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Med Health Care Philos. 2005;8(2):193-205.

The story of the body and the story of the person: towards an ethics of representing human bodies and body-parts.

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Department of Internal Medicine B, Meir Hospital, Kfar Saba, Israel.


Western culture has a few traditions of representing the human body - among them mortuary art (gisants), the freak show, the culture of the relics, renaissance art and pre-modern and modern anatomy. A historical analysis in the spirit of Norbert Elias is offered with regard to body - person relationship in anatomy. Modern anatomy is characterized by separating the story of the person from the story of the body, a strategy that is incompatible with the bio-psycho-social paradigm of clinical medicine. The paper discusses different aspects of the above traditions and how they might bear on this conflict and on contemporary bioethics and bedside practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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