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Imaging and Imagining the Fetus: The Development of Obstetric Ultrasound

£39.00

IMAGING AND IMAGINING THE FETUS: THE DEVELOPMENT OF OBSTETRIC ULTRASOUND

HARDBACK by Nicolson, Malcolm; Fleming, John E. E.

£39.00

ISBN
9781421407937
IMPRINT
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS
 
 
EDITION
PUBLISHER
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS
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FORMAT
HARDBACK
PAGES
336 pages
PUBLICATION DATE
15 FEB 2013

DESCRIPTION

To its proponents, the ultrasound scanner is a safe, reliable, and indispensable aid to diagnosis. Its detractors, on the other hand, argue that its development and use are driven by the technological enthusiasms of doctors and engineers (and the commercial interests of manufacturers) and not by concern to improve the clinical care of women. In some U.S. states, an ultrasound scan is now required by legislation before a woman can obtain an abortion, adding a new dimension to an already controversial practice. Imaging and Imagining the Fetus engages both the development of a modern medical technology and the concerted critique of that technology. Malcolm Nicolson and John Fleming relate the technical and social history of ultrasound imaging-from early experiments in Glasgow in 1956 through wide deployment in the British hospital system by 1975 to its ubiquitous use in maternity clinics throughout the developed world by the end of the twentieth century. Obstetrician Ian Donald and engineer Tom Brown created ultrasound technology in Glasgow, where their prototypes were based on the industrial flaw detector, an instrument readily available to them in the shipbuilding city. As a physician, Donald supported the use of ultrasound for clinical purposes, and as a devout High Anglican he imbued the images with moral significance. He opposed abortion-decisions about which were increasingly guided by the ultrasound technology he pioneered-and he occasionally used ultrasound images to convince pregnant women not to abort the fetuses they could now see. Imaging and Imagining the Fetus explores why earlier innovators failed where Donald and Brown succeeded. It also shows how ultrasound developed into a black box technology whose users can fully appreciate the images they produce but do not, and have no need to, understand the technology, any more than do users of computers. These images of the fetus may be produced by machines, the authors write, but they live vividly in the human imagination.

CONTENTS

Acknowledgments1. Introduction: Historiographies of Obstetrics2. Diagnostic Ultrasound before Thomas Brown3. Ian Donald before Ultrasound I: St. Thomas's Hospital and the Royal Air Force4. Ian Donald before Ultrasound II: Hammersmith and Glasgow5. A-Scope Investigations in Glasgow6. The First Contact Scanner7. The Automatic Scanner and the Diasonograph8. Behind the Iron Curtain: Ultrasound and the Fetus9. Diffusion, Controversy, and Commodification10. Ian Donald after Ultrasound: Contraception and Abortion11. Maternity and TechnologyNotesIndex