Hospice

Hospice-dove

I volunteer at Yolo Hospice. It is a non-profit organization that helps those who have less than six months to live and want to have that time as comfortably as possible, often at home.  I hadn’t known about hospice growing up, but the more I learned about the larger medical system we live in, the more I became interested in alternatives to maximal treatment. I have found it quite amazing and caring. The services are provided free of charge to patients and families, and include doctors and nurses expert in pain management, social workers, home health aides, spiritual care, grief counselors, and volunteers. There is a nice article on the gift of hospice.

There are an increasing number of for-profit hospices now appearing. I have not had direct experience with them, but have started hearing of experiences that suggest that there is tension between being for-profit and caring, especially since the patients are not the payers. I fear that the process I studied in Drugs for Life concerning pharmaceutical development will happen to hospice care.

»Inter-pill-ation and the instrumentalization of compliance

non-compliance-daniels

Compliance’s usefulness as a measure of prescribed treatment adherence by a patient has been its ability to index treatment success, and therefore help in ensuring and governing health. What these anthropologists have discovered, however, is that because of its function as an index, compliance has been itself instrumentalized and made to serve goals sometimes quite far from health.

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»Biomedicine as Culture

Biomedicine as Culture

Co-edited with Regula Burri in 2008. Biomedicine as Culture: Instrumental Practices, Technoscientific Knowledge, and New Modes of Life (Routledge Studies in Science, Technology and Society), best described through contents: Introduction REGULA VALÉRIE BURRI AND JOSEPH DUMIT PART I Social and cultural studies of biomedicine 1 Medicalizing culture(s) or culturalizing medicine(s) STEFAN BECK 2 Metaphors of medicine Continue reading…

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»Teach ABody++

Bodies-Skateboard

ANT 210-001, Tue 3-6p, Young 224 Prof. Joseph Dumit, dumit@ucdavis.edu   Class is designed around learning to answer and re-answer the following questions: What can a body do? Where does a body end? How does a body feel? Does a body have a machine? How can a body be extended? How does a body end? Continue reading…

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