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Safety as ‘Boundary Object’: The Case of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Regulation in Ontario, Canada

Part of the Health, Technology and Society book series (HTE)

Abstract

This chapter applies a theoretical concept from science and technology studies, that of the boundary object, to the field of professional regulation as it pertains to traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM). By examining state risk discourses and the construction of regulatory parameters for acupuncture, the issue of English-language fluency for immigrant practitioners and the negotiation of standard-setting across professions, our analysis points to ways in which safety-related discourse may play a disproportionate role in TCAM regulatory processes. This discursive emphasis on safety, aligned with biomedicine’s ‘evidence-based’ conceptual underpinnings, deflects attention from other important regulatory considerations. It also serves to reinforce the subordination of non-biomedical epistemologies and practitioners even while these become newly integrated into mainstream healthcare. Regulators of TCAM professionals and practices should bring careful awareness to the difference between safety as discourse and safety as policy consideration.

Keywords

  • Boundary Object Concept
  • Immigration Practitioners
  • Derkatch
  • Chinese Medicine Profession
  • Acupuncture Training

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The province’s third acupuncture-authorised ‘allied health profession,’ chiropody, has advised our research team that it continues to work on establishing an approach to acupuncture training standards for its members. No standards, or rostering requirement, are currently in place.

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Ijaz, N., Boon, H. (2018). Safety as ‘Boundary Object’: The Case of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Regulation in Ontario, Canada. In: Brosnan, C., Vuolanto, P., Danell, JA. (eds) Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Health, Technology and Society. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73939-7_8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73939-7_8

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

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