In Abductive Analysis, Iddo Tavory and Stefan Timmermans provide a new navigational map for theorizing qualitative research. They outline a way to think about observations, methods, and theories that nurtures theory formation without locking it into predefined conceptual boxes. The book provides novel ways to approach the challenges that plague qualitative researchers across the social sciences—how to conceptualize causality, how to manage the variation of observations, and how to leverage the researcher’s community of inquiry. Abductive Analysis is a landmark work that shows how a pragmatist approach provides a productive and fruitful way to conduct qualitative research.
Few things make people react more strongly to the changes going on in health care than the word standardization. Critics shudder at the mindless sameness of standards, while supporters dream of a world in which standardized "best practices" open up a world of efficient health care delivery. The Gold Standard takes up this debate to investigate the real meaning of standardization and how it affects patients, doctors, and the institution of medicine.Showing that standards are not about less or more skills, or more or less uniformity, but rather about a redefinition of autonomy, patients, and relationships, Timmermans and Berg show instead that they are about creating new worlds of medical treatment. Cutting through the hype and fears, the authors show where the true powers of standardization lie. The Gold Standard will become a classic for students of medicine and health care policy, and will be a welcome book for anyone concerned with the future of our system of care.
As elected coroners came to be replaced by medical examiners with scientific training, the American public became fascinated with their work. From the grisly investigations showcased on highly rated television shows like C.S.I. to the bestselling mysteries that revolve around forensic science, medical examiners have never been so visible—or compelling. They, and they alone, solve the riddle of suspicious death and the existential questions that come with it. Why did someone die? Could it have been prevented? Should someone be held accountable? What are the implications of ruling a death a suicide, a homicide, or an accident? Can medical examiners unmask the perfect crime?
Postmortem goes deep inside the world of medical examiners to uncover the intricate web of pathological, social, legal, and moral issues in which they operate. Stefan Timmermans spent years in a medical examiner’s office, following cases, interviewing examiners, and watching autopsies. While he relates fascinating cases here, he is also more broadly interested in the cultural authority and responsibilities that come with being a medical examiner. Although these professionals attempt to remain objective, medical examiners are nonetheless responsible for evaluating subtle human intentions. Consequently, they may end—or start—criminal investigations, issue public health alerts, and even cause financial gain or harm to survivors. How medical examiners speak to the living on behalf of the dead, is Timmermans’s subject, revealed here in the day-to-day lives of the examiners themselves.
It has been close to six decades since Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA and more than ten years since the human genome was decoded. Today, through the collection and analysis of a small blood sample, every baby born in the United States is screened for more than fifty genetic disorders. Though the early detection of these abnormalities can potentially save lives, the test also has a high percentage of false positives—inaccurate results that can take a brutal emotional toll on parents before they are corrected. Now some doctors are questioning whether the benefits of these screenings outweigh the stress and pain they sometimes produce. In Saving Babies?, Stefan Timmermans and Mara Buchbinder evaluate the consequences and benefits of state-mandated newborn screening—and the larger policy questions they raise about the inherent inequalities in American medical care that limit the effectiveness of this potentially lifesaving technology.
Drawing on observations and interviews with families, doctors, and policy actors, Timmermans and Buchbinder have given us the first ethnographic study of how parents and geneticists resolve the many uncertainties in screening newborns. Ideal for scholars of medicine, public health, and public policy, this book is destined to become a classic in its field.
Sudden Death and the Myth of CPR
Stefan Timmermans, foreword by Bern Shen Temple University Press, 1999 Library of Congress RC87.9.T56 1999 | Dewey Decimal 616.1025
Sudden Death and the Myth of CPR is for anyone who has taken a CPR course or who believes the images from television dramas. It is also for families of victims and survivors of CPR. It will engage emergency personnel, others in the medical field, and anyone concerned with ethical issues of death and dying.
Anyone who has ever taken a CPR course has wondered, "What would happen if I actually had to use CPR?" In Western societies, the lifesaving power of resuscitation has the status of a revered cultural myth. It promises life in the face of sudden death, but the reality is that lives are rarely saved. Medical researchers estimate the survival rate for out-of-hospital CPR to be between 1 and 3 percent. Sudden Death and the Myth of CPR explores the history of this medical innovation and the promotion of its effectiveness.
The overuse of resuscitation, Timmermans explains, defines people's experience with sudden death, something he learned firsthand by following the practice of lifesaving from street corner to emergency room. He argues that very few people are successfully resuscitated without brain damage despite the promotion of CPR's effectiveness through powerful media images. In vivid accounts of the day-to-day practices of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in one of the only studies o f sudden death, Timmermans records the astonishingly frank comments of emergency personnel. Doctors, nurses, social workers, and paramedics express emotions from cynicism about going through the futile motions to genuine concern for victims' family members.
If a person who was supposed to keep on living dies at the end of a resuscitative attempt, how socially meaningful is the dying? Timmermans asks tough questions and addresses the controversial ethical issues about the appropriateness of interfering with life and death. He suggests policy reform and the restoration of dignity to sudden death.