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6_Tyranny of Diagnosis - Charles Rosenberg

6_Tyranny of Diagnosis - Charles Rosenberg - The Tyranny f...

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The Tyranny of Diagnosis such named disease pictures have always been important to practitioners of medicine. In the often-cited language of Knud Faber's classic (1923) history of nosography, the clinician "cannot live, cannot speak or act without the concept of morbid categories" (vii). A time- and place- specific repertoire of such agreed-upon disease categories has, in fact, always linked laypersons and medical practitioners and thus has served to legitimate and explain the physician's status and healing practice. Mastering a vocabulary of disease pictures and being able to distinguish among them have long been fundamental to the physician's role, as such knowledge underlies the socially indispensable tasks of diagnosis and prognosis and the rationalization of therapeutic practice. "Every one must acknowledge the difficulty of distinguishing dis- eases," argued the influential Edinburgh teacher and practitioner William Cullen in his widely used late 18th-century textbook of nosology, "but in most cases, the
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  • Spring '10
  • McGrand
  • agreed-upon disease categories, Edinburghteacherand practitionerWilliam Cullen, socially indispensable tasks, vocabularyof disease pictures, late 18th-century textbook

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