Historically organised at a local or national scale, the fields of medicine and healthcare are being radically transformed by new communication, transport and biotechnologies creating, in the process, a genuinely globalised sphere of biomedical production and consumption. This emerging market is characterised by the circulation of bodily materials (tissues, organs and bio-information), patients and expertise across what traditionally have been relatively secure ontological and geographical borders. Crossing both disciplinary and geographical boundaries, this volume draws together a number of important contributions from acknowledged leaders in three respective fields: the trade in bodily commodities, biomedical tourism and migration of health care professionals. It explores and maps out the key characteristics of this emerging, although as yet poorly researched global trade, questioning how, where and why bodies cross borders, whether this exacerbates existing health inequalities and how these circulations impact on healthcare services. Considered together, the chapters in this volume invite comparisons of the ways in which body parts, patients and medical professionals cross national borders, elucidating common themes, concerns and issues. Contributors also pose important questions about the ethical and legal implications of the circulation of bodies across borders and evaluate current and future strategies for regulation.
’Detailing a new double movement of 21st century globalization, this compelling collection of essays underlines that disembedded market forces have far from disembodied or flattening outcomes on the ground. Instead, from global trade in organs and sperm, to the cross-border movements of medical tourists and healthworkers, we are introduced to worlds of extraordinarily uneven and unequal embodiments of global interdependency - embodiments across borders which, as the contributors explore with care, have vitally important implications for the global body politic.’ Matt Sparke, University of Washington, USA ’This timely and fascinating collection explores a rich diversity of cultural, economic and legal practices, vividly demonstrating the intense translational flows of biomedical objects, practitioners and clientele which form part of contemporary biomedicine and their important implications for how we navigate the boundaries between ourselves and our nations.’ Anne Kerr, University of Leeds, UK