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Consumer Medicine

image of Consumer Medicine

The contributions in this book all address an important area relating to the delivery of medical services, namely the development of consumer medicine. The changing dynamics of consumer medicine are explored through two perspectives: genetic self-testing and cross-border medical treatment. Both genetic self-testing and cross-border medical treatment offer a number of opportunities, both for producers and consumers of goods and services. At the same time, however, a number of important questions arise as to the limits and regulations that should be in place to protect consumers and patients, and assure that the products and services that are being offered are of good quality and do not offer false or misleading information as to their efficacy or significance in helping patients and consumers. The role of the state and supra-national organizations is by no means self-evident within this changing environment in that on the one hand, this process has been supported by these same authorities, and on the other hand, they are also trying to control and limit the extent to which it develops and undermines their sovereignty. This dual role has created tensions between the development of consumer medicine and the consequences that authorities must deal with as a result of this development.

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Mobilities of Medical Care - A note on the Political Economy of Health

Today, more and more people from wealthy industrialized countries travel abroad to get better or cheaper medical treatment - or any treatment to their rare or difficult disease. In addition, cross-border and offshore medical services, or even "miracle" cures allegedly based on cutting edge medical science, are increasingly available through the Internet or other global media. It is undeniable that these phenomena represent an important trend in current medicine that has potential to affect the ways and ethos by which we are engaged with medicine and health care services, in the Nordic countries as well as in the rest of the Westernized world. In this paper, I approach this change in medicine from a perspective of political economy by situating it in two context: first, as regards to historical metamorphoses of public health care, especially the recent neoliberal turn; and, second, as a part of increasing global mobility of knowledge, personnel, technology, medicines and even body parts and tissues within the field of medical care.

English

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