The Measure of HIV as a Matter of Bioethics

Rosengarten, Marsha. 2005. The Measure of HIV as a Matter of Bioethics. In: M Shildrick and R Mykitiuk, eds. Ethics of the body: postconventional challenges. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, pp. 71-90. ISBN 0-262-69320-8 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter is intended to go some way toward addressing a dilemma I have grappled with while undertaking social research into the HIV epidemic. For some years I have welcomed the contributions of feminist poststructural theory in defining my approach. Yet, almost equivalent to my commitment to the ethical and political significance of such contributions is my frustration with where their accent on social constructionsim leaves me when trying to address the question of medical intervention. While I would decribe my work as informed by the view that the objects of medical science are materialized and delimited by the means by which they are made known, at times my location within a large London-based HIV clinic made this view seem almost ethically preposterous. This is not, I hasten to add, because I have mistakenly understood the poststructural critique to mean that matter is merely an effect of language. Nor is it because I hold the view that whatever the substance of matter is, it is inconsequential to how it is known. Rather, the difficulty I experience in my uncertain relation to the matter of HIV has precisely to do with the consequences of how it is known.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP) [2003-2015]


June 2005Published

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Date Deposited:

08 Jan 2010 11:18

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 12:26


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