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The Biomedicalization of Studying

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The nonmedical use of prescription ADHD medications by American college students for the purpose of enhancing academic performance has been well-documented for more than a decade. A closer look at

The nonmedical use of prescription ADHD medications by American college students for the purpose of enhancing academic performance has been well-documented for more than a decade. A closer look at this trend through the lens of biomedicalization theory shows us that this behavior, which is often dismissed as a simple abuse of the system by deviant young people, is consistent with broader trends in post-modern medicine and health. The goal of this project was to describe the biomedicalization of studying by illustrating the historical, sociocultural, and politico-economic roots of nonmedical stimulant use by college students in the United States. An online survey was administered to students at ASU and responses from students studying in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (n=233) were analyzed. A 12.4% lifetime prevalence of illicit stimulant use was found among the sample population. Thematic analysis was performed on students' open-ended commentary and several themes related to the biomedicalization framework were uncovered including Necessity, Identity, Inextricability from academia, and Trust in the system. Through these themes it was found that many of the theorized transitions of biomedicalization were visible in the data set, confirming the idea that nonmedical stimulant use is embedded in the complex network of processes that represents post-modern medicine today.

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  • 2014-05

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Neglected Mothers: MDG 5 and the Challenge of Safe Motherhood

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The first global estimate of maternal mortality in 1985 revealed that over half a million women die each year due to pregnancy related causes. Although a relatively small figure compared

The first global estimate of maternal mortality in 1985 revealed that over half a million women die each year due to pregnancy related causes. Although a relatively small figure compared to the deaths attributed to such diseases as malaria and HIV, this was new data. New data meant attraction from powerful international agency leaders, which eventually led to the formation of a global effort called the Safe Motherhood Initiative (SMI). In turn, the global SMI provided the framework for the World Health Organization's (WHO) Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG 5). Both of these global campaigns, which were largely implemented through advocacy efforts, adopted time sensitive goals aimed specifically to decrease maternal mortality. Although the placement of maternal health on the public health agenda was an extraordinary accomplishment for women's health advocates, a historical examination of safe motherhood efforts will reveal that these advocacy techniques would not keep maternal health on the public health agenda. Over two decades of unsuccessful efforts to reduce maternal mortality have shown that advocacy efforts are not the answer to actually decreasing maternal mortality ratios. Due to the intrinsic difficulties in measuring maternal mortality, and the public health sector's emphasis in prioritizing the political agenda based on such measurements, maternal health has arguably fallen in last place on the agenda. This thesis will explore how the concern for mothers influenced the formation of MDG 5, and how MDG 5 has been translated into local practices. A case study of the Pan American Health Organization's advocacy effort also called the Safe Motherhood Initiative explores the underlying, culturally complex problems that are hindering progress of MDG 5. The results show that the lack of comprehensive reproductive health services for women is not only due to poor health systems in place, which is what many safe motherhood 5 efforts have attempted to address, but also due to cultural traditions and laws on sexual and reproductive health forbidding women to obtain the care they need to survive.

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  • 2013-12

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Physician and Medical Ethics Committee Members' Perceptions of Death with Dignity in Arizona

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Death with Dignity is a concept that initially began as a set of philosophical and ethical principles that sought to define what it meant to die a "good" death that

Death with Dignity is a concept that initially began as a set of philosophical and ethical principles that sought to define what it meant to die a "good" death that was reasonable to the person experiencing the dying process. This dying process is terminal illness, or any condition that cannot be cured and who's ultimate prognosis is death. Today, Death with Dignity still embodies this, but it is also a set of legal and medical treatments and practices that can be used to aid terminal patients in accomplishing a "good" death. The Death with Dignity treatment options that are chiefly discussed in this study are patient withdrawal of care, patient control of pain medications, and physician-assisted suicide. Physician-assisted suicide is legal in six states in the US excluding Arizona. Considering that Oregon is the first state to pass a Death with Dignity Act and that it is the precedent for all other Acts, this study sought to understand the differences in perception of physician-assisted suicide between Arizona and Oregon in the pursuit of clarifying what barriers are still in place in Arizona to passing a Death with Dignity act. To ask the question of "Do physicians and ethics committee members in Arizona support Death with Dignity in the forms of patient control of pain medications, withdrawal of treatment, and physician-assisted suicide?", a literature review was conducted to determine important national and local perceptions of physician-assisted suicide and Death with Dignity, a 14-question, structured survey was created with the identified concerns, and it was distributed to Arizona health care workers by email and in person. This survey was approved by ASU's Institutional Review Board. This survey found that 100% of participants would vote for a Death with Dignity Act in Arizona if it were on a ballot measure. 76% of participants would aid a terminally-ill and eligible patient in physician-assisted suicide under some circumstances if it were legal in Arizona, and 24% of participants would never aid a patient in physician-assisted suicide. The concerns with physician-assisted suicide that were marked most important by Arizona healthcare workers were that hospice is a better option for the terminally ill and that physician-assisted suicide may be misused with disadvantaged persons. The most important factors of terminal illness that influence views of physician-assisted suicide marked by Arizona healthcare workers were the amount of pain the patient is expected to experience in the end of life, the amount of pain that can be relieved for the patient, the expected quality of life of the patient, and the patient's right to autonomy in healthcare. The significant differences between Oregon and Arizona in this study were the importance of expected mental decline of patient, patient's wishes that differ from family's, and hospice being a better option than suicide in influencing views of physician-assisted suicide. These differences could be deemed hurdles to Death with Dignity legislation in Arizona. This study recommended addressing those differences in public education and medical education and seeking Death with Dignity legislation via ballot measure.

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  • 2017-05

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Scalpel Slaves and Surgical Sculptors: Cosmetic surgery, management of the media and the implications of commercialized medicine

Description

Of the over 17 million surgical and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2016, women accounted for over 90% of patients and nearly 70% of all patients

Of the over 17 million surgical and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2016, women accounted for over 90% of patients and nearly 70% of all patients were white. The goal of cosmetic surgery is to surgically restructure a healthy body part to more closely represent the contemporary ideal of what defines a particular gender. For example, femininity being linked to large breasts and small waist-to-hip ratio maintains binary heteronormative standards of what female body should look like. Plastic surgeons rely on advertising to attract patients for their businesses, since insurances do not cover elective cosmetic procedures. The ethical dilemma with this medical profession is with establishing aesthetic criteria for categorizing which bodies are considered normal and which are deviant. To understand the role of the physician in perpetuating cultural standards of beauty and promote surgery through their advertising, a random sample of 5 board-certified plastic surgeons from Scottsdale, AZ 85258 was obtained, focusing primarily on the images and textual content of their web pages. Of the 50 images sampled, nearly 75% of images portrayed white women. Women of color did not present in any of the photos. 52% of the home page images sexualized female clients using seductive posing and lingerie and promoted femininity using makeup and long hair. The language used in these websites criticized the presurgical female body and suggested that only physicians could eradicate their deficiencies, thereby normalizing cosmetic surgery as a means of beauty enhancement and maintaining the cultural superiority of doctors. 60% of websites failed to include adequate description of surgical risk. By choosing cosmetic surgery, women are negotiating their lives and acting as agents, even under circumstances that they cannot control such as the withholding of information, minimizing of risk or the social context and its corresponding pressures. Although the forewarning of surgical risk is rarely effective as a deterrent, it is the responsibility of the physician to provide the patient with all the information to the best of their ability so that they can decide what's best for their present circumstance, although rarely taken under conditions of perfect knowledge or absolute freedom from societal pressures. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons should work in conjunction with the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Review Council to mediate regulatory solutions and increase public assurance in the credibility of advertising, perhaps an initiative similar to that of advertising for the cigarette industry. A pledge from the cosmetic surgery industry in conjunction to the Hippocratic Oath of the American Medical Association, which outlines the physician's responsibility to the patient within the context of advertising and marketing, could strengthen social responsibility and foster stronger, more honest relationships between surgeons and consumers.

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  • 2017-05

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How We Live and Die: A Qualitative Analysis of the Relationship between Healthcare Experiences and Perspectives on Physician-Assisted Suicide

Description

Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician facilitates a patient's death by prescribing a lethal medication that they understand will be used for the purpose of ending the patient's life. It

Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician facilitates a patient's death by prescribing a lethal medication that they understand will be used for the purpose of ending the patient's life. It is a highly contentious subject and, with the recent addition of California to the list of states that allow physician-assisted suicide, is an increasingly relevant subject. Physician-assisted suicide is rarely framed as a healthcare experience, despite being a choice in the process of end-of-life care. The research seeks to bring together the debates about physician-assisted suicide with conversations about health care experiences. The experiences and perspectives of young people are particularly valuable to evaluate now, as their voices will soon be the leaders in the debate over physician-assisted suicide. Within this research, there is an underlying theme of independence of individuals that is present through both the literature review and the body of data collected and analyzed. The study found that there was no significant relationship between the quality of a person's healthcare and their perspectives about physician-assisted suicide.

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  • 2016-05

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Futurist Scenarios Concerning Radical Life Extension

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A fundamental component of Transhumanism, radical life extension is the process of utilizing ever increasing technologies to further extend the average life span of humans. This iterative process has continued

A fundamental component of Transhumanism, radical life extension is the process of utilizing ever increasing technologies to further extend the average life span of humans. This iterative process has continued to increase in speed since the digital age. As society develops a larger knowledge base, and scientific fields combine their knowledge bases, the capability of medical professionals continues to increase at an exponential rate. Through an understanding of these technological trends the social, legal, logistical and economic implications can be better understood. Scenarios can be used to better categorize these implications based on the evolution of these technologies. By considering biological, non-biological and linear life extension technologies a broad analysis of the varied implications can be constructed. Based on these scenarios one can conclude radical life extension technologies will have significant impacts on the current social definitions of what it means to be human and how society organizes itself. Continued research towards radical life extension technologies comes with high social implications which must be considered in tandem.

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  • 2015-05

Consumer Perceptions and Behavior: Organic Products in America

Description

This paper encompasses part of the complex topic of relationships between consumers, organic products, and advertising in America with a particular focus on Tempe, Arizona. Background research included in this

This paper encompasses part of the complex topic of relationships between consumers, organic products, and advertising in America with a particular focus on Tempe, Arizona. Background research included in this paper includes how the term "organic" was developed and regulated to fit the federal standards that are implied through the use of the USDA organic label that was introduced in October of 2002. Further research considers the factors that have empirically and overwhelmingly contributed to motivations of attitude development and purchasing behaviors of the average organic consumer in America, tracking changes and potential causes over the past several decades. A large proportion of this paper analyzes the results of a survey conducted in Tempe between late 2014 and early 2015. This survey, shown in the appendices, includes responses from 310 Tempe consumers regarding questions of demographics, knowledge and perception of organic products, perceived access to organic products, consumer values, and purchasing behaviors. The results of the survey reflect the values displayed in previous studies on national surveys, with some discrepancies that appear to set Tempe apart from the national average. However, the results of the survey are limited by their exclusion and limited parsing of multiple confounds. Additionally, the respondents of the survey were not proportionate to the actually population of Tempe and therefore cannot be accurately generalized to the Tempe population as a whole. The third and final section of this paper deals with the relationship between advertisers and consumers. This considers how advertising helps to develop product values and perceptions through various methods. Future directions for advertising of organic products is also addressed, as advertisers can potentially become a source of developing scientific information if properly utilized. Further directives and gaps in research are addressed in the final portion of the paper and include how to increase consumer knowledge, the problems faced by organic advocates, what is important about what we already know, and where to go from here.

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  • 2015-05

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The Undoing Project

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The Undoing Project is an ongoing educational feminist YouTube channel that serves as an introduction to feminism and feminist theory. The objective for this project is to present feminist theory

The Undoing Project is an ongoing educational feminist YouTube channel that serves as an introduction to feminism and feminist theory. The objective for this project is to present feminist theory and feminist ideology in an accessible and entertaining way. Through this project I sought to accomplish three goals: to challenge the negative image of feminism, bridge the gap between the language of academia and the public, and to acknowledge and unlearn ingrained prejudices. The videos focus on theory, history, legislation, current events, and pop culture. The initial project consists of ten videos addressing the feminist wave models, a brief history of the feminist movement, and discussions of concepts like hegemony, intersectionality, masculinity, femininity, and race.

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  • 2015-05

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The Effects of Breast Cancer Screening Activism on Racial Disparities And the Future of the Fight

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Breast cancer affects hundreds of thousands of women a year in the United States, and kills tens of thousands. African-American women experience a lower incidence of breast cancer, yet they

Breast cancer affects hundreds of thousands of women a year in the United States, and kills tens of thousands. African-American women experience a lower incidence of breast cancer, yet they die at twice the rate of Caucasian women. This disparity demonstrates the ineffectiveness of mammography at decreasing mortality in women at higher risk of late stage diagnosis. In this paper I argue that the continued support of the predominating idea that the benefits of mammograms strictly outweigh their negative effects may be a factor in the continued racial disparity in breast cancer mortality between African-American and Caucasian women. In addition, I will argue that mammograms are less effective for African American women because they are predisposed to later stage diagnosis and the accompanying poorer mortality prognosis due to higher-risk environments caused by varied socio-political status. My claims are supported by studies of incidence rates, survivorship versus mortality rates, screening usage rates, late stage and early stage diagnosis rate, tumor type, and the effects of socioeconomic status on stage of diagnosis. In particular, mortality rates have not decreased parallel with increased mammogram usage, especially in African-American women. Although early stage diagnosis has drastically increased, late stage-diagnosis remains unchanged and higher in African-American women. Tumor types vary by race, and African American women tend to have tumors that are highly prolific and more likely to be metastatic. Socioeconomic factors are more of a marker for breast cancer disparities than race, however race and socio-political structures that embody racism are often intersected.

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  • 2015-05

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Personalized Medicine and the Concept of Empowerment

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With advances in biotechnology, personalized medicine has become an ever-expanding field. Even with so much growth, the critics equally match the proponents of personalized medicine. The source of their disagreement

With advances in biotechnology, personalized medicine has become an ever-expanding field. Even with so much growth, the critics equally match the proponents of personalized medicine. The source of their disagreement is rooted in the concept of empowerment. This analysis utilizes the personal genomics company 23andMe and their relationship with the Federal Food and Drug Administration to illustrate varying views of empowerment. Specifically, the case study focuses on the ability to provide direct-to-consumer health reports to patients independent of physicians. In doing this, larger issues of what is at stake in personalized medicine are uncovered. These include but are not limited to: who determines what individuals get empowered and what information is determined good versus bad.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05