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Open Access (free)
Deaths and politicised deaths in Buenos Aires’s refuse
Mariano D. Perelman

The appearance of corpses in rubbish tips is not a recent phenomenon. In Argentina, tips have served not only as sites for the disposal of bodies but also as murder scenes. Many of these other bodies found in such places belong to individuals who have suffered violent deaths, which go on to become public issues, or else are ‘politicised deaths’. Focusing on two cases that have received differing degrees of social, political and media attention – Diego Duarte, a 15-year-old boy from a poor background who went waste-picking on an open dump and never came back, and Ángeles Rawson, a girl of 16 murdered in the middle-class neighbourhood of Colegiales, whose body was found in the same tip – this article deals with the social meanings of bodies that appear in landfills. In each case, there followed a series of events that placed a certain construction on the death – and, more importantly, the life – of the victim. Corpses, once recognised, become people, and through this process they are given new life. It is my contention that bodies in rubbish tips express – and configure – not only the limits of the social but also, in some cases, the limits of the human itself.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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Mothers, midwives and morals
Margaret Brazier

combination with changing theories about human reproduction advanced by philosophers, anatomists and learned medical men may have influenced the way English law treated all women. The marriage of law and medicine defined most women in terms of their reproductive organs. The ‘medical’ belief that women were physiologically and psychologically inferior buttressed laws depriving women of rights over their bodies

in Law and healing
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‘Temple of the soul’
Margaret Brazier

Whose body? The body … whether in life or death is of central concern to most people’s understanding of the moral issues raised by modern biomedicine and modern medical practice. 1 The everyday

in Law and healing
Shaping custom
Kasey McCall-Smith

With the proliferation of international legal actors, each of whom has the potential to contribute to the creation of international law, it is timely to consider the influence of the United Nations human rights treaty bodies on the development of customary international law. These supervisory mechanisms warrant special attention as several of them enjoy an easily recognised status as the longest continual treaty supervisory mechanisms in the international legal system. 1 The significance of treaty bodies has, in fact, made such an impact on the international

in International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law
Open Access (free)
Pandemic and management of dead bodies in Brazil
Liliana Sanjurjo
,
Desirée Azevedo
, and
Larissa Nadai

This article analyses the management of bodies in Brazil within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its objective is to examine how the confluence of underreporting, inequality and alterations in the forms of classifying and managing bodies has produced a political practice that aims at the mass infection of the living and the quick disposal of the dead. We first present the factors involved in the process of underreporting of the disease and its effects on state registration and regulation of bodies. Our analysis then turns to the cemetery to problematise the dynamics through which inequality and racism are re-actualised and become central aspects of the management of the pandemic in Brazil. We will focus not only on the policies of managing bodies adopted during the pandemic but also on those associated with other historical periods, examining continuities and ruptures, as well as their relationship to long-term processes.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Margaret Brazier
and
Emma Cave

18.1 We take our bodies for granted most of the time. The purpose of our organs and tissue is to sustain us, the people who live in those bodies. We refer without reflection to ‘our’ hands, ‘our’ hearts. Whether that language of ownership is reflected in the law may be doubted, although the decision of the Court of Appeal in Yearworth v North Bristol NHS Trust 2 issued in a new era in debates about owning at least some parts of ‘ourselves’. What is beyond doubt is that our human body parts have value to others. 3 ‘My’ kidney may save ‘your’ life. That

in Medicine, patients and the law (sixth edition)
Margaret Brazier
,
Emma Cave
, and
Rob Heywood

21.1 Introduction We take our bodies for granted most of the time. The purpose of our organs and tissue is to sustain us, the people who live in those bodies. We refer without reflection to ‘our’ hands, ‘our’ hearts. Whether that language of ownership is reflected in the law may be doubted, although the decision of the Court of Appeal in

in Medicine, patients and the law
Laura Panizo

This article will investigate the process of confronting death in cases of the disappeared of the last military dictatorship in Argentina. Based on the exhumation and identification of the body of a disappeared person, the article will reflect on how the persons social situation can be reconfigured, causing structural changes within the family and other groups. This will be followed by a discussion of the reflections generated by the anthropologist during his or her interview process, as well as an investigation into the authors own experiences in the field. This intimate relationship between the anthropologist and death, through the inevitable contact that takes place among the bodies, causes resonances in the context both of exhumations and of identifications in the anthropologists wider fieldwork.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Regimes of value associated with the corpse in French nineteenth-century painting
Anaelle Lahaeye

There are many factors at work in the iconography of human remains. Some of those frequently discussed are aesthetic criteria, iconographic traditions and specific contingencies, whether political (for example in war paintings), symbolic (essential for transi images) or cultural. There is, however, one factor that is rarely mentioned, despite its centrality: the regime of value associated with corpses. Christ’s body is not painted in the same way as that of a departed relative or that used in a human dissection. Artists choose a suitable iconography depending on how the remains are perceived. This criterion became absolutely crucial in contexts such as nineteenth-century France, when attitudes to corpses underwent major changes.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
The handling of the deceased during the COVID-19 pandemic, a case study in France and Switzerland
Gaëlle Clavandier
,
Marc-Antoine Berthod
,
Philippe Charrier
,
Martin Julier-Costes
, and
Veronica Pagnamenta

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an unprecedented global crisis. To limit the spread of the virus and the associated excess mortality, states and governing bodies have produced a series of regulations and recommendations from a health perspective. The funerary aspects of these directives have reconfigured not only the ways in which the process of dying can be accompanied, but also the management of dead bodies, impacting on the dying, their relatives and professionals in the sector. Since March 2020, the entire process of separation and farewell has been affected, giving rise to public debates about funeral restrictions and the implications for mourning. We carried out a study in France and Switzerland to measure the effects of this crisis, and in particular to explore whether it has involved a shift from a funerary approach to a strictly mortuary one. Have the practices that would normally be observed in non-pandemic times been irrevocably altered? Does this extend to all deaths? Has there been a switch to an exclusively technical handling? Are burial practices still respected? The results of the present study pertain to the ‘first wave’ of spring 2020 and focus on the practices of professionals working in the funeral sector.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal