May 4, 2016

Zwart on Transplantation Medicine, Organ-Theft Films, and Bodily Integrity

Hub Zwart, Radbout University Nijmegen, Faculty of Science, ISIS, has published Transplantation Medicine, Organ-Theft Cinema and Bodily Integrity. Subjectivity at DOI:10.1057/sub.2016.1. Here is the abstract.
Transplantation medicine affects the way we experience ourselves as embodied subjects. Human bodies become aggregates of replaceable and exploitable parts, and potential resources for craving others. Our intimate interior contains items which others subjects lack, so that organs are transformed into (commodifiable) ‘objects of desire’. Clandestine organ markets and the popularity of organ theft cinema are symptoms of this development. What does it means for human subjectivity when organs become market commodities? This contemporary issue emerges against the backdrop of a metaphysical struggle of long standing between the traditional Christian view (concerning the inviolable body) and the bio-scientific view (concerning the body as a collection of replaceable parts). I will analyse the ontological repercussions of transplantation medicine from Lacanian perspective, using organ theft cinema as a stage on which conflicting and unsettling views of embodiment are enacted, probed and questioned. Three organ theft movies (Jésus de Montréal, L’Intrus and Crank 2: high voltage) will be subjected to a Lacanian analysis. The intrusive, dehumanising dimension to organ procurement, which tends to be obfuscated (repressed) in standard bioethical discourse about voluntary donation and human dignity, resurge quite emphatically in organ transplant cinema.
The full text is not available for download.

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