21 October 2021

In the podcast NBN Book of the Day, you meet Boel Berner who talks about her book Strange Blood: The Rise and Fall of Lamb Blood Transfusion in Nineteenth-Century Medicine and Beyond.

The "NBN Book of the Day" features the most timely and interesting author interviews from the New Books Network. In one of the episodes, you hear Boel Berner talk about her book Strange Blood. Boel Berner is a sociologist, historian and professor emeritus at Linköping University.

Listen here to the podcast episode

About the book

In the mid-1870s, the experimental therapy of lamb blood transfusion spread like an epidemic across Europe and the USA. Doctors tried it as a cure for tuberculosis, pellagra and anemia; proposed it as a means to reanimate seemingly dead soldiers on the battlefield. It was a contested therapy because it meant crossing boundaries and challenging taboos. Was the transfusion of lamb blood into desperately sick humans really defensible?

Boel Berner, Strange Blood: The Rise and Fall of Lamb Blood Transfusion in 19th Century Medicine and Beyond (Transcript Verlag, 2020) takes the reader on a journey into hospital wards and lunatic asylums, physiological laboratories and 19th century wars. It presents a fascinating story of medical knowledge, ambitions and concerns – a story that provides lessons for current debates on the morality of medical experimentation and care.



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