Journal article

From the margins to mainstream: How providers of autologous 'stem cell treatments' legitimise their practice in Australia

Casimir MacGregor, Alan Petersen, Megan Munsie

Health An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health Illness and Medicine | SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2021


This article examines how Australian providers of unproven autologous 'stem cell treatments' legitimise these products and their practices. We focus on the strategies employed by providers in their efforts to create and sustain a market for procedures that have yet to be proven safe and clinically efficacious. Drawing on the work of Thomas Gieryn and Pierre Bourdieu and the findings of research involving an analysis of direct-to-consumer online advertising of clinics that sell purported 'stem cell treatments' and interviews with clinicians who provide them, we examine the mechanisms by which medical legitimacy for these products is established and defended. We argue that Australian providers..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by an Australian Research Council grant DP120100921.