Becoming Biosubjects examines the ways in which the Canadian government, media, courts, and everyday Canadians are making sense of the challenges being posed by biotechnologies. The authors argue that the human body is now being understood as something that is fluid and without fixed meaning. This has significant implications both for how we understand ourselves and how we see our relationships with other forms of life. Focusing on four major issues, the authors examine the ways in which genetic technologies are shaping criminal justice practices, how policies on reproductive technologies have shifted in response to biotechnologies, the debates surrounding the patenting of higher life forms, and the Canadian (and global) response to bioterrorism. Regulatory strategies in government and the courts are continually evolving and are affected by changing public perceptions of scientific knowledge. The legal and cultural shifts outlined in Becoming Biosubjects call into question what it means to be a Canadian, a citizen, and a human being.
Neil Gerlach is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University. Sheryl N. Hamilton is an associate professor in the Department of Law and the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. Rebecca Sullivan is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Calgary. Priscilla L. Walton is a professor in the Department of English at Carleton University.