Clinical Labor

Clinical Labor

Tissue Donors and Research Subjects in the Global Bioeconomy

  • Author: Cooper, Melinda; Waldby, Catherine
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Serie: Experimental Futures
  • ISBN: 9780822356080
  • eISBN Pdf: 9780822377009
  • Place of publication:  Durham , United States
  • Year of digital publication: 2014
  • Month: January
  • Pages: 296
  • DDC: 618.1/7806
  • Language: English
Forms of embodied labor, such as surrogacy and participation in clinical trials, are central to biomedical innovation, but they are rarely considered as labor. Melinda Cooper and Catherine Waldby take on that project, analyzing what they call "clinical labor," and asking what such an analysis might indicate about the organization of the bioeconomy and the broader organization of labor and value today. At the same time, they reflect on the challenges that clinical labor might pose to some of the founding assumptions of classical, Marxist, and post-Fordist theories of labor.

Cooper and Waldby examine the rapidly expanding transnational labor markets surrounding assisted reproduction and experimental drug trials. As they discuss, the pharmaceutical industry demands ever greater numbers of trial subjects to meet its innovation imperatives. The assisted reproductive market grows as more and more households look to third-party providers for fertility services and sectors of the biomedical industry seek reproductive tissues rich in stem cells. Cooper and Waldby trace the historical conditions, political economy, and contemporary trajectory of clinical labor. Ultimately, they reveal clinical labor to be emblematic of labor in twenty-first-century neoliberal economies.
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Part I. What Is Clinical Labor?
    • One. A Clinical Labor Theory of Value
    • Two. The Historical Lineages of Clinical Labor - Industrial Order, Human Capital, and the Outsourcing of Risk
  • Part II. From Reproductive Work to Regenerative Labor
    • Three. Fertility Outsourcing - Contract, Risk, and Assisted Reproductive Technology
    • Four. Reproductive Arbitrage - Trading Fertility across Borders
    • Five. Regenerative Labor - Women and the Stem Cell Industries
  • Part III. The Work of Experiment: Clinical Trials and the Production of Risk
    • Six. The American Experiment - From Prison-Academic-Industrial Complex to the Outsourced Clinic
    • Seven. Speculative Economies, Contingent Bodies - Transnational Trials in China and India
    • Eight. The Labor of Distributed Experiment - User-Generated Drug Innovation
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index


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