Instrumental Colonisation in Modern Medicine
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 2003; 6(3): 287-296
Stethoscopes, x-rays and other medical technologies are two- edged swords. They make medical treatment and diagnosis more accurate and effective, but do at the same time reveal our perceptual inadequacy. By transcending our senses, these technologies reveal that we can be seriously diseased without experiencing any symptoms at all. This situation has changed our attitude towards our relations and ourselves. The situation can be analysed using Jurgen Habermas' conception of "systems colonisation of the lifeworld." Medical technologies colonise our lifeworld. They change the way we think and act. They make us all accept that we can become patients almost any minute, even if we feel perfectly healthy. Sense transcending technologies turn us all into proto- patient.
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