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Lecture 4

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ANTH 227
Dan Small

Anthropology 227 – Medical Anthropology January 29 , 2013 T.A. (Farael) Lecture : Anthropology and the end of life Question: What pops into your mind when we mention the word death? New medical technology = prolong life at what cost? Political-economy organ harvesting/selling/transplanting Palliative Care and Hospice Movement *not so much about telling truth vs. lying *ethical principles of autonomny beneficences, nonmalficense, justice, truth telling (truth at free demand) *it matters both what we say and in what context/which way we say things Commodification of body and body parts Legalization physician-assisted suicide - Ending - Darkness - Loss of hope/everything - Funerals - Black - Grief/mourning - After life - Relief (in some cases) - Rest Important Questions: 1. What does it mean to live? 2. What does it mean to live the end-of-life or to die? Over time death has been perceived differently (family oriented  lonely) The body + pain = other - Biomedicine and its mandate to treat - A body with total pain transformed into intruder exterior, exposed and outward- oriented, a medicalized body? - Fragmented discourse/materiality of pain - Lack of rational language to describe pain Life (and Death): 3 philosophical approaches - Death emerges from within as an inherit dimension of life from its very beginning - Death = shaper of life and the mystery of form of limit - Power to preserve in beginning - Every time we act or being acted upon there is a change in our mental or physical capacities and an increase or decrease in our capacities to act - Forces of life exclude dying and death - Mortality is ours without asking but immortality is something we have to build ourselves, the social and cultural production of immortal 2 strategies The modern strategy – dismantles mortality by overcoming the unsolvable issues of death into many particular problems of h
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