The late 1960s to 1970s were a period of change in medicine, in medical technology and, mostly, in the organizational structure of hospitals and medical care institutes. In 1973, the US Senate held a subcommittee on human experimentation and ethics which led to increased focus on bioethics in hospitals. In 1974, the National Research Act was signed into law, establishing Institutional Review Boards who insured that principals of research conduct were followed. These establishments played a role in the creation of bureaucratically organized hospitals. Hospitals became professionalized bureaucracies designed to serve a paying public rather than loosely organized institutes for social welfare (Mcentyre, 167).
A bureaucracy is defined as administration by a hierarchy of professional administrators following clearly defined procedures in a routine and organized manner. Bureaucracies are associated with, “an excessive concern with formal processes…administrative power characterized by inefficiency and impersonality”(Lawrence, 2016). In The Hospital, there is an evident excessive concern with formal processes as seen in a scene where the hospital accountant, Mrs. Mead, repeatedly demands patients’ insurance information in the emergency room. The scene where the surgeon operates on Nurse Teresa Campane...
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...revealed that Dr. Harris was responsible for the mysterious increase in patients falling into comas. Dr. Harris was deliberately inducing coma on these healthy, young patients, sending them to the Jefferson Institution where they would be stored until their organs were harvested for sale to the highest bidder. In another scene in Coma, Dr. Harris tries to put Dr. Wheeler in a coma to keep her from spreading the truth about his secret operation. In The Hospital, all the deaths shown where a result of doctors failing to do their jobs the right way. These scenes show the doctor as an untrustworthy person who has other motives which are not to provide healthcare, which may have been a possibly public perception.
In conclusion, the public possibly in the 1970s perceived doctors and hospital as inefficient, untrustworthy, and impersonal, as shown in The Hospital and Coma.
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