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푸코가 쓴 『임상의학의 탄생』은 분류의학의 시대에서 임상의학과 해부 병리 의학의 시대에 이르는 1770년경부터 1830년경까지 근대 질병 개념의 형성 사를 다루고 있다. 푸코에게 임상의학(clinic)이란 교육병원이라는 제도 그리고 여기에 연관된 새로운 형식의 근대 의학적 사유와 실천을 의미한다. 푸코는 이 시기에 임상의학적 경험이 임상의학적 해부학의 시선으로 변하면서 의학 지식 체계가 근본적으로 바뀌었다고 말한다. 분류 의학이 분류표에서 질병의 ‘자리(seat)’에 관심을 쏟았다면, 임상-해부병리 학은 몸속 질병의 ‘위치(location)’에 주목하였다. 비샤의 임상-해부병리학이 자 리를 잡으면서 19세기 의학은 환자에 대한 관찰, 즉 이론보다 경험을 강조하였 다. 푸코에게 의학적 시선이란 과거의 의사와 달리 정규 교육을 받고 제도에 의 해 정당화된 시선으로, 해부병리학적 질병 개념에 근거한 실증적 근대의학의 눈 으로 환자를 보고 질병을 인식하는 방식을 의미한다. 결국 의학적 시선이란 계 몽 정신으로 무장된 ‘경험적 시선’을 말한다. 청진기나 현미경 같은 의료 기술은 의사의 관찰 기능을 확장시키는데 유용하다. 병변을 투명하게 부각시킨다는 것은 결국 질병의 본질인 가시성을 높인다는 것 이다. 의학적 시선은 기술을 도입하면서 기술적 시선으로 발전하였다. 1985년 이후 의학에는 획기적인 기술과학적 전환(technoscientific transformation)이 나 타났다. 영상 기술을 포함한 기술과학의 도움으로 기술적 시선은 더욱 예민해지 고 섬세해졌다. 기술적 시선은 내시경 혹은 영상 기기와 관련된 기술 용어로 질 병을 재구성한다. 그 결과 의료 기술은 질병을 감별 진단하기도 하고, 질병 개념 을 바꾸기도 하며, 새로운 질병을 만들어 내는데 이용된다. 또한 기술적 시선은 환자보다 질병에 관심을 기울이기 때문에 환자를 질병으로부터 소외(alienation) 시키고, 모든 사람을 잠재적인 환자로 만드는 의료화(medicalization)의 아이러 니도 보이고 있다.


Before the French Revolution of 1789, clinical work in hospitals involved doctors listening to patients’ stories of illness before basing their diagnosis on indirect evidence. Doctors also occasionally opened dead bodies. More specifically, they did this in order to connect patients’ symptoms with lesions found in their organs. From this point on, doctors began to focus on the diseases themselves, and their impact on the body. Foucault argued that doctor’s new power of diagnosis relied on their clinical gaze-a new type of medical perception and experience. He documented the rise of the detached, scientific, objectifying professional gaze. This clinical gaze was in large part the result of the newly emerging science of pathological anatomy, which for the first time enabled doctors to penetrate the surface of the (dead) body. The newly invented stethoscope and the microscope also helped technological extension of the clinical gaze. Since about 1985, the practice of contemporary medicine changed dramatically, largely through the integration of technoscientific innovations. With the explosion of medical imaging technologies, the clinical gaze was developed into the technological gaze. technological gaze has translate the pathologic events into the language of high-technology. Technology has become the norm for detecting, identifying and treating the disease. This constitutive technological influence on the concept of disease is considered as a technological invention of disease. Nonetheless, technological gaze has been criticized for its effect on medicalization and alienation of patient from the disease.


Before the French Revolution of 1789, clinical work in hospitals involved doctors listening to patients’ stories of illness before basing their diagnosis on indirect evidence. Doctors also occasionally opened dead bodies. More specifically, they did this in order to connect patients’ symptoms with lesions found in their organs. From this point on, doctors began to focus on the diseases themselves, and their impact on the body. Foucault argued that doctor’s new power of diagnosis relied on their clinical gaze-a new type of medical perception and experience. He documented the rise of the detached, scientific, objectifying professional gaze. This clinical gaze was in large part the result of the newly emerging science of pathological anatomy, which for the first time enabled doctors to penetrate the surface of the (dead) body. The newly invented stethoscope and the microscope also helped technological extension of the clinical gaze. Since about 1985, the practice of contemporary medicine changed dramatically, largely through the integration of technoscientific innovations. With the explosion of medical imaging technologies, the clinical gaze was developed into the technological gaze. technological gaze has translate the pathologic events into the language of high-technology. Technology has become the norm for detecting, identifying and treating the disease. This constitutive technological influence on the concept of disease is considered as a technological invention of disease. Nonetheless, technological gaze has been criticized for its effect on medicalization and alienation of patient from the disease.