De la prevención a la anticipación en biomedicina: la transferencia de órganos y tejidos


  • Gemma Flores-Pons Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
  • Eduard Moreno-Gabriel School of Applied Social Sciences, University of Brighton (UK)
  • Lupicinio Iñiguez-Rueda Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
  • Jordi Sanz Porras Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)


Currently, within Western societies, we can see new practices that are at once reality and fiction as they unfold in the terrain of the possible, the imaginable and the optimum. In the present paper, we focus on the case of organ and tissues transfer to describe how those biomedical actants and practices involved are articulated, configuring it as an anticipatory process, namely as a constant movement attempting to bring mobile futures to the present. Drawing on an ethnographic study exploring the everyday activity of a Spanish transplant coordination team,, we begin by suggesting that donation gets inserted as an imperative in the increasingly individualized management of the citizens’ biological becomings. Secondly, we turn to how the articulation of the brain death diagnosis functions as an entity capable of creating coherence between the different temporalities produced in the organs and tissues transfer. Then, we show the optimization mechanisms that operate within the waiting lists materializing imagined futures. Finally, by way of describing the permanent latency in which the transplant coordination teams work, we give an account of how biomedicine is turning away from generating practices inserted in a logic of prevention to practices that obey a logic of preparation.


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