Ordinary Medicine: Extraordinary Treatments, Longer Lives, and Where to Draw the Line
Sharon R. Kaufman is Chair of the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the author of …And a Time to Die: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life.
Influencing the Character of the Future: Prognosis, Risk, and Time Left
This chapter examines four decision-making moments regarding treatment options. It shows how prognosis and risk assessment organize doctors’ practices and patients’ and families’ experiences with respect to remaining time, the control of time, and the relationship of medical interventions to “time left.” By offering prognoses, medicine instructs us to imagine different future scenarios, then it insists that we choose among them.