By Alice Street
Biomedicine in an volatile position is the tale of people's fight to make biomedicine paintings in a public clinic in Papua New Guinea. it's a tale encompassing the historical past of health facility infrastructures as websites of colonial and postcolonial governance, the simultaneous creation of Papua New Guinea as a website of worldwide scientific learn and public healthiness, and people's encounters with city associations and biomedical applied sciences. In Papua New Guinea, a century of nation construction has weakened already insufficient colonial infrastructures, and other people event the health facility as an area of institutional, clinical, and ontological instability.
In the hospital's clinics, biomedical practitioners fight amid serious source shortages to make the diseased physique seen and knowable to the medical gaze. That fight is entangled with makes an attempt by way of medical professionals, nurses, and sufferers to make themselves obvious to exterior others—to kinfolk, scientific specialists, worldwide scientists, politicians, and foreign improvement workers—as socially recognizable and important people. the following sanatorium infrastructures become relational applied sciences which are essentially fragile but additionally supply the most important possibilities for making humans obvious and knowable in new, unpredictable, and strong methods.
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Additional resources for Biomedicine in an Unstable Place: Infrastructure and Personhood in a Papua New Guinean Hospital
In many colonized countries, biomedicine and its institutions were introduced as material signs of progress, rationality, and civilization that justified the colonial venture and operated as important tools in the shaping of colonial regimes, bodies, and subjectivities. European medical intervention “represented progress towards a more ‘civilized’ social and environmental order” (Arnold 1988, 3). Hospitals were spaces where colonial state authorities sought to impress the value of science and modernity on their colonial subjects at the same time as they transformed and improved their bodies.
Madang Hospital is a place where new kinds of knowledge and the visualization of new kinds of persons are made possible, but where the stabi18 Chapter 1 © Street, Alice, Oct 01, 2014, Biomedicine in an Unstable Place : Infrastructure and Personhood in a Papua New Guinean Hospital Duke University Press, Durham, ISBN: 9780822376668 lization of such reified forms is difficult. Uncertainty provokes improvisation and sustains hope in future well-being, personal transformation, and national development.
In a reversal of Foucauldian critiques of biomedical technologies, the chapter describes how patients perceive such processes as crucial 36 Chapter 1 © Street, Alice, Oct 01, 2014, Biomedicine in an Unstable Place : Infrastructure and Personhood in a Papua New Guinean Hospital Duke University Press, Durham, ISBN: 9780822376668 means by which they might make themselves visible and recognizable to doctors as treatable subjects. Chapter 6, “Technologies of Detachment,” explores the national and international circulation of things that constitute the doctor as an expert person in Papua New Guinea.
Biomedicine in an Unstable Place: Infrastructure and Personhood in a Papua New Guinean Hospital by Alice Street