Prosthetic Bodies: The Construction of the Fetus and the Couple as Patients in Reproductive Technologies

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Springer Science & Business Media, Dec 31, 2001 - Medical - 172 pages
Among the vast literature on contemporary reproductive technologies, Prosthetic Bodies stands out in its effective combination of insights, methods, and theories from the history of medicine, constructivist science and technology studies, and feminist theory. The double focus on IVF and related techniques, and fetal treatment and surgery, enables the identification of debatable tendencies within today's reproductive medicine: the translation of ever more medical problems basically unrelated to women's own reproductive health - and, in the case of fetal diagnosis and treatment, sometimes formerly even unrelated to reproduction as such - into medical indications for invasive, often highly experimental interventions in women's bodies. The analyses show how, through the operations and workings of reproductive technologies themselves, as well as a variety of discursive mechanisms within scientific language, today's recasting of men's fertility problems and children's congenital anomalies as women's reproductive problems comes to appear inevitable. The book challenges the ability of traditional forms of medical ethics and law to adequately identify this incremental process.
The careful analyses and arguments in Prosthetic Bodies will be relevant to students of science and technology, gender studies, philosophy, medical ethics, and law, and others interested in the cultural, ethical, and political ramifications of contemporary reproductive technologies.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter
4
Technology and the Transformation of Problemdefinitions
21
Technologies as Discursive Practices
35
The Problematic Origins of the New Patients
48
4Couples and Fetuses as Hybrids
68
The Purification Pattern
82
The Coproduction of Technological Practices and Legitimacy
97
Elusive Body Boundaries and Individuality
99
The Stability of Moral Body Boundaries
112
Technology Critique as Modernity Critique
126
References
151
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