Wednesday, February 2, 2011

“Clinical Narratives” Scientific based or Hope based?

“ Cultural Studies of Biomedicine: An Agenda For Research.” From Good etc (1995) brought out a term “ clinical narratives” specifically refers to clinical context between patients and physicians which is very interesting concept for me. In my opinion, the physicians of course hold the power of accessing the newly treatment method and they are the person will determine the language of diagnosis, disease progression, treatment and outcome, and professional obligations to patients. Besides this seems almost ideal professional power, it is very challenging for me to think of that they work under the frame of international information and also try to fit their language within the local culture and still under the influence of the “political economy of hope”. Influenced by all these, doctors from different area no matter the economic development level occupy different “clinical narratives”.
When talking about the statistics in clinical narratives, the author gave an example of how a oncology doctor explain the chemotherapy of “Tamoxifen”. It seems to me that the physician try to convince the effect by scientific statistic numbers of increasing up to 15 percent of chance of cancer clean 5 years after surgery, but the decision making of the patients is totally unrational and based on “Hope”. These narratives are a mix of biomedicine and the cultural understanding, and they are specific for the American physicians and patients. The author did not do the research of other nations, so based on the international research result of this specific medicine, will the speech different from country to country. I assume my answer is yes.

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