Pharmaceuticals in drinking water

A sociological approach to the problem of unintended consequences of medical treatment

  • Christian Büscher Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS), Karlsruher Institut für Techno-logie (KIT) (DE)
Keywords: medical treatment, doctor-patient interaction, uncertainty, risk, ecological consequences


The social system of medical treatment does not only provide essential societal services, it also externalizes systemically undesirable effects, e.g., pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment. These unintended consequences result from countless individual actions that arise from social mechanisms of dealing with uncertainty. In order to develop strategies to reduce pharmaceuticals in drinking water, it is important to better understand the efficacy of mechanisms such as monetary payments, authority, and trust. Those allow for the emergence of actions, but can hardly be used to control desired actions.

How to Cite
BÜSCHER, C. Pharmaceuticals in drinking water. TATuP - Zeitschrift für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Theorie und Praxis, v. 27, n. 3, p. 51-56, 11 Dec. 2018.