Persons or Things? On the Ethics of Anatomical Dissection

Erik Larsen // “Open up a few corpses: you will dissipate at once the darkness that observation alone could not…” (Qtd. in Foucault 146). Xavier Bichat’s maxim, written in his Anatomie générale of 1801, described a new medical epistemology—one that informs medical practice and training to this day. Along with his Parisian colleagues, Bichat attempted…

Special Issue Review: Chemistry, Disability, and Frankenstein

Diana Rose Newby // Chemistry, Disability, and Frankenstein, theme issue of Literature and Medicine, vol. 36, no. 2, fall 2018. In her introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley concludes with well wishes for her creation’s second life: “And now, once again, I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper” (25). Today,…

Carrie’s Story

Sneha Mantri On a spring morning ninety years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision on a landmark trial, Buck v Bell, declaring that forcible sterilization of so-called “degenerates” was not only permissible but imperative. Writing for the Court, Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. justified the decision: “It is…

“Those Are the Terms”

Anna Fenton-Hathaway When Ursula Le Guin’s 1973 “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” appears on a Science Fiction and Bioethics syllabus, what should medical students think? First, they might reasonably ask, is this even science fiction? bioethics?