Anaesthetists, the discourse on patient fitness and the organisation of surgery

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The organization of daily procedures within the operating theatre is considered in terms of rival perspectives on their patient held by surgeon and anaesthetist. The privileging of the surgeon's authority is challenged in anaesthetists' efforts to fabricate a distinctive position on the patient. While surgeons focus on patient as the carrier of disease, for the anaesthetist, the focus is upon the patient's complement of fitness. A postmodern analysis of the organization of surgery reflects the continual struggle between the two specialisms to privilege its particular definition of the surgical patient. In some circumstances, the struggle can have damaging consequences for patient care.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalSociology of Health & Illness
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes


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