Social and Temporal Imaginaries for Negotiating the Value of Life in Human and Animal Neonates
This article employs a multi-species perspective in investigating how life's worth is negotiated in the field of neonatology in Denmark. It does so by comparing decision-making processes about human infants in the Danish neonatal intensive care unit with those associated with piglets who serve as models for the premature infants in research experiments within neonatology. While the comparison is unusual, the article argues that there are parallels across the decision-making processes that shape the lives and deaths of infants and pigs alike. Collectivities or the lack thereof as well as expectations within linear or predictive time frames are key markers in both sites. Exploring selective reproductive processes across human infants and research piglets can help us uncover aspects of the cultural production of viability that we would not otherwise see or acknowledge.
Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 2015, Vol 29, Issue 2, p. 178-195