When the HPV vaccine first came to the market in 2006, religious conservatives decried the government's approval of the vaccine as implicitly sanctioning teen sex and encouraging promiscuity while advocates applauded its potential to prevent 4,000 cervical cancer deaths in the United States each year. Families worried that laws requiring vaccination reached too far into their private lives. Public health officials wrestled with concerns over whether the drug was too new to be required and whether opposition to it could endanger support for other, widely accepted vaccinations. Many people questioned the aggressive marketing campaigns of the vaccine's creator, Merck & Co. And, since HPV causes cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, and anus, why was the vaccine recommended only for females? What did this reveal about gender and sexual politics in the United States? With hundreds of thousands of HPV-related cancer deaths worldwide, how did similar national debates in Europe and the developing world shape the global possibilities of cancer prevention?
This volume provides insight into the deep moral, ethical, and scientific questions that must be addressed when sexual and social politics confront public health initiatives in the United States and around the world.
Beginning with the advent of a pain relief economy after World War II in response to concerns about recovering soldiers, Wailoo explores the 1960s rise of an expansive liberal pain standard, along with the emerging conviction that subjective pain was real, disabling, and compensable. These concepts were attacked during the Reagan era of the 1980s, when a conservative political backlash led to decreasing disability aid and the growing role of the courts as arbiters in the politicized struggle to define pain.
Wailoo identifies how new fronts in pain politics opened in the 1990s in states like Oregon and Michigan, where advocates for death with dignity insisted that end-of-life pain warranted full relief. In the 2006 arrest of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, Wailoo finds a cautionary tale about deregulation, which spawned an unmanageable market in pain relief products as well as gaps between the overmedicated and the undertreated. Today's debates over who is in pain, who feels another's pain, and what relief is deserved form new chapters in the ongoing story of liberal relief and conservative care.
People in chronic pain have always sought relief—and have always been judged—but who decides whether someone is truly in pain? The story of pain is more than political rhetoric; it is a story of ailing bodies, broken lives, illness, and disability that has vexed government agencies and politicians from World War II to the present.-- Charles E. Rosenberg, Harvard University
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