chapter  20
17 Pages

Care as politics: ethics as violence

WithRobert McMurray

This chapter is concerned with the ways in which ethics is mobilized in the organization of health provision, where organization refers to deliberatively political acts of claiming, excluding, bounding and controlling the ways in which we define and deliver care. I have in mind those macro-and micro-practices dedicated to determining who has the right to minister care at the bedside of the patient and the corresponding power to organize the resources that follow. Specifically, this chapter considers how medicine secures and sustains a privileged occupational position, paying particular attention to the ways in which ethical claims are asserted as part of a highly politicized negotiation of order in health care (Strauss, 1978) and how such claims implicate medicine in the use of what I shall term ethics as violence.