Hybrid practices in cord blood banking: rethinking the commodification of human tissues in the bioeconomy
New Genetics and Society
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Reason for embargo
The STS and bioethical literature on umbilical cord blood (UCB) banking nowadays discusses the field as divided into opposite institutional arrangements, public versus private banking. Public banks represent a model sharing economy, private banks a market economy that capitalizes hopes and tissues, and new hybrid forms that are emerging. We challenge that this distinction is analytically valuable for understanding the various forms of marketization, commodification and biovalue production that mark the UCB economy. Our analysis of current UCB banking practices, especially hybrid one’s, and their inherent visions of the future, shows that hybrid UCB banking criss-crosses the different economic models and concepts of commodification. The private, public, hybrid distinction is thus inadequate for a critically analysis of the complex UCB bioeconomies. Drawing on the perspective of social welfare systems analysis, however, the tripartite distinction emphasises an important ethical and biopolitical commitment to equality in current and future health care.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis via the DOI in this record.
Published online 13 June 2016
Place of publication