Hand Transplant and Body Image

  • Gabriel Burloux


The 1960s and 1970s were the beginning of a new era — the era of transplants. Some of these transplants were more impressive than others; for instance, the first heart transplant (1968) was a real scoop, probably because the heart has a special place in the collective imagination. Of course, it is the organ of life, but besides its somatic functions, it also has other virtues for the “person in the street”, such as courage, will or intelligence. So, people would think that having a heart grafted could do much more than improve health and save life: mysterious and unknown things that come from the donor could be inherited by the recipient, such as ideas, impulses, and emotions, whereas kidney, pancreas, liver, lungs and all the combined grafts make less of an impression in the public imagination.


Body Image Public Imagination Somatic Function Collective Imagination Narcissistic Wound 


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  1. 1.
    Schilder P (1935) Image and appearance of the human body. Kegan Paul, London, p 11Google Scholar
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    Cash TF, Pruzynski T (1990) Body images: development, deviance and change. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel Burloux
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatryùdouard Herriot HospitalLyonFrance

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