Banking on the Body

    By

    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.

    View more

    Number of Pages: 352
    Format(s): Hardback - ISBN: 9780674281431
    Publication Date:
    Listed in: History of the Americas, c 1900 to c 2000, Property law, History of medicine
    Publisher: The Belknap Press

    Books by Kara W. Swanson

    Hardback

    RRP: £28.95

    Sale Price: £24.17

    Save: £4.78 per copy!

    Currently out of stock

    Side-Banner-Right-188px-fd.jpg
    Books TV & Movies

    You might also like...

    Latest from the blog

    Fantastic new recipe book from Sabrina Ghayour 'Sirocco'

    Sabrina Ghayour's long awaited second recipe book Sirocco is out this month and is a great follow up to Persianna. Read article

    Ten Great Bedtime Reads from The Great British Bookshop and Aspace

    We have teamed up with Aspace (www.aspace.co.uk) who create beautiful room for Children to bring you 10 great bedtime reads for your little ones. Read article

    Latest from Twitter

    • @TheGBBookshop - 2 years ago

      Lottery funding for dementia reading project £2m pledged for Reading Agency scheme to pair readers with dementia sufferers

      @TheGBBookshop - 2 years ago

      Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has held on to the number one spot for a sixth week #HarryPotter #CursedChild @littlebrown @pottermore

    • @TheGBBookshop - 2 years ago

      @thebookseller @MartinaCole @Jeffrey_Archer @Foyles

      @TheGBBookshop - 2 years ago

      Frith wins inaugural Klaus Flugge Prize for illustration t.co/U9P08h4XMG

    • @TheGBBookshop - 3 years ago

      RT @Gue_de_Bost: #Dordogneholidaycottage available Sept tweet to book for more info

      @TheGBBookshop - 3 years ago

      The editor is just back from france @HomeAwayUK! t.co/IWutTER1x7