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

By Lesley Sharp

In the us this day, the human physique defines a profitable web site of reusable components, starting from entire organs to minuscule or even microscopic tissues. even though the clinical practices that permit the move of components from one physique to a different almost definitely 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 refined technological interventions have considerably formed understandings of well-being and future health, soreness, and dying. In Bodies, Commodities, and Biotechnologies, Lesley Sharp probes the ideological assumptions underlying the move of physique elements, the social importance of donors' deaths, and the medico-scientific wishes surrounding complicated kinds 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 clinical 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 resources for Bodies, Commodities, and Biotechnologies: Death, Mourning, and Scientific Desire in the Realm of Human Organ Transfer

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Photo by the author. 8. zoned with donors’ photos, and many squares are crowded with personal mementos. As is true of the other memorial projects, the Patches of Love Quilt is simultaneously a visual and tactile experience, with individual squares displaying everything from athletic letters to state pins, pieces of clothing, costume jewelry, tiny tools, and toys. Some squares also make direct or oblique reference to how a donor died: a hunting accident, a motorcycle crash, a murder. Because NDFC requests that submissions be accompanied by personal statements, quilt squares are carefully catalogued by the organization’s archivist, who is herself a donor mother.

What I propose, however, is that we step back a bit and try to think carefully about this need or longing to commemorate the deaths of such strangers. As I will show, any desire to memorialize this 24 T H E G O O D D E AT H unusual category of the dead must overcome several obstacles. Specifically, in the realm of organ transfer, cadaveric organs are given anonymously, and thus their origins remain obscure. This is further exacerbated by the fact that these organs have been severed from the bodies that originally housed them and dispersed throughout a region or across the nation.

Specifically, in the realm of organ transfer, cadaveric organs are given anonymously, and thus their origins remain obscure. This is further exacerbated by the fact that these organs have been severed from the bodies that originally housed them and dispersed throughout a region or across the nation. An inescapable characteristic of cadaveric donation in the United States, then, is that it violates the integrity of individual bodies: first, because the donor body is disassembled, so to speak, and second, because organ recipients in turn must experience radical forms of body repair.

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