Technology, Paranoia, and the Therapeutic Encounter

“This isn’t therapy, what we’ve done. We’ve erased things.” — Heidi Bergman, Homecoming (TV version).  Roanne Kantor and Anna Mukamal // This fall I had the pleasure of teaching a course on intersections between disability and technology. In putting together the syllabus, I quickly noticed that one of the most potent sites for this question…

Epigenetics: The Promise of Control?

Emily Wheater // In my last piece for Synapsis, I wrote about how pregnant women have been the objects of scientific scrutiny, particularly with regards to any behaviours or feelings that may influence the health of their offspring. The pregnant woman is considered plastic, an accessible target for intervention. This discussion is embedded within opposing…

Zombie Epic: Medicalized Politics on Screen

Erik Larsen // Of all the monsters populating modern culture, zombies have lurched into a dominant position in our television and film. Despite varied examples across media forms, one trait unites these mindless eaters: zombies are distinctly unhealthy. Whether decaying bodies or the hosts for a decimating plague, zombies incarnate our sense of health’s absence,…

What about the men? The paternity data gap in DOHaD research

Emily Wheater // The ‘Developmental Origins of Health and Disease’ (DOHaD) hypothesis posits that environmental exposures that occur during critical periods of development have long-lasting and/or penetrative effects on offspring health by acting on developmental processes. Even if you have not heard ‘DOHaD’ before, you are likely to already be familiar with the concept and…

Divergent Perspectives on Psychedelic Medicalization

Neşe Devenot // As psychedelic medicine goes mainstream, contentious debates about psychedelic access have been spilling out into the open. With a historic ballot initiative decriminalizing “magic mushrooms” in Denver and statewide initiatives to change the legal status of mushrooms underway in Oregon and California, competing movements are jockeying to decide the future place of…

A Rhetorical Shift in Television Representations of Medicine

Amala Poli // A noticeable discursive turn in attitudes toward the medical enterprise has captured different television and talk shows. A recent Netflix show Diagnosis, already reviewed in Synapsis, is a documentary take on medical mysteries that are crowd-sourced for various diagnoses, inviting the participation of experts and patients alike in solving what appear to…

Diagnosis: What’s Wrong with Us

Sneha Mantri // Netflix’s newest original series, Diagnosis, dropped on August 16, 2019. Each of the seven episodes is touted as a “medical mystery” to be solved through crowdsourcing. The concept is intriguing: harness the global reach of the internet to connect patients, families, and physicians, all working in concert to solve a complex case….

Pain without Cause

Diana Rose Newby // …if the only external sign of the felt-experience of pain (for which there is no alteration in the blood count, no shadow on the X ray, no pattern on the CAT scan) is the patient’s verbal report (however itself inadequate), then to bypass the voice is to bypass the bodily event,…