“[Foucault’s] concept of technologies of self reveals that individuals participate in the policing process by monitoring their own behaviour… The power operating in technologies of self is not based in force but “in the exercise of self upon self by which one tries to work out, to transform one’s self and to attain a certain mode of being.””
Coors, E. Marilyn. “A Foucauldian Foray into the New Genetics.” Journal of Medical Humanities, 24.3/4 (Winter 2003): 221. Print.
This quote supports my position that patients’ so-called ‘autonomy’ is actually a self-absorbed manifestation of institutional healthcare’s agenda of efficiency. We have become perfect patients – obsessing over our own bodies, allowing our very DNA to become ticking time bombs that can turn on us at any minute.
Just a week to go! Here’s today’s version of my thesis:
- Institutional healthcare can be understood as a power regime, overseeing its own priorities of normalization and efficiency.
- These priorities have become unconsciously adopted by patients (suggesting a rather sophisticated power regime).
- Therefore, informed consent is a compromised notion as there is little autonomy or free will of the patient.
- If clinical bioethics practice wishes to help redistribute this power (rather than reinforce institutional healthcare’s power), it must assert itself as an independent practice.