Week 4: Human Body and Medicine: The new canvas_ by Carmin Pelayo

When relating medicine to art, one’s inclination is to think that the similarity is the use of creativity to advance each one of them; however, they are more intertwined then one may think.  One of the most elementary examples is oath which every doctor must take, the Hippocratic Oath.  While to many people being a medical practioner means knowing all of the scientific facts, memorizing illnesses and reporting it in an assembly line of patients; the fact is that the most important part of any doctor is there most “artistic” characteristic, their ability to carry out all tasks at hand in the most humane way possible.  It is the compassion and sympathy that is displayed by physicians that separates them from the robots that with each passing day are more capable of doing the job they have been trained to do.  So thanks to the ethical foundation of science and the understanding addition of art, medicine becomes one of the most harmonious fusions of both of them.

 

Nonetheless, one of the greater disputes occurring today is when does the integration of art into medicine and dealings with the human body cross that ethical line that has been so highly regarded since the time of Hippocrates?  In a society that has so greatly and quickly changed since our humble beginnings and now demands beauty, uniqueness, and sometimes a fusion of both, we bgin to wonder when that line has been reached or disregarded.

 

                With the great cultural change come extreme forms of art, and once the canvas became less satisfying, many turn to the most ultimate form of art, becoming the canvas themselves.  This isn’t a rarity in our society.  It began with the use of make up as a medium to do so, and eventually people turned to an equally as common form, the tattoo.  While originally used as a form of distinction or a rite of passage they are now a common form of art which pretty much permanently associates you with whatever image you choose.  Another very common form of body art are the famous piercing, but just as the tattoo’s “extremeness” declined, so did that of the piercing However, with the increase of their use amongst mundane people, the “rebels” and extremists of society needed to find other ways to keep their edge.  They turned to different ways to keep their individuality; many forms of which are used ritualistically in foreign tribes as a form to show your maturity and acceptance within their society.

Some turn to branding, burning the image into your skin.

Some will even raise it to another level.  When the surface of the skin becomes old news, they begin to modify themselves from quite literally inside them.  Placing implants to  change the appearance underneath their skin and sometimes even appear to have horns.

 

 

the question comes to be, should one place the same medical ethical guidlines to body art?

this like shows the painful process of creating crocodile skin, and why they do so:

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/taboo#tab-Videos/02802_04

 

~carmin pelayo

Others use human scarification, an evolved form of what many tribes would use to create their passage to manhood.  Many would slit their backs to make it resemble crocodile skin.

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