Renée C. Fox

Renée C. Fox
University of Pennsylvania | UP · Department of Sociology

PhD

About

106
Publications
3,296
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3,265
Citations

Publications

Publications (106)
Article
The value and belief questions with which bioethics deals have social, cultural, moral, and societal implications that are not confined to certain spheres of biology and medicine, health and illness, and the delivery of medical care. And yet, throughout its history, the field has continued to be focused on a narrow array of medically associated phe...
Article
To quote Yogi Berra, writing this editorial is a déja vu all over again experience for us. It entails not only collaborating once more as coauthors but also reiterating some of the criticisms and concerns that have figured prominently in virtually all our previous publications about bioethicsmost recently in our book Observing Bioethics.
Article
Full-text available
Based on first-hand qualitative research, this article describes and analyzes the significant role that a local, New York City-based social service agency played in responding to 9/11; the sources of its notable ability to provide assistance to individuals and families affected by this terrorist attack; and the structural strains and unanticipated...
Article
The international humanitarian organization, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), is strongly committed to principles of universalism, egalitarianism, and equity, in both its internal and external relations. Nevertheless, the organization distinguishes between so-called "national" staff members (those who are indigenous to the countries where MSF projec...
Article
This article has no abstract; the first 100 words appear below. The phrase “cultural competence” arises often in discussions about improving medical education and health care in the United States. It is usually used to refer to a body of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior in which physicians ought to be trained if they are to deliver “sensi...
Article
Although the application of major biomedical advances has yielded spectacular results for individual health, there has been little improvement in the health of whole populations. There is a "back to the future" irony in the fact that at the inception of the 21st century, the eruption and spread of a multitude of "old" and "new" infectious diseases...
Article
This article is based on the author’s five decades of experience as a “perpetual fieldworker, engaged ethnographer,” and teacher of field methods of social research. After dealing with what she perceives as a false dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative methods of research, she considers some of the cognitive characteristics of ethnographic...
Conference Paper
This article is based on the author's five decades of experience as a "perpetual fieldworker, engaged ethnographer," and teacher of field methods of social research. After dealing with what she perceives as a false dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative methods of research, she considers some of the cognitive characteristics of ethnographic...
Article
The period from the end of World War II to the early 1960s has been characterized as the "golden years" of patient-oriented clinical research in the United States, a period catalyzed and fostered by advances in biology and medicine, changes in the organization and financing of research units, and strong moral and political convictions growing out o...
Article
The clinical trial of the AbioCor artificial heart, initiated in July 2001 and still in process, has taken place within a matrix of social and cultural patterns that are both "old" and new. The old patterns--those that have accompanied previous clinical trials of other vital artificial organs and transplantation in the United States--include "exper...
Article
In Time to Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the Era of Managed Care, Kenneth Ludmerer presents a penetrating narrative and analytic account of the daunting economic, organizational, social, and value problems facing medical education that are threatening its excellence and its sense of purpose. The new conditions hav...
Chapter
At the center of my sociological reflections on ethical aspects of permanent mechanical circulatory support is the extensive, first-hand study that medical historian Judith P. Swazey and I conducted from 1983 through 1988 on the Jarvik-7 artificial heart experiment, which we reported in our co-authored book, “Spare Parts” (3). Our study of what we...
Article
It seems commendable that Michael A. DeVita and James V. Snyder, and the physicians, nurses, and Ethics Committee of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) on whose behalf they write, continually and publicly reflect on the policy they have enacted to obtain organs from non-heartbeating cadaver donors, and that they are willing to chang...
Article
This article was delivered as the Foundations of Medical Science Distinguished Lecture before the McGill University Faculty of Medicine, in Montreal, Canada, on March 8, 1995. The author is grateful to Nicholas A. Christakis, Willy De Craemer, and Chris Feudtner for their...
Article
Full-text available
In the expanding repertoire of practices designed to increase the supply of organs for transplantation, non-heart-beating cadaver organ donation has generated an ongoing debate in the literature. The continuing stream of articles is disquieting in part because it documents a troubling "trial-and-error ethics" approach to the formulation of organ pr...
Article
Book reviewed in this article:The Puzzle People: Memoirs of a Transplant Surgeon. By Thomas E. Starzl.
Article
The author discusses the ways in which she finds the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center protocol for procuring organs from "non-heart-beating cadaver donors" medically and morally questionable and irreverent. She also identifies some of the factors that contributed to the composition of this troubling protocol, and to its institutional approva...
Article
They have watched, as insiders, the first fumbling attempts to transplant kidneys, then hearts, then live-donated lobes of liver and lung. Now the two sociologists most closely identified with organ transplantation have concluded that they must leave the field.
Article
The autopsy has been of great importance in educating students regarding medical uncertainty. The marked decline in the use of the autopsy in medical education and continuing education has contributed significantly to the current discomfort among physicians regarding medical uncertainty and medical errors, which, in turn, has furthered the decline...
Article
Caring for persons with AIDS calls upon a range of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual interventions that, in the absence of a cure, can make a palpable difference for patients. The "culture of caring" that nurses bring to bear on the epidemic is shaped by their education and socialization, and by shared background characteristics. The n...
Chapter
“Bioethics” is a social and cultural, as well as an intellectual happening. The term came into use toward the end of the 1960s, in connection with an area of inquiry and action that was just beginning to develop in the United States at that time. What has since become the flourishing field of bioethics is structured around problems associated with...
Article
Viewed in relation to the vast amount of clinical research in the United States, the number of total artificial heart (TAH) implants is so small as to be statistically invisible. And while the results of those implants to date may seem dubious in terms of the recipients' outcomes, theyare in fact very similar to those of many other innovative thera...
Article
This paper is a revision of the address given by Professor Fox in connection with her receipt of the Leo G. Reeder Award for distinguished scholarship in medical sociology. The address was given August 29, 1984, to the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association during its annual meeting, held in San Antonio.
Article
The Daedalus myth is a metaphor for aspects of the scientific process. When a problem is solved it often raises others, and when these in turn are solved they generate additional questions. Although perfect solutions may not be possible, major improvements can be made in many cases. Research on the hepatitis B virus is an example. The ability to de...
Article
An earlier version of this paper was presented by Renée C. Fox as the Fae Golden Kass Lecture at Harvard Medical School and Radcliffe College, February 22, 1983. The authors are indebted to Judith Berling and David Smith, Indiana University; James Gustafson, University of Chicago; and Willy De Craemer, Setha Low, and Nathan Sivin, University of Pen...
Article
The problems of personhood with which this conference--and our society--grapples are significantly interwoven with modern medicine, its technology, and its science. More importantly, the conceptual language and recurrect themes of personhood questions are shaped by moral philosophers and jurists: "individualism" and "connectedness" are at the core...
Article
This case study of the Critical Care Unit at Tianjin's First Central Hospital, its physician-director, and one of its patients provides a portrait of how the policy of the four modernizations is being applied to the field of medicine in the People's Republic of China. On this unit of an urban hospital the "fourth modernization," science and technol...
Article
The Profession and the Sociological Perspective Increasingly since the 1950s, the nature and effectiveness of the social controls governing medicine in American society have received the attention of the medical profession itself, as well as of the lay public, the legislatures, courts, and regulatory agencies. The term social controls has two soci...
Article
‘ Religion is no longer important in Belgium!’, they declared. Wherever I travelled in Belgium over the course of 1976–1977, the year of my sabbatical leave from an American university, and my eighteenth consecutive year of fieldwork in Belgian society, friends, colleagues, and informants announced this. I was particularly puzzled by this statement...
Chapter
The team of the Kwilu government (established in 1962, after the death of Lumumba, and the imprisonment of Gizenga, his Vice-Prime-Minister from Kwilu) quickly became known through the Congo as a young, educated, dynamic, socially progressive group, and the Kwilu gained the reputation of being a “pilot” and a “model” province….
Article
Kidney International aims to inform the renal researcher and practicing nephrologists on all aspects of renal research. Clinical and basic renal research, commentaries, The Renal Consult, Nephrology sans Frontieres, minireviews, reviews, Nephrology Images, Journal Club. Published weekly online and twice a month in print.
Article
This collection of 22 essays encompasses almost thirty years of original, pioneering research in the sociology of medicine. Based on fieldwork in a variety of medical settings in the United States, Belgium, and Zaire, these ethnographic essays examine chronic and terminal illness, medical research, therapeutic innovation, medical education and soci...
Article
A collective interest in death and dying has progressively developed in American society since the 1960s. Among the factors associated with it are demographic shifts; medical, scientific, and technological advances; changes in the statuses, roles, and outlook of medical professionals, patients, and women; and the affirmation and broadening of indiv...
Article
Modern developments of scientific medicine have uncovered and created uncertainties and risks that were previously not known or experienced; the stakes have become very much higher. The rise in public expectation, however, is paralleled by a lowered tolerance of uncertainty. Metaphors of "deliverance" and "disaster" abound in discussions of scienti...
Article
A shared sense of discovery and frustration prompts us to write this article. Independently, from our anthropological, historical and sociological research in Zaire over a period of many years, we have been impressed with the pivotal role of religion and magic in that society. The recurrence and development of religious movements in Zaire throughou...
Article
Medicine is often depicted as a vast body of scientific knowledge, technical skills, medicaments, and machinery wielded by physician led teams of hospital based professionals and paraprofessionals. Underlying this image is the conception that medicine is shaped primarily by scientific and technological advances, a highly organized vigorous collecti...
Article
An interview study of the professional functioning of health care teams in a low-income housing project was conducted by the authors. The setting was the Columbia Point Health Center, the first Office of Economic Opportunity-sponsored neighborhood health center, located in Boston, Massachusetts. The participants interviewed included physicians, nur...
Article
The period from the end of World War II to the early 1960s has been characterized as the "golden years" of patient-oriented clinical research in the United States, a period catalyzed and fostered by advances in biology and medicine, changes in the organization and financing of research units, and strong moral and political con- victions growing out...
Article
The particular rebellion in the Congo with which we are concerned in this article is the one that began in the Kwilu Province in January 1964 and, as such, was the first in a chain of rebellions that have erupted in the Congo in the course of the past year.
Article
The traditional social structure creates problems for medical research and researchers in Belgium.

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