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6 Traditional medicines, law and the (dis)ordering of temporalities (Book chapter)

ISBN: 9780415792219 9781315167695 Year: Pages: 18 Language: English
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Law
Added to DOAB on : 2018-09-08 11:01:02

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In this chapter, I explore the regulation of alternative and traditional medicine, in order to reflect on how particular temporalities shape, and are shaped by, the interface between law and medicine. This chapter makes two key points: first, it argues that both biomedicine and law have relied on a particular sense of ‘modernity’ as a linear temporal process; in turn, this has been key in developing both crude, and more subtle, social patterns of power, dominance, and exclusion that continue to impact on contemporary societies. Second, it argues that as law increasingly engages in the regulation of other types of medicine, it continues to emulate biomedical models and assumptions as to what ‘modern medicine’ should look like, including its temporal features. This chapter is written as I am starting a large investigation of the multiple ways in which traditional and alternative medicines apprehend and are apprehended by law in several states in Europe and Africa.2 Although the project has several aims, my interest in the field came, in part, from the ambivalent and complex ways in which the idea of ‘modernity’ seemed to be shaping the field and, in turn, how law and medicine as institutions were involved in this ambivalence. It is useful, to ‘set the scene’ of this chapter, to return to this briefly.

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