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Rebirthing the clinic: the interaction of clinical judgment and genetic technology in the production of medical science

Latimer, Joanna Elizabeth, Featherstone, Katie ORCID:, Atkinson, Paul Anthony ORCID:, Clarke, Angus John ORCID:, Pilz, Daniela T. and Shaw, Alison 2006. Rebirthing the clinic: the interaction of clinical judgment and genetic technology in the production of medical science. Science technology & human values 31 (5) , pp. 599-630. 10.1177/0162243906289613

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The article reconsiders the nature and location of science in the development of genetic classification. Drawing on field studies of medical genetics, we explore how patient categorization is accomplished in between the clinic and laboratory. We focus on dysmorphology, a specialism concerned with complex syndromes that impair physical development. We show that dys-morphology is about more than fitting patients into prefixed diagnostic categories and that diagnostic process is marked by moments of uncertainty, ambiguity, and deferral. We describe how different forms of evidence are brought into play and how patterns of physical features are identified as genetic or not. We suggest that clinical categorical work helps articulate the genetic as an emergent domain of medical classification and that moments of ambiguity and deferral create an imperative space that helps legitimate the need for more technoscience, and consequently, more clinical judgment with which to fix the genetic future.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dysmorphology ; Genetic science ; Molecular technology ; Clinical classification ; Medical knowledge
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 0162-2439
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2023 10:31

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