Re-Valuing Donor and Recipient Bodies in the Globalised Health Economy: Transitions in Public Policy on Blood Safety in the UK

(2014) 18(1) Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 79-94

Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013/50

17 Pages Posted: 1 May 2014 Last revised: 9 May 2016

See all articles by Helen Busby

Helen Busby

University of Leicester

Julie Kent

University of the West of England (UWE)

Anne-Maree Farrell

Edinburgh Law School, University of Edinburgh

Date Written: January 1, 2014

Abstract

The clinical use of blood has a long history, but its apparent stability belies the complexity of contemporary practices in this field. In this article, we explore how the production, supply and deployment of blood products are socially mediated, drawing on theoretical perspectives from recent work on ‘tissue economies’. We highlight the ways in which safety threats in the form of infections that might be transmitted through blood and plasma impact on this tissue economy and how these have led to revaluation of donor bodies and restructuring of blood economies. Specifically, we consider these themes in relation to the management of recent threats to blood safety in the United Kingdom. We show that the tension between securing the supply of blood and its products and ensuring its safety may give rise to ethical concerns and reshape relations between donor and recipient bodies.

Keywords: biovalue, blood, donors, patients, risk, tissue economies

Suggested Citation

Busby, Helen and Kent, Julie and Farrell, Anne-Maree, Re-Valuing Donor and Recipient Bodies in the Globalised Health Economy: Transitions in Public Policy on Blood Safety in the UK (January 1, 2014). (2014) 18(1) Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 79-94, Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013/50, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2430850

Helen Busby

University of Leicester ( email )

University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Julie Kent

University of the West of England (UWE) ( email )

Blackberry Hill Bristol
Bristol, Avon BS16 1QY
United Kingdom

Anne-Maree Farrell (Contact Author)

Edinburgh Law School, University of Edinburgh ( email )

Edinburgh
Great Britain

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