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Genetic testing for sudden arrhythmic death syndrome and the coroners' system of England and Wales

Goldsworthy, Christopher 2016. Genetic testing for sudden arrhythmic death syndrome and the coroners' system of England and Wales. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The author of this thesis examines how SADS is made and remade within interdisciplinary professional practice. Whilst recent sociological scholarship has followed the discourse of ‘molecularization’ when examining the construction of biomedical categories, I instead place the genetic as part of a broader clinical and medico-legal system. Whilst it is accepted that there are genetic aspects of SADS this does not reduce the usefulness of other disciplinary explanations in practice. This thesis is situated around the molecular autopsy, a technology simultaneously employed to identify the cause of death and help in the diagnosis and treatment of family members of the deceased. As such, this thesis examines the professional system which surrounds this technology across the medico-legal – clinical divide. In doing so, the author of this thesis argues that the usefulness of genetic testing for SADS is an explicitly political problem. Suggesting that the current focus of research examining translational medicine falls short by focusing on the translation from ‘Bench to Bedside’, instead arguing for the importance of examining the political, and socio-economic space in which the technology is to reside. Finally, I explore the co-construction of the professional system of making SADS. A relational approach to professionalism is developed as a way to examine how mutuality is achieved during collaboration between distinct epistemic cultures. The consequence of such an approach is the ability to understand how professional groups are able to mobilise multiple conceptions of SADS in the pursuit of preventing future deaths. Making SADS gains further meaning in that I argue that understandings of SADS are distinct to accounts given in practice. Understandings of the usefulness of genetic testing for coroners is thus, not only based upon the ability of genetics to serve a particular function, but is based upon a fragmented account of the technology, rhetorically produced by clinicians.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 February 2017
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2021 11:21

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