Publication Date

April 2018


Anthony Hatch


Science in Society


English (United States)


The proliferation of biotechnologies into medical practice has transformed the way the physical body has been defined and surveilled, how disease has been conceptualized and treated, and how the power gradient between clinician and patient manifests. These biotechnologies, namely including drug therapies, diagnostic technologies, drug surveillance tools, and communication technologies, have produced new forms of scientific and clinical knowledge that promotes numeric, technical biomarkers as the gold standard for capturing ?objective? narratives of pathology, health, and risk. In this thesis, I argue that as clinical care, disease conceptualization, treatment monitoring and preventive practices have become increasingly guided by distant computerized data, a chasm has formed between clinical objective markers and subjective embodied experiences?between doctors? priorities and patients? stories. In this thesis, I apply the theoretical framework of the ?cyborg? to a series of discourse analyses of patient blog posts and clinician-authored biomedical research studies to examine the clinical and technical mechanisms by which biotechnologies have exacerbated this chasm and have shaped treatment decision making practices in the field of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

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