© 2001

Prosthetic Bodies

The Construction of the Fetus and the Couple as Patients in Reproductive Technologies


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Irma van der Ploeg
    Pages 1-6
  3. Irma van der Ploeg
    Pages 7-42
  4. Irma van der Ploeg
    Pages 43-71
  5. Irma van der Ploeg
    Pages 73-98
  6. Irma van der Ploeg
    Pages 99-122
  7. Irma van der Ploeg
    Pages 123-136
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 137-172

About this book


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.


Medical Ethics diagnosis ethics health morality

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Erasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Prosthetic Bodies
  • Book Subtitle The Construction of the Fetus and the Couple as Patients in Reproductive Technologies
  • Authors I. van der Ploeg
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2001
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4020-0116-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-90-481-5866-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-015-9847-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VI, 172
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Philosophy of Technology
    Theory of Medicine/Bioethics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site