The Logic of Care Health and the Problem of Patient Choice
**Shortlisted for the BSA Sociology of Health and Illness Book Prize 2010**
What is good care? In this innovative and compelling book, Annemarie Mol argues that good care has little to do with 'patient choice' and, therefore, creating more opportunities for patient choice will not improve health care.
Although it is possible to treat people who seek professional help as customers or citizens, Mol argues that this undermines ways of thinking and acting crucial to health care. Illustrating the discussion with examples from diabetes clinics and diabetes self care, the book presents the 'logic of care' in a step by step contrast with the 'logic of choice'. She concludes that good care is not a matter of making well argued individual choices but is something that grows out of collaborative and continuing attempts to attune knowledge and technologies to diseased bodies and complex lives.
Mol does not criticise the practices she encountered in her field work as messy or ad hoc, but makes explicit what it is that motivates them: an intriguing combination of adaptability and perseverance. The Logic of Care: Health and the problem of patient choice is crucial reading for all those interested in the theory and practice of care, including sociologists, anthropologists and health care professionals. It will also speak to policymakers and become a valuable source of inspiration for patient activists.
1. Two Logics 2. Customer or Patient? 3. The Citizen and the Body 4. Managing versus Doctoring 5. Individual and Collective 6. The Good in Practice
'The Logic of Care analyses how healthcare produces health and shows how the best healthcare is necessarily at odds with the currently dominant rhetoric of health products limited. Mol hints at how education, farming and other production systems might be re-oriented along healthcare lines. This book has the brevity and profundity of a manifesto.' - Professor David Healy, Department of Psychological Medicine, Cardiff University, UK
'Annemarie Mol depicts care as practices: practices of living with disease, of doctoring, and of nursing. Mol shows why patients need a relational logic of care, and how the increasingly pervasive logic of choice is inappropriate to living with disease. This book, filled with accessible clinical examples, will be of particular value to anyone in the caring professions, to administrators and policy makers, and to ill people who seek a serious reflection of what care they need.' - Professor Arthur W. Frank, Department of Sociology, University of Calgary, Canada
'Annemarie Mol has written a wise and engaging book that explores the real lives of people with diabetes and how they care for themselves and are cared for by others. Through her perceptive observations and detailed stories, we readers are introduced to the inner workings of the logic of care, and come to see more clearly the inadequacy of the "logic of patient choice." Anyone interested in how "care" serves as a public value should read this humane book.' - Professor Joan C. Tronto, Department of Political Science, (Hunter College of the) City University of New York, USA