History and Social Science » Law » Legal Guides and Reference
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Horse Racing

Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk, and Sperm in Modern America New Hardcover
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Product details 352 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674281431 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Each year Americans supply blood, sperm, and breast milk to "banks" that store these products for use by strangers in medical procedures. Who gives, who receives, who profits? Kara Swanson traces body banks from the first experiments that discovered therapeutic uses for body products to current websites that facilitate a thriving global exchange.
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