© 2018

The Medicalized Body and Anesthetic Culture

The Cadaver, the Memorial Body, and the Recovery of Lived Experience


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Brent Dean Robbins
    Pages 1-17
  3. Brent Dean Robbins
    Pages 65-83
  4. Brent Dean Robbins
    Pages 85-103
  5. Brent Dean Robbins
    Pages 105-126
  6. Brent Dean Robbins
    Pages 127-149
  7. Brent Dean Robbins
    Pages 167-180
  8. Brent Dean Robbins
    Pages 205-221
  9. Brent Dean Robbins
    Pages 223-246
  10. Brent Dean Robbins
    Pages 247-274
  11. Brent Dean Robbins
    Pages 275-300
  12. Brent Dean Robbins
    Pages 301-319
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 321-345

About this book


This book examines how modern medicine’s mechanistic conception of the body has become a defense mechanism to cope with death anxiety. Robbins draws from research on the phenomenology of the body, the history of cadaver dissection, and empirical research in terror management theory to highlight how medical culture operates as an agent which promotes anesthetic consciousness as a habit of perception. In short, modern medicine’s comportment toward the cadaver promotes the suppression of the memory of the person who donated their body. This suppression of the memorial body comes at the price of concealing the lived, experiential body of patients in medical practice. Robbins argues that this style of coping has influenced Western culture and has helped to foster maladaptive patterns of perception associated with experiential avoidance, diminished empathy, death denial, and the dysregulation of emotion. 


medical model of psychiatry cadaver death philosophy anaesthetic culture psychopathology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyPoint Park UniversityPittsburghUSA

About the authors

Brent Dean Robbins is Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. He is former President of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, Division 32 of the American Psychological Association.

Bibliographic information