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Description - Tissue Economies by Catherine Waldby

As new medical technologies are developed, more and more human tissues--such as blood, organs, skin, bones, heart valves, embryos, and stem cell lines--are stored and distributed for therapeutic and research purposes. The accelerating circulation of human tissue fragments raises profound social and ethical concerns related to who donates or sells bodily tissue, who receives it, and who profits--or does not--from the transaction. Catherine Waldby and Robert Mitchell survey the rapidly expanding economies of exchange in human blood, tissues, and organs, explaining the complex issues at stake and suggesting likely developments. Comparing contemporary tissue economies in the United Kingdom and United States, they explore and complicate the distinction that has dominated practice and policy for several decades: the distinction between tissue as a gift to be exchanged in a transaction separate from the commercial market and tissue as a commodity to be traded for profit.Waldby and Mitchell pull together a prodigious amount of research--involving policy reports and scientific papers, operating manuals, legal decisions, interviews, journalism, and Congressional testimony--to offer a series of case studies based on particular forms of tissue exchange. They examine the effect of threats of contamination--from HIV and other pathogens--on blood banks' understandings of the gift/commodity relationship; the growth of autologous economies, in which individuals bank their tissues for their own use; the creation of the United Kingdom's Stem Cell bank, which facilitates the donation of embryos for stem cell development; and the legal and financial repercussions of designating some tissues "hospital waste." They also consider the impact of different models of biotechnology patents on tissue economies and the relationship between experimental therapies to regenerate damaged or degenerated tissues and calls for a legal, for-profit market in organs.Ultimately, Waldby and Mitchell conclude that scientific technologies, the globalization of tissue exchange, and recent anthropological, sociological, and legal thinking have blurred any strict line separating donations from the incursion of market values into tissue economies.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780822337706
ISBN-10: 0822337703
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Duke University Press
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publish Date: 20-Mar-2006
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Catherine Waldby

Catherine Waldby teaches medical sociology at the University of New South Wales. She is the author of The Visible Human Project: Informatic Bodies and Posthuman Medicine and AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference. Robert Mitchell is Assistant Professor of English at Duke University. He is a coeditor of Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information and Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body.

Books By Catherine Waldby

Visible Human Project by Catherine Waldby
Hardback, June 2000
$159.30 $177.00
AIDS and the Body Politic by Catherine Waldby
Hardback, September 1996
$159.30 $177.00