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ArtikelThe elementary forms of care: An empirical approach to ethics in a South African Hospital  
Oleh: Fassin, Didier
Jenis: Article from Journal - ilmiah internasional
Dalam koleksi: Social Science & Medicine ( vol. 67 no. 2 (Jul. 2008), page 262.
Topik: Ethics; Medical care; Patient abuse; Moral Economies; Hospitals; South Africa
  • Perpustakaan Pusat (Semanggi)
    • Nomor Panggil: SS53.21
    • Non-tandon: 1 (dapat dipinjam: 0)
    • Tandon: tidak ada
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Isi artikelEthics is generally seen as the application of universal and intangible principles. Empirical studies then consist in verifying the degree of adequacy of practices to the norms. Here, conversely, ethics is considered as everyday practice: professionals, whether nurses or doctors, act within routines and under constraints, and later give an account of their action. Fieldwork was conducted during one year in the emergency and admission wards of a large South African hospital. It was based on interviews and observation and included feedback meetings for health professionals and focus group discussions with inhabitants of the neighbouring township. Ten elementary forms of care were identified in terms of patients' expectations. Five concerned the person as patient: ailment, problem, pain, agitation, life. Five concerned the patient as person: recognition, sovereignty, respect, privacy, interest. Discrepancies between claimed norms and actual practices were justified by health professionals in terms of workload, lack of resources and social deviance of patients. Ethnography suggests a more complex interpretation: on the one hand, technique-oriented professional ethos and efficiency-oriented organizational imperative are consequences of both historical territorial segregation and present resource inequalities. On the other hand, the lack of social recognition felt by nurses and doctors is in turn reflected in their moral evaluation of patients, which goes beyond concepts of values and worthiness. Although inscribed in the specific context of post-apartheid South Africa, the present description and analysis of practices has a broader scope as it proposes a way of approaching the elementary forms of care.
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