Morbid curiosity? Discussion of the disposal of amputated limbs on online question and answer sites

Date

2019-11-25

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

2055-2076

Volume Title

Publisher

Sage

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Amputation is a growing health issue with implications for the corporeal form and sense of bodily identity. Disposal of the removed limb (the amputate) has historically been suggested to impact upon patient adaptation to amputation, although understandings of limb disposal are scarce within existing research. The growth of online question and answer (Q&A) sites, has created opportunities for social actors to post and respond to a vast array of topic areas, including those which are seen as morbid or taboo. This paper then explores the discussion of amputate disposal within threads from two popular Q&A sites. Using thematic analysis, the paper examines how perceived ownership of limbs, understandings of the amputate as ‘waste’ and recourse to grotesque humour are key means by limb disposal are discussed within these sites. Posters then create a new knowledge around the disposal of limbs, albeit one framed by uncertainty.

Description

open access journal

Keywords

Amputation, Disposal, Health Online, Internet mediated communication

Citation

Hanna, E. (2019) Morbid curiosity? Discussion of the disposal of amputated limbs on online question and answer sites. Digital Health, 5

Rights

Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research