Elizabeth T. HurrenMar 2, 2023
Hidden Histories of the Dead
Disputed Bodies in Modern British Medical Research
Cambridge University Press 2021
In Hidden Histories of the Dead: Disputed Bodies in Modern British Medical Research (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Dr. Elizabeth T. Hurren maps the post-mortem journeys of bodies, body-parts, organs, and brains, inside the secretive culture of modern British medical research after WWII as the bodies of the deceased were harvested as bio-commons. Often the human stories behind these bodies were dissected, discarded, or destroyed in death.
Hidden Histories of the Dead recovers human faces and supply-lines in the archives that medical science neglected to acknowledge. Dr. Hurren investigates the medical ethics of organ donation, the legal ambiguities of a lack of fully-informed consent and the shifting boundaries of life and re-defining of medical death in a biotechnological era. Dr. Hurren reveals the implicit, explicit and missed body disputes that took second-place to the economics of the national and international commodification of human material in global medical sciences of the Genome era.
This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.