Biohealth: Beyond Medicalization: Imposing Health

Front Cover
Wipf and Stock Publishers, Sep 1, 2011 - Religion - 190 pages
The development of modern medicine is on a very steep trajectory upward--a rise that began only about a hundred years ago. This rise is certainly quantitative, but it is accompanied by qualitative changes in the way we understand and deliver healthcare. This book begins with a look at three recognized periods of medical development--from 1900 until World War II, from the war until about 1980, and the period since 1980. While the common response is to celebrate these developments, this book suggests that perhaps we should also be wary, especially of the qualitative changes. Since World War II, these medical developments have entered more and more areas of our lives. It is precisely this process of medicalization that should be critically examined. Since 1980 we have medicalized life itself. Drawing from medical sociology, the book examines four characteristics of contemporary Western health care: health as a system, risk as a means of understanding health, health as a commodity, and individual responsibility for health. Critical examination of these four tendencies in contemporary health care forms the core of the argument of this important book about the essence of biohealth and medical practice.
 

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Contents

Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20
Section 21

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 22
Section 23
Section 24
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Raymond Downing is an American medical doctor who has spent all of his professional life working in underserved communities, largely in Africa. He is the author of Suffering and Healing in America (2006) and Death and Life in America (2008).

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