Ivan Illich’s Medical Nemesis and the ‘age of the show’: On the Expropriation of Death

Nursing Philosophy 19 (1):e12187 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

What Ivan Illich regarded in his Medical Nemesis as the ‘expropriation of health’ takes place on the surfaces and in the spaces of the screens all around us, including our cell phones but also the patient monitors and (increasingly) the iPads that intervene between nurse and patient. To explore what Illich called the ‘age of the show’, this essay uses film examples, like Creed and the controversial documentary Vaxxed, and the television series Nurse Jackie. Rocky’s cancer in his last film (submitting to chemo to ‘fight’ cancer) highlights what Illich along with Petr Skrabanek called the ‘expropriation of death’. In contrast to what Illich denotes as ‘Umsonstigkeit’ – i.e., a free gift, given undeservedly, i.e., gratuitously – medical science tends to be tempted by what Illich terms scientistic ‘black magic’, taking over (expropriating) the life and the death of the patient in increasingly technological ways, a point underscored in the concluding section on the commercial prospects of xenotransplants using factory farm or mass-produced (and already for some time) human-pig mosaics or chimeras.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Ivan Illich and the Nemesis of Medicine.Robert J. Barnet - 2003 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 6 (3):273-286.
Hygienic Nemesis Very First Draft.Ivan Illich - 1974 - Centro Intercultural de Documentación.
The medicalization of life.I. Illich - 1975 - Journal of Medical Ethics 1 (2):73-77.
Ivan Illich on Education.Ivan Illich - 2007 - The Chesterton Review 33 (1-2):348-351.
Ivan Illich and His Antics.Peter Lund - 1978 - Sld Publications.
Ivan Illich and René Girard: The Dream of Modernity Ends.Jorge Márquez Muñoz - 2016 - Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 23:155-185.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-12-26

Downloads
238 (#52,321)

6 months
77 (#13,468)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Babette Babich
Fordham University

References found in this work

La dissémination.Jacques Derrida - 1974 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 164 (2):256-256.
The patient's view.Roy Porter - 1985 - Theory and Society 14 (2):175-198.
Why is preventive medicine exempted from ethical constraints?P. Skrabanek - 1990 - Journal of Medical Ethics 16 (4):187-190.

View all 9 references / Add more references