Get Medical Technology in Healthcare and Society: A Sociology of PDF

By A. Faulkner

From bandage to the bioreactor, this ebook appears at 5 diversified equipment applied sciences from inception to healthcare perform, drawing on clinical sociology, technological know-how and know-how reports and political technology. It examines "evidence," rules and governance approaches, and various stakeholders in innovating the applied sciences that form future health care.

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Extra resources for Medical Technology in Healthcare and Society: A Sociology of Devices, Innovation and Governance (Health, Technology and Society)

Sample text

In very broad terms, there has been a reaction against the view that society merely responds to technological innovation – technological determinism. A landmark early work in this context was the book entitled The Social Shaping of Technology published in the mid-1980s (MacKenzie and Wajcman, 1985). As the editors of the book point out in its greatly revised second edition (1999), the approach to understanding society/technology that it embodied moved in the space of some 15 years from being something of a heresy to being ‘almost an orthodoxy’ (1999: xv).

Contrasted to these forms of active citizen engagement in technology innovation, are examples of active resistance – non-use – of the products of technological medicine. A notable example here is that of cochlear implants (Blume, 1995 and 1997). Promoted as a ‘cure’ for profoundly deaf people, especially children, activists from deaf communities have mobilised in many countries in order to resist the social diffusion of the device. What might be called the ‘users-as-designers’ approach, taken to its logical extreme, results in an analysis that collapses the ‘artificial divide between design and use’ (Oudshoorn and Pinch, 2003).

This applies both to the processes by which evidence is brought together and summarised, in particular through the use of systematic review methodology, and to the institutions’ organisational forms as symbolic national centres. The scientific production of evidence has become organised in an institutional context, which involves negotiating control over the boundary between the scientific and R&D worlds of innovation and the world of health service application. HTA has been developed as a form of regulatory science (Lehoux and Blume, 2000).

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