Framing the failure of medical implants: Media representations of the ASR hip replacements in the UK

Maniatopoulos, Gregory, Hopkins, Clare, Joyce, Thomas J. and Brittain, Katie (2019) Framing the failure of medical implants: Media representations of the ASR hip replacements in the UK. Health Expectations, 22 (3). pp. 518-527. ISSN 1369-6513

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/hex.12877

Abstract

Background
During the twentieth century hip replacement became one of the most popular and successful
operations. In the 1990s a new type of hip replacement namely the metal-on-metal hip
resurfacing was developed. This paper draws on one of the available implants namely the
DePuy Orthopaedics’ Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip system which was
withdrawn from the market because of higher than expected rates of failure. It examines
media representations on the failure of the ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement device and
its subsequent withdrawal from the market.
Methods
Drawing on content analysis this paper explores how systemic failure of the medical implant
was framed and performed by press media in the UK.
Results
Two narratives were particularly important in framing press media coverage of the ASR case:
the role of patients as passive recipients of care and a distinction between health and
disability identities as related to how individuals’ narratives about the past shaped their sense
of present and future. In all cases the voice of the orthopaedic surgeons responsible for the
selection and implantation of the ASR devices remains silent.
Conclusions
Press media coverage of medically-induced harm in the UK is significantly less common than
coverage of any other patient safety issues and public health debates. This study aims to
contribute to the evidence base on how public discourse on medically-induced harm becomes
framed through the reported experiences of individuals in press media and also how this
process influences the legitimacy of various solutions to medical errors or unanticipated
outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Media framing, media representations, medical device, medical implant failure, metal‐on‐metal hips, United Kingdom
Subjects: B700 Nursing
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2019 16:51
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 09:21
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/37954

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