Bounding Biomedicine: Evidence and Rhetoric in the New by Colleen Derkatch

By Colleen Derkatch

Through the Nineteen Nineties, an remarkable variety of americans became to complementary and substitute drugs (CAM), an umbrella time period encompassing chiropractic, strength therapeutic, natural drugs, homeopathy, meditation, naturopathy, and standard chinese language drugs. via 1997, approximately part the united states inhabitants was once looking CAM, spending at the very least $27 billion out of pocket.

Bounding Biomedicine facilities in this boundary-changing period, taking a look at how purchaser call for shook the overall healthiness care hierarchy. Drawing on scholarship in rhetoric and technology and know-how stories, the publication examines how the scientific career scrambled to keep up its place of privilege and status, at the same time its foothold looked to be crumbling. Colleen Derkatch analyzes CAM-themed clinical journals and similar discourse to demonstrate how contributors of the clinical institution utilized Western criteria of assessment and peer evaluate to check future health practices that didn't healthy simply (or in any respect) inside normal frameworks of scientific examine. and he or she indicates that, regardless of many practitioners’ efforts to get rid of the limits among “regular” and “alternative,” this learn on CAM and the varieties of verbal exchange that surrounded it eventually ended up growing a fair larger department among what counts as secure, potent overall healthiness care and what does not.

At a time whilst debates over therapy offerings have flared up back, Bounding Biomedicine provides us a potential blueprint for figuring out how the clinical institution will react to this new period of healing swap.

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Extra info for Bounding Biomedicine: Evidence and Rhetoric in the New Science of Alternative Medicine

Example text

He argues that, as a result of capitalist influence, the biomedical paradigm—­which eventually shaped all aspects of medical education, research, and practice—­came to deflect the so­cial origins of disease by emphasizing reactive intervention over proactive pre­ vention.  ” He argues that “successful occupations are seen as gaining increased income, status and power in the marketplace by socially excluding their competitors, who conversely lose out in the struggle for such rewards” (4). , their relative lack of research funding, exclusion from conventional medical curricula, denigration in medical journals, and tight regulations on their practice).

When variables are standardized, they are rendered similar enough to be compared; when researchers are unaware of whether a participant received an active treatment or placebo, they see in their assessment of the intervention what is there to see, rather than what they want to see; when data are analyzed mathematically for statistical prevalence and patterns, their significance is determined by a set of numbers, not a person. The numbers produced in biomedical research are emptied of their social interest through their method of production, the randomized controlled trial (RCT), which transforms a variable range of health problems, treatments, practitioners, and patients into measurable phenomena by operating in accordance within a set of rigid criteria and procedures.

As this chapter argues, the problem of method in biomedical CAM research is largely a problem of persuasion: the ways that researchers design their studies and report their findings determine which health interventions belong in biomedicine and which do not. Central to the question of methodology in CAM research is the practitioner-­patient relationship, the most unambiguously rhetorical element of clinical medicine. Increased interaction between practitioners and patients in any medical model may have unintended—­and unquantifiable—­ therapeutic effects.

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