Medical Technology: A Pandora's Box?
Journal of Medical Humanities. 1994 Fall; 15(3): 171-181.
This paper examines the development of medical technology in terms of Max Weber's theory of rationalization. It argues that medical technology is a part of the general process of social, political and economic changes in modern Western societies. Medical technology today keeps many people alive who, in the past, would have died from their illness. In recent years, burgeoning technological achievements in medicine have been regarded as a threat to the individual's freedom to die. Many people believe that the prolongation of life only adds to the suffering of the patient and to the emotional distress of the family. They argue that a quiet death is preferable to the indignities inflicted by mechanical life support. This paper addresses these issues in light of Weber's theoretical arguments.
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