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Contemporary medicine: Applied human science or technological enterprise?

Fortin, Sylvie; Alvarez, Fernando; Bibeau, Gilles; Laudy, Danielle (2008). Contemporary medicine: Applied human science or technological enterprise? Ethics and Medicine , vol. 24 , nº 1. p. 41-50.

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Résumé

This article takes as point of departure the quality of the doctor-patient relationship to consider contemporary medicine's often compromising commitments to both technological enterprise and applied human science. The authors argue that this relationship is located within a tension at the heart of the clinic, between the demands of cutting-edge medicine (and ever-advancing technology) and the demands of a medical tradition long sworn to hold patient wellbeing in the highest regard. As members of a pluridisciplinary research team (anthropology and medicine), the authors carry out ethnographic research in a third-line pediatric hospital in Montreal, Canada. Involving interviews, informal exchanges, and observation with practitioners, patients, and families in clinical spaces, the ongoing research project broadly addresses humanism and medicine. Mainly drawing on interview material with clinicians and observation, we examine here the importance attributed by the specialists to human dimensions of the clinical encounter and the sometimes problematic relation between the cure and care aspects of medical practice. Technological and medical progress in recent years has given rise to tremendous scientific advancements that are engaged daily in the hospital context. But can knowledge in itself hold meaning beyond the life of the patient? Is medicine an applied human science or is it a technological enterprise? Is there necessarily an opposition between these premises? The authors call for the promotion of a humanist approach to medicine, in which relationships, involving multidimensional exchanges between different actors, may better serve patient interests.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: médecine contemporaine
Centre: Centre Urbanisation Culture Société
Date de dépôt: 13 nov. 2020 16:13
Dernière modification: 13 nov. 2020 16:13
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/10141

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