By Lesley Sharp
In the USA this present day, the human physique defines a profitable web site of reusable elements, starting from entire organs to minuscule or even microscopic tissues. even if the scientific practices that permit the move of elements from one physique to a different most probably relieve affliction and expand lives, they've got additionally irrevocably altered perceptions of the cultural values assigned to the physique.
Organ move is wealthy terrain to enquire& mdash;especially within the American context, the place subtle technological interventions have considerably formed understandings of overall healthiness and overall healthiness, agony, and loss of life. In Bodies, Commodities, and Biotechnologies, Lesley Sharp probes the ideological assumptions underlying the move of physique elements, the social value of donors' deaths, and the medico-scientific wants surrounding advanced different types of physique fix. Sharp additionally considers the experimental realm, within which nonhuman species and synthetic units current extra possibilities for restoration and for controversy.
A compelling medical research and social critique, Bodies, Commodities, and Biotechnologies explores the pervasive, and every now and then pernicious, practices shaping American biomedicine within the twenty-first century.
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Additional info for Bodies, Commodities, and Biotechnologies: Death, Mourning, and Scientific Desire in the Realm of Human Organ Transfer
Clearly, I am deeply intrigued by the imagery that abounds here, and I have written on this at length (Sharp in press). What fascinates me the most is how such memorial projects stand out as bureaucratized forms of mourning. 1). A particularly striking aspect of these events is that they strive to bridge the divide— albeit temporarily and in carefully orchestrated ways—between organ recipients and donor kin. Without such mutual involvement they fail as legitimate, public events. The tone, however, is far from celebratory.
Recall, too, that these ceremonies are staged (and for the most part funded) by transplant units and hospitals, or by individual OPOs and tissue banks. Therefore, they simultaneously honor donors and celebrate professional successes. 1. An annual tree planting ceremony, circa early 1990s. Photo by the author. munity, giving thanks, and even reciprocal participation, they should also be considered ﬁrst and foremost as public relations events. As transplantation has grown as a medical practice nationwide, these stagings have become more frequent and more elaborate over the years, especially during the 1990s.
Procurement professionals also regularly provide emotional support to the bereaved not simply during the period of hospital care but for weeks, months, and even years beyond donors’ deaths (Sharp 2001). Yet another related aspect of the ideology that drives organ transfer is that this medical realm is rife with taboos, evident in what historian Ruth Richardson refers to as forms of “semantic massage” (Richardson 1996). ” Furthermore, a range of labels are applied to human beings whose bodies are sources for transplantable organs.