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Doing Dignity

Ethical Praxis and the Politics of Care

Christa Teston

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Explores human dignity and care in the face of disease and disability.

Complex contemporary experiences with disease, death, and disability in the United States have made the concept of human dignity seem outdated. In Doing Dignity: Ethical Praxis and the Politics of Care, Christa Teston challenges conventional notions of dignity and, based on analyses of clinical observations, interviews, and focus groups, encourages a new understanding of care.

This thought-provoking book presents a practice-based approach to human dignity through three compelling case studies: US health care professionals'...

Explores human dignity and care in the face of disease and disability.

Complex contemporary experiences with disease, death, and disability in the United States have made the concept of human dignity seem outdated. In Doing Dignity: Ethical Praxis and the Politics of Care, Christa Teston challenges conventional notions of dignity and, based on analyses of clinical observations, interviews, and focus groups, encourages a new understanding of care.

This thought-provoking book presents a practice-based approach to human dignity through three compelling case studies: US health care professionals' COVID-19 caretaking experiences, legislative debates about medical aid in dying, and clinical interactions between wheelchair users and health care professionals. Teston demonstrates how dignity is not an abstract idea but rather is a set of practices embedded in the politics and complexities of care. Drawing from feminist care ethics, rhetorical theory, disability studies, and critical Black studies, Doing Dignity offers a fresh perspective on the moral underpinnings of modern-day medicine. Teston explores how health care professionals enact dignity despite the challenges of market-based medicine, the commodification of care, and shifting societal discourse on disease, dying, and disability.

This book transcends philosophical debates and provides practical insights for both patients and practitioners. Without falling into sentimentality or hopelessness, Doing Dignity honors human vulnerability while revealing how situational factors influence the practice of dignified care.

Reviews

Reviews

Christa Teston offers a smart and timing assessment of dignified health and medical care. Based on observations and interviews, Teston presents three case studies involving recent health and medical practice and extending theoretical scholarship. She demonstrates that dignified care is not only an ethical but also a rhetorical practice.

In this meticulously researched and deeply ethical book Christa Teston reveals dignity through entangled processes of acknowledging-imagining-persuading-reflecting. At a moment when suffering seems to be expanding around us, Teston offers material, grounded, real-time, often mundane, and always necessary means for approaching dignified care and ethically engaging difference.

Dignity is not as it seems. In this remarkable book, Christa Teston shows that dignity is not a universal value, but something that must be negotiated and practiced, again and again. With rigorous analysis, this book will be essential reading for disability studies, critical health studies, science and technology studies, and bioethics.

Christa Teston's Doing Dignity should be required reading for all who care or attempt to care for others. Through textured case studies of in/dignity, Teston encourages us to imagine otherwise, in feminist and critically disabled ways, and to look towards horizons where we might materialize an ethical politics of care.

Doing Dignity gives us a thoughtful new way to think about the human dignity as an action word that requires intent. Teston offers a practical and honest, and most importantly heartfelt look at what it means to value dignity in an unyielding world.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
200
ISBN
9781421448763
Illustration Description
10 b&w photos, 4 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1. Undoing Dignity
2. COVID-19 Caretaking: In/dignity at and Beyond the Bedside
3. Death-with-Dignity's Biopolitical Topoi
4. Embodied Dignities in an Assistive Technology Clinic
5

Acknowledgments
1. Undoing Dignity
2. COVID-19 Caretaking: In/dignity at and Beyond the Bedside
3. Death-with-Dignity's Biopolitical Topoi
4. Embodied Dignities in an Assistive Technology Clinic
5. Dignified Care as Ethical Praxis
Appendix A: Corpora Specifications for MAiD Testimony
Appendix B: Inventory of Data from the AT Clinic
Notes
References
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Christa Teston, PhD

Christa Teston (COLUMBUS, OH) is the Andrea Lunsford Designated Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy in the Department of English at Ohio State University. She is the author of Bodies in Flux: Scientific Methods for Negotiating Medical Uncertainty.