Articles. Research

The article presents the results and issues of the research on the discourse of hop. in the US oncology, conducted by a team of well-known American medical anthropologists (Good M.‑J., Good BJ, Schaffer C., Lind S. E.). Anthropologists argue that national customs in oncology are formed by popular national culture and national medical culture, which competewith international, cosmopolitan biomedical culture, especially high-tech, which nevertheless is locally subjected to local social and institutional influence. This study is compared with other works, belonging to the same thematic field and considered in the context of some of the problematisations of diagnosis in sociology and anthropology. In the center of the article is the disclosure practices in oncology, the discussion of its clinical ideology and influencing factors (phasing of disclosure, the correlation with the typ of partnership. etc.). Disclosure in oncological practice occurs in connection with the diagnosis, treatment, its side effects and prognosis, which is associated with both clinical needs and patient’s request. The questions about the reasons for forming oncologists’ obligation to support and inspire hop. in patients are disputed in this article. It is alleged that, despite a number of very detailed deontological recommendations, regarding disclosure of the diagnosis «cancer», the actual practice of hop is mediated by a situational choice of a doctor, that is, belongs to a complex and still not transparent field of medical choice. The article also deals with the doctors’ hopes and the motives of their commitment to oncology. In conclusion, the article refers to a large-scale medical-anthropological research of «the practices of Hope», which an American anthropologist Cheryl Mattingly held and her colleagues for thirteen years — in African-American families with seriously ill children.

Keywords: medical anthropology, oncology, hope, discourse, the model of disclosure, doctors, patients