Bioethics Blogs

Diversions of Biomedical Technologies in a Globalized World — A special issue of Medical Anthropology by Aaron Seaman

The current issue of Medical Anthropology is a special issue, entitled “Diversions of Biomedical Technologies in a Globalized World.” As Claire Beaudevin & Laurent Pordié write in their introduction, “Diversion and Globalization in Biomedical Technologies,” the issue’s seven articles confront a series of questions about the drift, detours, uptake, translation, and off-shoots of biomedical technologies:

How can we analyze the contrast between the original use of a biomedical technology and its new, diverted orientation? Can we ‘measure’ the amplitude of diversions in the light of what local biopolitics consider to be a ‘normal’ use? What is the content of the referential norm, the benchmark: is it made of techniques, morality, experience, explicit regulations? Who decreed it? And thus, who is challenged by the escape from this referential, and why? Is there a difference between diversions that go beyond the scope of biomedicine and those that remain within biomedicine? Are diversions always contesting normative biomedical power and setting up new moral orders? Are they sometimes foreshadowing future legitimate uses?


Alignments? X-ray Diversions, Haptics, Credibility—With a ‘Bone-Setting’ Clinic in Hyderabad City

Guy Attewell

In this article, I engage with the diversions of technologies conventionally used for diagnostic scanning among practitioners who perform fracture-reduction and related manual interventions around bodily pain, ostensibly outside the mainstream orthopedic sector, in the city of Hyderabad, south central India. I attend to the performative dimensions of a technology-practice assemblage, and show how enactments of fracture reduction as viable and credible, targeted at establishment orthopedic surgeons, have been enabled through a distributive agency, afforded by scanning technologies.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.