Blood Feuds AIDS, Blood, and the Politics of Medical Disaster

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1999-03-18
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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In the mid-1980s public health officials in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia discovered that almost half of the hemophiliac population, as well as tens of thousands of blood transfusion recipients, had been infected with HIV-tainted blood. This book provides a comparative perspective on the political, legal, and social struggles that emerged in response to the HIV contamination of the industrialized worlds blood supply. It describes how eight nations responded to the first signs that AIDS might be transmitted through blood, and how they falteringly arrived at and finally implemented measures to secure the blood supply. The authors detail the remarkable saga of the mobilization of hemophiliacs who challenged the state, the medical establishment, and even their own caregivers as they sought recompense and justice. In the end, the blood establishments in almost every advanced industrial nation were shaken. In Canada, the Red Cross was forced to withdraw from blood collection and distribution. In Japan, pharmaceutical firms that manufactured clotting factor agreed to massive compensation -- $500,000 per hemophiliac infected. In France, blood officials went to prison. Even in Denmark, where the number of infected hemophiliacs was relatively small, the struggle and litigation surrounding blood has resulted in the most protracted legal and administrative conflict in modern Danish history. Blood Feuds brings together chapters on the experiences of the United States, Japan, France, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Italy, and Australia with four comparative essays that shed light on the cultural, institutional, and economic dimensions of the HIV/blood disaster.

Table of Contents

Contributors xi
Introduction: Understanding the Blood Feuds 1(18)
Ronald Bayer
Eric Feldman
Part I National Encounters with Blood and AIDS
Blood and AIDS in America: Science, Politics, and the Making of an latrogenic Catastrophe
Ronald Bayer
HIV and Blood in Japan: Transforming Private Conflict into Public Scandal
Eric A. Feldman
The Nation's Blood: Medicine, Justice, and the State in France
Monika Steffen
From Trust to Tragedy: HIV/AIDS and the Canadian Blood System
Norbert Gilmore
Margaret A. Somerville
The Never-Ending Story? The Political and Legal Controversies over HIV and the Blood Supply in Denmark
Erik Albæk
Blood ``Scandal'' and AIDS in Germany
Stephan Dressler
Blood, Bureaucracy and Law: Responding to HIV-Tainted Blood in Italy
Umberto Izzo
HIV-Contaminated Blood and Australian Policy: The Limits of Success
John Ballard
Part II Comparative Perspectives on the Politics of Medical Disaster
Cultural Perspectives on Blood
Dorothy Nelkin
The Politics of Blood: Hemophilia Activism in the AIDS Crisis
David Kirp
The Circulation of Blood: AIDS, Blood, and the Economics of Information
Sherry Glied
Conclusion: The Comparative Politics of Contaminated Blood: From Hesitancy to Scandal 349(18)
Theodore R. Marmor
Patricia A. Dillon
Stephen Scher
Index 367

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