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Title: Revaluing donor and recipient bodies in the globalised blood economy: transitions in public policy on blood safety in the United Kingdom
Authors: Busby, Helen
Kent, J.
Farrell, A. M.
First Published: 6-Mar-2013
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Citation: Health (London), 2014, 18 (1), pp. 79-94
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 a 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.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1363459313476966
ISSN: 1363-4593
eISSN: 1461-7196
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2015. Licensee: SAGE. Reprints and permissions: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Health Sciences

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