In this paper, I will discuss Foucault's analysis (1973) of problematics in medicine in eighteenth century France. Hello all I have an essay coming up at uni which is all about person-centred care in medicine and health professions. To be modern means an 'enlightened' individual and society, welcoming change and development. A ‘gaze’ is an act of selecting what we consider to be the relevant elements of the total data stream available to our senses. But this need not be limiting. Foucault considered biomedical fields as part of a pervasive disciplinary apparatus , intended to set parameters for what is healthy (and thus normal), and what is deviant. Over a century later, patients are becoming wise to the dehumanising effects of the medical gaze that Foucault … Therefore, it’s important that doctors have adequate training in the humanities, especially doctors who will be diagnosing and treating … contributing to illness that are inherently beyond the scope of the medical gaze. I wanted to ask in particular about Foucault's 'medical gaze' and whether there was an explicit or implied response to this in philosophical literature or journals. Key Points: Medical Gaze The term medical gaze was coined by French philosopher and critic, Michel Foucault in his book, The Birth of the Clinic (1963) (trans. 1973), to denote the dehumanizing medical separation of the patient's body from the patient's person (identity); (see mind-body dualism). This detachment or dehumanization of the body into an object of analysis, to be isolated, probed, analyzed, examined, and classified, … Foucault develops the concept of ‘the medical gaze’, describing how doctors modify the patient’s story, fitting it into a biomedical paradigm, filtering out non-biomedical material. Central to the accumulation of medical knowledge was what Foucault referred to as “the medical gaze,” the medical separation between a patient’s body and his identity (Foucault 1973, 89). The Birth of the Clinic Quotes Showing 1-4 of 4 “Death left its old tragic heaven and became the lyrical core of man: his invisible truth, his visible secret.” ― Michel Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception Shawver describes Foucault's view of the doctor's clinical gaze as avoiding "the esotericism of knowledge and the rigidity of social privilege" by being acquired through his observation of patients. Sound is something that Foucault himself overlooks – as Sterne (2003) points out, in The Birth of the Clinic Foucault even argues that the listening of doctors through stethoscopes is a form of medical gaze, a classic case of forcing the empirical materials to fit the theory. However, Foucault argues that there are important variables (emotional and mental states, sociological context, etc.) In chapters 8 and 9, Foucault described how a new medical perception arose out of the integration of pathological anatomy and the clinical gaze: “anatomo-clinical perception.” Disease became known an aspect of life and a mode of degeneration in a trajectory toward death. The wisdom was a practical wisdom that was supposedly learned through internships and apprentiseships not by dipping into … The medical gaze as Foucault saw it required the patient to be passive and to subject her- or himself to the control that medicine had created for itself through its perceived superior knowledge of the human body. This is what Foucault calls the “medical gaze”. He says: “Facilitated by the medical technologies that frame and focus the physicians’ optical grasp of the patient, the medical gaze abstracts the suffering person from her sociological context and reframes her as a “case” or a “condition”.” Three themes prominent in the text are: 'the birth of the clinic', 'the clinical gaze' and the power-knowledge relationship.
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