Medical image: the outline and the precipice

By Rémy Potier

By becoming techno-scientific, today's medicine offers new representations of the body in the social space, also changing the subject’s relationship to his own body image. The importance of this dimension invites us to take a closer look, with the help of psychoanalysis, at the different perspectives on medical imaging, in order to show the necessity of a multidisciplinary approach in the kinds of hospital care frameworks which also provide psychological assistance related to the diagnostic procedure. The medical and technological innovation which characterizes medical imaging brings on a shift in medical methodology toward an ever-more-distant relationship to the patient, which medicine itself justifies by the need for efficiency inherent in diagnostic research. Taking into account the psychological dimensions of the illness, as well as the questions raised by a technology which offers the patient a view inside his own body, we are able to provide better psychological support to patients undergoing these types of trying experiences and to participate in the ethical debates arising in many of these cases. Considering the effect of the diagnosis announcement, the unconscious subject at the center of the medical apparatus, as well as the related social aspects, offers us a research perspective rich in both epistemological and practical results, namely in stimulating the ethical debate prompted by the technosciences in the sphere of health.

  • medical imaging
  • psychoanalysis
  • gaze
  • apparatus
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