How physicians in this century wielded medical technology to define disease, carve out medical specialties, and shape political agendas.
Winner of the American Public Health Association Arthur Viseltear Prize
In Drawing Blood, medical historian Keith Wailoo uses the story of blood diseases to explain how physicians in this century wielded medical technology to define disease, carve out medical specialties, and shape political agendas. As Wailoo's account makes clear, the seemingly straightforward process of identifying disease is invariably influenced by personal, professional, and social factors—and as a result produces not only clarity and precision but also bias and outright error.
Drawing Blood reveals the ways in which physicians and patients as well as the diseases themselves are simultaneously shaping and being shaped by technology, medical professionalization, and society at large. This thought-provoking cultural history of disease, medicine, and technology offers an important perspective for current discussions of HIV and AIDS, genetic blood testing, prostate-specific antigen, and other important issues in an age of technological medicine.
"Makes clear that the high stakes involved in medical technology are not just financial, but moral and far reaching. They have been harnessed to describe clinical phenomena and to reflect social and cultural realities that influence not only medical treatment but self-identity, power, and authority."—Susan E. Lederer, H-Net Humanities & Social Sciences On Line
"Wailoo's masterful study of hematology and its disease discourse is a model of interdisciplinarity, combining cultural analysis, social history, and the history of medical ideas and technology to produce a complex narrative of disease definition, diagnosis, and treatment... He reminds us that medical technology is a neutral artifact of history. It can be, and has been, used to clarify and to cloud the understanding of disease, and it has the potential both to constrain and to emancipate its subjects."—Regina Morantz-Sanchez, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
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