The race for performance

The race for performance

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"THE RUNNING FOR PERFORMANCE - Critical Insights into Health Philosophy" from Gilbert LAROCHELLE & Françoise COURVILLE - Beauchesne's Edition - March 16, 2016
 
"This book is a synthesis of the critical views of a philosopher, Gilbert Larochelle, and a nurse, Françoise Courville, on the race for performance that is being played out today at the risk of the collapse of our healthcare systems. »  
 
The field of health has become the battlefield where the culture of performance and concern for the dignity of the human person clash. How can we reconcile the obsession with "more and more" with a recognition of the uniqueness and singularity of the patient in suffering?
Indeed, two absolutes face each other today: one, triumphalist, is precisely what we call "performance". It has become the scale of things and men, the emanation of an expertise that overhangs all expertises, which is experienced as an endless race whose meaning no one masters any more.
On the other hand, all values are in retreat: minimalist, "human dignity" has become the rallying point around which we take refuge to identify with what remains in each of us: the demand for respect that comes from belonging to the species.
 
At a time when the health care system is becoming increasingly fragile throughout the West, under the combined pressure of mercantilism and facade humanism, is this tension being felt like a squaring of the circle or does it herald an impending breakdown?
 
Gilbert Larochelle has been a full professor of political philosophy at the Université de Québec à Chicoutoumi in Canada since 1987 and an associate professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at Université Laval in Québec City. Françoise Courville has experience as a nurse and professor in the Department of Health Sciences at the Université du Québec à Chicoutoumi in Canada. 
 
"The discourse of performance now invades the ordinary lexicon of existence. From a call for excellence, it has slipped into the demands of routine, as if the exceptional or the spectacular were to become a mere habit, to the point of representing the sign of a "living life" as Dostoyevsky says. It functions as a device for normalizing the extraordinary by inviting mortals to a general raising of all standards of action. Woe betide those who cannot keep up with the parade whose pace, through a kinetic effect of entrainment, increases as the fans flock. For every success is endowed with its own result: one success always calls for another one even more exhilarating because it surpasses the first one. And so on, the race enters a euphoria where the feeling of omnipotence rivals the foreboding of infinity. Faust sells his soul to Mephistopheles in a pact to reach ultimate lucidity".
 
 
 

 

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