A Thesis About Bodily Integrity

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Elizabeth Loeb explores bodily autonomy in the context of politics and U.S. laws in her article, Cutting it Off: Bodily Integrity, Identity Disorders, and the Sovereign Stakes of Corporeal Desire in U.S. Law.

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From this article, I have gathered that the U.S. government, legally, has the right to dictate what one can and cannot do with their bodies. Within Loebs analysis, she compares the different motions in which a trans person must go through to make their physical body match their identity versus a white cis woman requesting breast augmentation to fit patriarchal norms of beauty (Loeb, 47).

One is subjected to years of psychiatric testing and strict regime, another is not, respectively. Then, she examines the ways in which government property incarcerated peoples or those in the military can commit acts of treason by forcibly modifying their bodies. Legally, these individuals are unauthorized to perform such tasks, and by doing so they would be charged with destruction of government property (Loeb, 49). Lastly, Loeb references abortion and the way that the possibility of another life is used as a tool of control against the pregnant. She also argues that U.S. justices continually justify their decision not in legal terms, but in physical ones, asserting again and again their ability to determine the terms of corporeal life (57). To have a corporeal life means to have a physical life similarly to habeas corpus, meaning you have a body. The irony in this is that habeas corpus is embedded within the U.S. constitution, but this undeniable right is manipulated to fit the context of the matter.

When Loeb brought up abortion, I began to think about the opposite of abortion and bodily integrity what if one used science and technology to create a life? Moreover, what if someone used that ?artificial life to cater to another being that lacks bodily integrity already? This led me to the 2004 novel, My Sisters Keeper, written by Jodi Picoult. The story follows 13-year old Anna Fitzgerald on her journey to sue her parents for medical emancipation after she discovers she was genetically engineered to save her old sister Kate, who is slowly dying from leukemia, and only she can provide the correct supplements. In short, Anna is a forced savior sibling. The English Oxford Dictionary defines a savior sibling as followed: a child conceived through selective in vitro fertilization to be a possible source of donor organs or cells for an existing brother or sister with a life-threatening medical condition.

Due to the realization that she was created to save her dying sister, Anna decides that she wants to be more than just that. She sues her guardians for medical emancipation, so she does not have to provide bone marrow, blood transfusions, and most importantly,

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