Reviews Book

Useful Bodies: Humans in the Service of Medical Science in the Twentieth Century

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7449.1207 (Published 13 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1207
  1. Boleslav L Lichterman, Centre for the History of Medicine (licht@aha.ru)
  1. Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow

    Useful Bodies is the result of a workshop on human experimentation held at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London in September 1998. Its focus is not so much on experimentation itself as on the nature and degree of the involvement of the state. In the introductory chapter the editors suggest a rough periodisation of such involvement: pre-state (before 1930s), state (1930s to 1960s), and post-state (since the 1960s). The key concept is usefulness—of the human body to the needs of the modern state.


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    Eds Jordan Goodman, Anthony McElligott, Lara Marks

    Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003, £31, pp 217

    ISBN 0801873428

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    The book avoids the topic of medical experimentation in Nazi Germany. It focuses instead on cases of non-therapeutic experimentation in the “civilised” democratic societies …

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