Ordinary Medicine: governance, ethics and the subject in the biomedical economy


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Presenter: 
Sharon Kaufman
Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 5:30pm
Location: 

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)

Abstract: 

My ethnographic journeys in clinical spaces have led me to look farther "upstream" at the elements of the vast biomedical economy that drive the medical-industrial enterprise. Driving so much of that economy today is the value and power given to the "rationality" of evidence based medicine, a rationality, I want to emphasize, is based on prior culturally diffuse ethical commitments and political choices.

Bio: 

Sharon Kaufman, Chair, Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, UCSF. Kaufman is a medical anthropologist with research interests in the changing culture and structure of U.S. medicine; end-of-life; aging; subjectivity; the relationship of biotechnologies to ethics, governance and medical practice; the shifting terrain of evidence in clinical science; practices of risk assessment; and the anthropology of forms of life. One of her best known books is And a Time to Die: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life. She is one of the few sociocultural anthropologists to have been continuously federally funded for over to decades.