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HematologiesThe Political Life of Blood in India$
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Jacob Copeman and Dwaipayan Banerjee

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501745096

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501745096.001.0001

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Blood in the Time of the Civic

Blood in the Time of the Civic

(p.178) 6 Blood in the Time of the Civic

Jacob Copeman

Dwaipayan Banerjee

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on blood in the time of the civic—that is, blood that is donated voluntarily as a dutiful contribution to civic life, that in turn ensures the continued efficacy and productivity of transfusion medicine. These voluntary donations take place according to a seemingly simple biological time map: the biological time of cellular production determines the biomedically mandated three-month gap between donations. The time regime of the repeated voluntary donation emerges from and is mapped upon the lifetime of blood cells. This is in contrast to apparently less civic-minded blood donation modes: the potentially dangerous commercial transaction of paid blood donation and the one-time mode of “replacement” donation, performed in order to release blood for the benefit of one's immediate family member in need of transfusion. As this chapter shows, these modes of donation are characterized by different temporalities. A routine of dutiful repetitive bloodshed structures voluntary blood donation's time of the civic.

Keywords:   civic life, blood donations, biological time, transfusion, blood transfusion, paid blood donation, replacement donation, bloodshed, cellular production, temporality

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