Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Department

Science, Technology and Society

Reader 1

Vivien Hamilton

Reader 2

Marianne de Laet

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Rights Information

© 2014 Simone C. Maule

Abstract

I will analyze the transcript from the 2000 BPAC meeting on the reevaluation of the MSM deferral policy and will elucidate the role that scientific data, specifically the data associated with NAT, plays in the 2000 deliberations surrounding the MSM deferral. This examination reveals that while scientific data did play a significant role in the decision making process of the BPAC there were also a number of other factors that influenced their deliberations as well. Ultimately what I will argue is that there were two different platforms present in the meeting and that each platform performs and enacts the body and blood of the donor differently. One platform is all about the inclusionary principles of blood donation and is most concerned by the potential for discrimination toward the body of the donor. The other platform is all about risk regulation and economics and is most concerned about how the body and blood of the donor will affect the safety and integrity of the blood supply. These platforms are not perspectival or dependent on view; this is not an epistemological argument but rather, an ontological one that concerns the reality and materiality of the situation, not the perspective. Thinking about these two platforms gives a handle to the nature of this controversy and contextualizes the committee’s decision to continue with the MSM deferral.

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