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Hidden Histories of the Dead
Disputed Bodies in Modern British Medical Research

£22.99

  • Date Published: December 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108735537

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About the Authors
  • In this discipline-redefining book, Elizabeth T. Hurren maps the post-mortem journeys of bodies, body-parts, organs, and brains, inside the secretive culture of modern British medical research after WWII as the bodies of the deceased were harvested as bio-commons. Often the human stories behind these bodies were dissected, discarded, or destroyed in death. Hidden Histories of the Dead recovers human faces and supply-lines in the archives that medical science neglected to acknowledge. It investigates the medical ethics of organ donation, the legal ambiguities of a lack of fully-informed consent and the shifting boundaries of life and re-defining of medical death in a biotechnological era. Hurren reveals the implicit, explicit and missed body disputes that took second-place to the economics of the national and international commodification of human material in global medical sciences of the Genome era. This title is also available as Open Access.

    • Provides a trans-disciplinary study of the medical sciences in action
    • Maps bodies, body parts, organs, brains, on their post-mortem journeys
    • Provides a novel reframing of the medical ethics of networks, actors, and economics
    • This title is also available as Open Access
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is an exceptional book. Incredibly well researched, exhaustive and compelling, Hurren engages powerfully with the shifting ethics of anatomical 'ownership', identity and use and brings to the fore the complex history and status of the corpse. As Hurren demonstrates, these issues are as pressing now as they were in the last three hundred years or so.' Julie-Marie Strange, Professor in Modern British History, Durham University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2022
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108735537
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.468kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Relocating the Dead-End: A Consignment for the Cul-de-Sac of History?:
    1. Disputed bodies and their hidden histories
    2. Res Nullius – nobody's thing
    3. The ministry of offal
    Part II. Disputing Deadlines:
    4. Implicit disputes: mapping systems of implied consent
    5. Explicit disputes: 'the balance of probability' in coronial cases
    6. Missed disputes: brainstorming neuroscience
    Part III. Death-Sentences Delayed:
    7. Conclusion: flesh is a dead format? Remapping the 'human atlas'.

  • Author

    Elizabeth T. Hurren, University of Leicester
    Elizabeth T. Hurren is Professor of History at the University of Leicester.

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