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Glass walls: The relevancy of states and strategies of ignorance to the future of healthcare law

Priaulx, Nicolette ORCID: 2018. Glass walls: The relevancy of states and strategies of ignorance to the future of healthcare law. Presented at: Re-imagining Health Law Workshop, Birmingham, UK, 11 September 2018.

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This presentation argues for the centralisation of the ‘unknown’ within contemporary healthcare law. This is not a significant leap. Epistemological questions have long sat at the heart of legal studies, and increasingly such questions are woven into the fabric of healthcare law scholarship. A voluminous literature highlights the many epistemic fault lines running through the law: between law-in-the-books and law-in-action, embedded within legal concepts and standards, and the stories about human life that result. Nevertheless, what is unknown takes on a ‘deviant’ state, where the aim is to close gaps, capture the “real world”, to render unknowns knowable to us as scholars, judges, legislators, patients and clinicians. While important, this presentation advocates a slight tilt in focus; moving away from ignorance as deviant, in favour of exploring its normality and regularity (Gross and McGoey, 2015). Illustrating how much of what is known is ‘tacit’, and how routinely we confront ‘glass walls’ of knowledge, the paper encourages a direct confrontation with ‘the limits of knowing’ (Barnett, 2004). The aim is to open up quite different questions about the unknown, as well as to bring more clearly into view the strategies, structures, behaviours and methodologies of ignorance that populate our field. References Barnett, R., 2004. Learning for an unknown future. Higher Education Research & Development 23. Gross, M., McGoey, L. (Eds.), 2015. Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies. Routledge, London; New York.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Law
Centre for the Study of Knowledge Expertise and Science (KES)
Cardiff Centre for Ethics, Law and Society (CCELS)
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
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Last Modified: 06 May 2023 02:12

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