By David Silverman
David Silverman presents a comprehensively researched and analytically delicate account of the way medical professionals and sufferers relate. Drawing on quite a lot of unique fieldwork from either the united kingdom and in other places and from various medical institution settings, either privately and publicly funded, he demonstrates the complexity of clinical interactions and the significance in their context.
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Additional info for Communication and Medical Practice: Social Relations in the Clinic
The very jokiness of this story suggests that the patient concerned was being unreasonable. However, we see an altogether more serious instance of lay acceptance of medical decision-making in the treatment of children with serious congenital heart disease. Here the situation is complicated by the fact that professional and layman are deciding the fate of a third party, a child. Children are blessed with an elevated moral status ('innocence') but are held to lack the theoretic capacity to decide their own fate.
This could potentially be disabling if one's interest were in topicalizing these resources for systematic analysis. I would merely argue that, if I can demonstrate crude variability between sites, this is something of importance which is relevant both to more refined accounts of conversational forms and to clinical practice. 2 Decision-Making Discourse: Part 1 Only relatively infrequently do we find that sociology's conventional wisdoms accord with a popularly-based consensus or even approximate the position of significant interest groups.
The treatment is centrally located in a London teaching hospital. This implies that there is no continuing relationship between the family and the hospital and its personnel over a range of routine and nonroutine medical contingencies. There is no close contact between the hospital and other agencies dealing with the child's care: clinics, GPs etc. Other agencies often leave families with a confusion of information and expectations which are easily overridden but less commonly explored at the apex of the referral network.