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Gender dynamics in the donation field: Human tissue donation for research, therapy and feeding

Kent, Julie; Fannin, Maria; Dowling, Sally


Julie Kent

Maria Fannin

Sally Dowling
Occasional Associate Lecturer - CHSS - AHP


Research on blood and organ donation in the UK reveal disparities between the proportions of women and men donating tissues. In this paper, we examine how gender dynamics shape human tissue donation for research and for human health. We consider the research use of aborted foetal tissue in stem cell science and in a placental research biobank; the therapeutic use of peripheral blood, plasma, and umbilical cord blood; and breastmilk donation for infant feeding. We consider how donors of these tissues view donation, and to what extent the relations between bodies, technologies, kinship, community and exchange inform their views on, and participation in, donation. We also explore how tissues derived from gendered bodies acquire value as they are transformed into scientific objects, stem cell therapies, transplants and nutritional products. Within the bioeconomies of human tissue donation, the supply and demand for different tissues is structured by gendered understandings of the safety, risks and benefits of donation and transplant technologies, which in turn impact on the experience of donation and outcomes for recipients of donated tissues.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference
Start Date Aug 29, 2017
End Date Sep 1, 2017
Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2017
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords gender dynamics, donation field, human tissue, donation, research, therapy, feeding
Public URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

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