Flesh and Blood

Flesh and Blood : Organ Transplantation and Blood Transfusion in 20th Century America

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Organ transplantation is one of the most dramatic interventions in modern medicine. Since the 1950s thousands of people have lived with 'new' hearts, kidneys, lungs, corneas, and other organs and tissues transplanted into their bodies. From the beginning, though, there was simply a problem: surgeons often encountered shortages of people willing and able to give their organs and tissues. To overcome this problem, they often brokered financial arrangements. Yet an ethic of gift exchange coexisted with the 'commodification of the body'. The same duality characterized the field of blood transfusion, which was essential to the development of modern surgery. This book is the first to bring together the histories of blood transfusion and organ transplantation. It shows how these two fields redrew the lines between self and non-self, the living and the dead, and humans and animals. Drawing on newspapers, magazines, legal cases, films and the papers and correspondence of physicians and surgeons, Lederer challenges the assumptions of some bioethicists and policymakers that popular fears about organ transplantation necessarily reflect timeless human concerns and preoccupations with the body. She shows how notions of the body- intact, in parts, living and dead- are shaped by the particular culture in which they are embedded.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 152.4 x 236.22 x 27.94mm | 476.27g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 15 black and white illustrations
  • 0195161505
  • 9780195161502
  • 95,497

About Susan E. Lederer

Susan E. Lederer is the Robert Turell Professor of the History of Medicine and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where she is the chair of the Department of Medical History and Bioethics. A historian of American medicine, she has written extensively on the history of animal and human experimentation. Her books include Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America Before the Second World War (1995), and Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature (Rutgers UP, 2002), and she was a contributor to The Human Radiation Experiments: Final Report of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (Oxford University Press, 1996).show more

Review quote

"While the concept of American exceptionalism may not be in vogue anymore, it appears to have made a comeback in Susan E. Lederer's intriguing new book about the ready acceptance of organ transplants and blood transfusion in the United States. She deftly guides us through the relevant history...As Lederer makes clear, medical miracles can no longer be separated from ethical constraints. For those who need to learn why, this book is a wonderful place to begin."--American Historical Review "In her latest work, Flesh and Blood, medical historian Susan E. Lederer offers detailed accounts of the transfer of body parts and fluids, particularly in the United States. This is an astonishing accomplishment, given that Lederer packs an extraordinary amount of historical data into a volume that is scarcely over two hundred pages long. The work is simultaneously informative and lucid."--Bulletin of the History of Medicine "I would recommend Lederer's book to those interested in the history of medicine in general, and especially to those interested in the history of transfusion and transplantation in the United States and worldwide."--As reviewed by Hans Erik Heier, MD, PhD, MHA in the New England Journal of Medicine..".intriguing...As Lederer makes clear, medical miracles can no longer be separated from ethicical constraints. For those who need to learn why, this book is a wonderful place to begin."--American Historical Review"Flesh and Blood, through its historical examination of blood transfusion and transplantation illuminates the deeper meaning of medical practices that we take for granted daily--questions of meaning of self, identity, and bodily integrity that pervade our technological procedures....Flesh and Blood abounds in implications for today as we blithely set about to 'remake bodies through the harvest of other bodies--animal and human, living and dead.'"--Ethics and Medicine"Flesh and Blood is a well-written history filled with interesting details that will be a valuableresource for historians in this area for a long time." --Journal of the History of Medicineshow more

Table of contents

1. Living on the Island of Doctor Moreau: Surgeons and the Body ; 2. Miracles of Resurrection: Reinventing Blood Transfusion ; 3. Banking on the Body ; 4. Lost Boundaries: Race, Blood and Bodies ; 5. Are You My Type?: Blood Groups, Individuality and Identity ; 6. Medicalizing Miscegenation?: Transplantation and Race ; 7. Religious Bodies ; 8. Organ Recital: Transplantation and Transfusion in Historical Perspectiveshow more

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