Colloquium: “Why waste a good bone?”

This paper explores the pursuit of a safe and stable supply of bone for transplantation purposes. Bone transfers have taken place for more than a century and constitutes a well-entrenched and wide-spread technology, much more common than the publicly more renown organ transplants and bone marrow transplants. While ethical attention has been focused on technologies of drama and novelty, I suggest moving into the clinical practices surrounding the mundane transfers and explore what the pursuit of a safe and stable supply produces; what is does to the people involved in its fulfilment. Thereby I come to question how ethical problems are framed and the role of ethics policies in delineating the social life of moral concerns. I take this as an opportunity to pose questions about the relationship between social science and bioethics.