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.
Introduction. The Paradox of Reproductive Technologies. 1. Preliminary Movements: The Body of Theories, Practices, and Texts. 1. Introduction. 2. A Coincidence of Medical Science, History and Bodies. 3. Technology and the Transformation of Problem-definitions. 4. Contemporary Technological Practices. 5. Technologies as Discursive Practices. 2. The Making of the New Patients. 1. Introducing: The Couple and the Fetus. 2. The Problematic Origins of the New Patients. 3. Technologies of Shifting the Problem. 4. Couples and Fetuses as Hybrids. 3. Treatments for Men and Children. 1. Introduction. 2. The Deletion Pattern. 3. The Purification Pattern. 4. Evaluative Comparisons, or: How to Render Incomparable Things Comparable. 5. The Co-production of Technological Practices and Legitimacy. 4. Elusive Body Boundaries and Individuality. 1. Introduction. 2. Body Boundaries. 3. Shifting Body Boundaries and Expanding Technologies. 4. The Politics of Ontology|Living Bodies as Prostheses. 5. The Stability of Moral Body Boundaries. 5. 'Only Angels Can Do Without Skin.' A Note on the Politics of Theorizing the Body. 1. Introduction. 2. Technology Critique as Modernity Critique. 3. 'Beyond' Modernity: Cyborgs and Hybrids. 4. Some Pitfalls of a Modernist Postmodernism. 5. Continuity Versus Discontinuity and the Possibility of Critique. Notes. References. Index.