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Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP

Print version ISSN 0080-6234On-line version ISSN 1980-220X


VARGAS, Mara Ambrosina de O.  and  MEYER, Dagmar Estermann. Re-signification of the human in the context of the "ciborgzation": a look at the human being-machine relationship in intensive care. Rev. esc. enferm. USP [online]. 2005, vol.39, n.2, pp.211-219. ISSN 0080-6234.

This study discusses the human being-machine relationship in the process called "cyborgzation" of the nurse who works in intensive care, based on post-structuralist Cultural Studies and highlighting Haraway's concept of cyborg. In it, manuals used by nurses in Intensive Care Units have been examined as cultural texts. This cultural analysis tries to decode the various senses of "human" and "machine", with the aim of recognizing processes that turn nurses into cyborgs. The argument is that intensive care nur-ses fall into a process of "technology embodiment" that turns the body-professional into a hybrid that makes possible to disqualify, at the same time, notions such as machine and body "proper", since it is the hybridization between one and the other that counts there. Like cyborgs, intensive care nurses learn to "be with" the machine, and this connection limits the specificity of their actions. It is suggested that processes of "cyborgzation" such as this are useful for questioning - and to deal with in different ways - the senses of "human" and "humanity" that support a major part of knowledge/action in health.

Keywords : Cultural studies and education; Man-machine system; Intensive care units; Nursing care.

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