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A Condition of DoubtThe Meanings of Hypochondria$
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Catherine Belling

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199892365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199892365.001.0001

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Swimming in the Dark

Swimming in the Dark

The Hypochondriac in the Body

(p.59) 3 Swimming in the Dark
A Condition of Doubt

Catherine Belling

Oxford University Press

In hypochondria and, at times, for all of us, embodiment means the presence of potential danger lurking beneath the body's surface. Even the most cutting-edge medicine lacks continuous access to events happening inside patients' living bodies. Hypochondria and medicine share the ideal of real-time vigilance over bodies and the control we imagine would follow if such watching were possible. Medicine aspires to bodily transparency through medical imaging and other technologies, but as this chapter shows, such access is possible only in fictional narratives.

Keywords:   embodiment, medical imaging technology, diagnostics, fiction

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