Transplant Imaginary Mechanical Hearts, Animal Parts, and Moral Thinking in Highly Experimental Science

ISBN-10: 0520277988

ISBN-13: 9780520277984

Edition: 2013

Authors: Lesley A. Sharp
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Description: In The Transplant Imaginary, author Lesley Sharp explores the extraordinarily surgically successful realm of organ transplantation, which is plagued worldwide by the scarcity of donated human parts, a quandary that generates ongoing debates over the marketing of organs as patients die waiting for replacements. These widespread anxieties within and beyond medicine over organ scarcity inspire seemingly futuristic trajectories in other fields. Especially prominent, longstanding, and promising domains include xenotransplantation, or efforts to cull fleshy organs from animals for human use, and bioengineering, a field peopled with "tinkerers" intent on designing implantable mechanical devices, where the heart is of special interest.Scarcity, suffering, and sacrifice are pervasive and, seemingly, inescapable themes that frame the transplant imaginary. Xenotransplant experts and bioengineers at work in labs in five Anglophone countries share a marked determination to eliminate scarcity and human suffering, certain that their efforts might one day altogether eliminate any need for parts of human origin. A premise that drives Sharp's compelling ethnographic project is that high-stakes experimentation inspires moral thinking, informing scientists' determination to redirect the surgical trajectory of transplantation and, ultimately, alter the integrity of the human form.

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Book details

Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 11/2/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 249
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Moral Neutrality in Experimental Science
The Reconfigured Body of the Transplant Imaginary
Hybrid Bodies and Animal Science: The Promises of Interspecies Proximity
Artificial Life: Perfecting the Mechanical Heart
Temporality and Social Desire in Anticipatory Science
Conclusion: The Moral Parameters of Virtuous Science
Notes
References
Index
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