Acting in Anaesthesia: Ethnographic Encounters with by Dawn Goodwin

By Dawn Goodwin

In recent times, evidence-based medication (EBM), scientific governance responsibility became more and more major in shaping the association and supply of healthcare. in spite of the fact that, those notions all construct upon and exemplify the belief of human-centred, person motion. during this e-book, sunrise Goodwin means that such versions of perform exaggerate the level to which practitioners may be able to are expecting and keep an eye on the conditions and contingencies of healthcare. Drawing on ethnographic fabric, Goodwin explores the way in which that 'action' unfolds in a chain of empirical situations of anaesthetic and extensive care perform. Anaesthesia configures a dating among people, machines and units that transforms and redistributes capacities for motion and thereby demanding situations the determine of a rational, intentional, performing person. This publication elucidates the ways that a variety of entities (machines, instruments, units and subconscious sufferers in addition to healthcare practitioners) take part, and the way activities turn into valid and liable.

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Extra info for Acting in Anaesthesia: Ethnographic Encounters with Patients, Practitioners and Medical Technologies (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives)

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Embedded in working infrastructures, they become relatively invisible without losing any of that power. Classifications should be recognized as the significant site of political and ethical work that they are. (Bowker and Star, 2000: 147) EBM is emblematic of such a standardising logic: it is the principle that the selection of health care interventions be based on research findings that testify as to their effectiveness; a principle that is now endorsed in NHS policy (Harrison, 1998). It builds on a classification system known as a ‘hierarchy of evidence’ that ranks evidence according to the reliability and validity of the study design, from randomised controlled trials at the top to expert opinion and case studies at the bottom (Lambert, 2006).

Consequently, this book traces the tensions individual practitioners work with when held accountable for actions that are distributed amongst many participants, especially those assumed not to ‘act’. Following Suchman’s (1987, 2007) analyses of humanmachine relations, this book argues for the primacy of the immediate context of action in understanding how trajectories of care are shaped. Most particularly, the analysis of the interactions between the patient, the anaesthetic technologies and the anaesthetist demonstrates the intractably contingent character of action, elucidating the ways in which entities that lack the traditional characteristics of an ‘agent’ (machines, tools, devices and unconscious patients) can and do act.

Clinical governance is a means of performing accountability; it works, not only to specify duties but also to construct the means through which clinical practice is judged: Accountability is more than, indeed systematically different from, responsibility. The latter entails, literally, being liable to answer for duties defined as yours. . Accountability, on the other hand, is in its operation and scope more total and insistent. Not only are duties specified, but the means of evaluating the level of their performance is already prescribed, in implicit or explicit norms, standards and targets of performance; wherefore surveillance over and judgement of performance is vastly widened and deepened.

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