Dignity in practice: day-to-day life in intensive care units in Western Europe

Koksvik, G. H. (2015) Dignity in practice: day-to-day life in intensive care units in Western Europe. Medical Anthropology, 34(6), pp. 517-532. (doi: 10.1080/01459740.2015.1037391) (PMID:26106928)

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Dignity is a key concept in contemporary health care ethics, but the practical meaning of dignity in care remains unclear. In this article, I show that in practice, different and possibly conflicting notions of what dignity means are engaged simultaneously in the care of critical patients. The empirical data is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in three separate intensive care units in three European countries, Spain, Norway, and France, in the spring of 2014. Four weeks were spent at each site. Using participant observations and semi-structured interviews with 24 intensive care unit staff, I illustrate how the ideal of patient dignity is carried out in practice in the daily life of these units.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Koksvik, Dr Gitte
Authors: Koksvik, G. H.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social & Environmental Sustainability
Journal Name:Medical Anthropology
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1545-5882
Published Online:24 June 2015

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