Download Bodies, Commodities, and Biotechnologies: Death, Mourning, by Lesley Sharp PDF

By Lesley Sharp

In the U.S. at the present time, the human physique defines a profitable website of reusable elements, starting from entire organs to minuscule or even microscopic tissues. even if the clinical practices that let the move of components from one physique to a different most likely relieve soreness 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 health and wellbeing and overall healthiness, agony, and demise. 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 complicated varieties of physique fix. Sharp additionally considers the experimental realm, during which nonhuman species and synthetic units current additional possibilities for restoration and for controversy.

A compelling clinical research and social critique, Bodies, Commodities, and Biotechnologies explores the pervasive, and from time to time pernicious, practices shaping American biomedicine within the twenty-first century.

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Extra resources for Bodies, Commodities, and Biotechnologies: Death, Mourning, and Scientific Desire in the Realm of Human Organ Transfer

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MANAGING AND MEMORIALIZING THE DEAD 45 As I will explain in chapter 2, yet another intriguing response involves creative strategies employed by donor kin and organ recipients who together strive, in a sense, to reconstitute the dead bodies of organ donors. Defying the taboos long imposed by transplant and, to a lesser extent, procurement professionals, members of these lay parties are now, in ever greater numbers, seeking out one another to establish new bonds of intimacy. Although the anonymous dead are relegated to a generic category of the unknown by transplant professionals, the insistence in other quarters that donors have names means that they also have personal histories, histories of profound value to their surviving kin and to the recipients whose bodies now house their transplanted parts.

Procurement staff, however, rarely speak of “patients” (especially among themselves), preferring instead (and sometimes even insisting on) the use of the term “donors” as a means to underscore that they cannot be patients because they are dead. ” This terminology deeply offends both procurement staff and, of course, the surviving kin of donors. Kin also abhor the use of the term “donor,” especially prior to procurement surgery. Instead, they almost exclusively employ personal names and other intimate forms of address.

F. 6 A complete assemblage of these names also can be found on the obverse of another cen- MANAGING AND MEMORIALIZING THE DEAD 31 Image has been suppressed Memorial grove erected in honor of the 307th Infantry, Central Park, New York City. Photo by the author, spring 2004. 4. tral stone marker. To the side of the grove stands yet another, erected more recently and placed to the side, for soldiers who had belonged to various lodges of the Knights of Pythias. This repetitious quality of naming exposes an unending anxiety that, with time, the names of these soldiers, from what is sometimes referred to as the “Lost Battalion,” may indeed be lost and thus forgotten.

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