What Would You Do?
Juggling Bioethics and Ethnography
Renowned sociologist Charles L. Bosk has been observing medical care for thirty-five years. In What Would You Do? he brings his extensive experience to bear on these questions while reflecting on the ethical dilemmas that his own ethnographic research among surgeons and genetic counselors has provoked. Bosk considers whether the consent given to ethnographers by their subjects can ever be fully voluntary and informed. He questions whether promises of confidentiality and anonymity can or should be made. And he wonders if social scientists overestimate the benefits of their work while downplaying the risks.
Vital for practitioners of both the newly prominent field of bioethics and the long-established craft of ethnography, What Would You Do? will also engross anyone concerned with how our society addresses difficult health care issues.
“Charles Bosk provides in these pages a rich and rigorous account of the ways in which medical ethics, ethnography, and social science illuminate the human condition. He is the finest ethnographer of his generation, and he offers to future generations a standard of ethnographic practice and reflection that is unrivaled in its appreciation of the nuances and complexities of making sense of people’s lives.”
“This is a brilliant book: astutely observed and elegantly written. Charles Bosk is the Erving Goffman of bioethics. He sees things the rest of us overlook.”--Carl Elliott, University of Minnesota
Introduction • What Would You Do? Juggling Bioethics and Ethnography
ONE • THE ETHNOGRAPHY OF ETHICS
1. Professional Ethicist Available: Logical, Secular, Friendly
2. The Licensing and Certification of Ethics Consultants: What Part of "No!" Was So Hard to Understand?
4. Margin of Error: The Sociology of Ethics Consultation
5. Bureaucracies of Mass Deception: Institutional Review Boards and Ethics of Ethnographic Research with Raymond G. De Vries
TWO • THE ETHICS OF ETHNOGRAPHY: GENETIC COUNSELORS REVISITED
6. Invitation to Ethnography
7. A Twice-Told Tale of Witnessing
8. Irony, Ethnography, and Informed Consent
THREE • THE ETHICS OF ETHNOGRAPHY: SURGEONS REVISITED
9. The Field-Worker and the Surgeon
10. An Ethnographer's Apology, A Bioethicist's Lament: The Surgeon and the Sociologist Revisited
11. A Moment of Silence: On Not Giving Up Dr. Arthur's Ghost
CONCLUSION • PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE AND MORAL COWARDICE
Counterfeit Courage and the Noncombatant