W040
Anthropological perspectives on the establishment of new medical technologies

Convenors:
Bernhard Hadolt (University of Vienna)
Viola Hörbst (ISCSP, Higher Institute for Social and Political Sciences, Technical University Lisbon)
Stream:
Workshops
Location:
0.5
Start time:
29 August, 2008 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

New medical technologies are regarded as a central factor in transforming the ways of dealing with health and illness worldwide. The workshop invites discussion of issues around the establishment of such technologies both from empirical and from theoretical perspectives.

Long abstract:

New medical technologies are regarded as a central factor in transforming the ways of understanding and dealing with health and illness. The worldwide establishment of technologies such as those associated with assisted reproduction, genetic diagnostics, intensive care, plastic surgery and tissue engineering in clinical practice may lead to new forms of medical knowledge and technical interventions, the formation and/or re-formation of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and medical professions, or the re-organisation of whole medical fields. The introduction of new medical technologies may also entail public debates about the ethical limits of medical feasibility and the appropriateness of regulations thus affecting understandings of life and regimes of living. This workshop invites discussion of issues around the establishment of new medical technologies both from empirical and theoretical perspectives. What are the discourses and medical practices involving these technologies to be found in today's local moral worlds? What are the conditions and processes of their establishment and how do resulting changes contribute to a globalising medical world? How do professionals and users appropriate - and are appropriated by - these technologies and what effects does this have on their lives? And how should these questions best be approached methodologically, conceptually and theoretically?