Advertisement

A critical analysis of definitions of health as balance in a One Health perspective

  • Henrik LernerEmail author
Scientific Contribution

Abstract

Definitions of health in terms of some kind of balance form a category of their own within the sphere of health definition. Such definitions have their roots in the beginnings of scientific medicine, and popular versions are common among lay people. It has even been claimed that balance is fundamental to health for all species. Several present-day definitions of health in terms of balance are presented here. Particular attention is given to the call for a definition of health applicable to both humans and animals within the One Health approach, involving human medicine, veterinary medicine and ecology. Definitions in terms of balance have been suggested but none has been thoroughly analysed with regard to its suitability. There are therefore three concerns in this paper. The first is to introduce versions of the category of balance, as a first step towards a nomenclature of health definitions. The second is to analyse the claim made recently that balance is a universal criterion of health in all species including humans. The third is to ascertain whether any of the versions discussed is suited to the One Health approach.

Keywords

Humoral theory Homeostasis Ingmar Pörn Categorization of health definitions 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Bartoš, Hynek. 2015. Philosophy and Dietetics in the Hippocratic On Regimen: A Delicate Balance of Health. Leiden and Boston: Brill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boorse, Christopher. 1997. A Rebuttal of health. In What is Disease? eds. James M. Humber, and Robert F. Almeder, 1–134. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.Google Scholar
  3. Broom, D. M. 2001. Coping, stress, and welfare. In Coping with Challenge: Welfare in Animals Including Humans, ed. D. M. Broom, 1–9. Berlin: Dahlem University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Broom, Donald M. 2011. A History of Animal Welfare Science. Acta Biotheoretica 59 (2): 121–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Canguilhem, Georges. 1991. The Normal and the Pathological. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  6. Cannon, Walter B. 1929. Organization for Physiological Homeostasis. Physiological Reviews 9 (3): 399–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cooper, Steven J. 2008. From Claude Bernard to Walter Cannon. Emergence of the Concept of Homeostasis. Appetite 51: 419–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dixon, Matthew A., Osman A. Dar, and David L. Heymann. 2014. Emerging Infectious Diseases: Opportunities at the Human–Animal–Environment Interface. Veterinary Record 174: 546–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Döring, Thomas F., Anja Viewiger, Marco Pautasso, Mette Vaarst, Maria R. Finckh, and Martin S. Wolfe. 2015. Resilience as a Universal Criterion of Health. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 95: 455–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dussault, Antoine C., and Anne-Marie Gagné-Julien. 2015. Health, Homeostasis, and the Situation-Specificity of Normality. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 36: 61–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. FAO, OIE, and WHO. 2012. High-level technical meeting to address health risks at the human-animal-ecosystems interfaces. Mexico City, November 15–17, 2011.Google Scholar
  12. Garcia-Dia, Mary Joy, and Deirdre O’Flaherty. 2016. Resilience. In Nursing Concept Analysis: Applications to Research and Practice, eds. Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, and Geraldine McCarthy, 237–247. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. Gibbs, E. Paul J. 2014. The Evolution of One Health: A Decade of Progress and Challenges for the Future. Veterinary Record 174: 85–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Helman, Cecil G. 2007. Culture, Health and Illness. Fifth edition. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hippocrates. 1931. Nature of Man. In Hippocrates. The Loeb Classical Library, ed. W. H. S. Jones, vol. 4, 1–41. Cambridge, Mass and London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Jouanna, Jacques. 2012. Greek Medicine from Hippocrates to Galen: Selected Papers. Leiden and Boston: Brill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kock, Richard. 2015. Structural One Health—Are We There Yet? Veterinary Record 176: 140–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kruse, Hilda, Anne-Mette Kirkemo, and Kjell Handeland. 2004. Wildlife as Source of Zoonotic infections. Emerging Infectious Diseases 10 (12): 2067–2072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lerner, Henrik. 2008. The Concepts of Health, Well-being and Welfare as Applied to Animals. A Philosophical Analysis of the Concepts with Regard to the Differences Between Animals. Ph. D. Thesis. Linköping, Linköping University.Google Scholar
  20. Lerner, Henrik. 2017. Conceptions of Health and Disease in Plants and Animals. In Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine, eds. Thomas Schramme, and Steven Edwards, 287–301. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lerner, Henrik, and Charlotte Berg. 2015. The Concept of Health in One Health and Some Practical Implications for Research and Education. What is One Health? Infection Ecology & Epidemiology 5: 25300.  https://doi.org/10.3402/iee.v5.25300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lerner, Henrik, and Charlotte Berg. 2017. A Comparison of Three Holistic Approaches to Health: One Health, EcoHealth, and Planetary Health. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 4: 163.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2017.00163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lerner, Henrik, and Martin Berzell. 2014. Reference Values and the Problem of Health as Normality: A Veterinary Attempt in the Light of a One Health Approach. Infection Ecology and Epidemiology 4: 24270.  https://doi.org/10.3402/iee.v4.24270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mani, J., S. Kumar, G. J. Dobos, and A. Haferkamp. 2012. Aspekte der Traditionellen Indischen Medizin (Ayurveda) in der Urologie. Urologe 51 (12): 1663–1673. [In German].CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Marcum, James A. 2017. Hippocrates and the Hippocratic Tradition: Impact on Development of Medical Knowledge and Practice? In Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine, eds. Thomas Schramme, and Steven Edwards, 821–837. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Murphy, Edmond A. 1976. The Logic of Medicine. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Nordenfelt, Lennart. 2006. Health. In Encyclopedia of Disability, general ed. Gray L. Albrecht, vol. 2, 820–826. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  28. Nordenfelt, Lennart. 2007. The Concepts of Health and Illness Revisited. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 10: 5–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pang, Samantha M.C., Thomas K. S. Wong, Chun Sheng Wang, Zhi Jun Zhang, Helen Y. L. Chan, Cynthia W. Y. Lam, and Kay Lok Chan. 2004. Towards a Chinese Definition of Nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing 46 (6): 657–670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pörn, Ingmar. 1995. Vad är hälsa? In Begrepp om Hälsa: Filosofiska och Etiska Perspektiv på Livskvalitet, Hälsa och vård, eds. Kristian Klockars and Bernt Österman, 14–28. Stockholm: Liber Utbildning. [In Swedish].Google Scholar
  31. Pörn, Ingmar. 2000. Health and Evaluations. In Philosophy Meets Medicine. Acta Gyllenbergiana I, eds. Pekka Louhiala, and Svante Stenman, 23–28. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Porter, Roy. 1999. The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A medical history of humanity from Antiquity to the Present. London: Fontana Press.Google Scholar
  33. Rioux, Jennifer. 2012. A Complex, Nonlinear Dynamic Systems Perspective on Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Research. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 18 (7): 709–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Siest, Gerard, Joseph Henny, Ralph Gräsbeck, Peter Wilding, Claude Petitclerc, Josep M. Queraltó, and Peter Hyltoft Petersen. 2013. The Theory of Reference Values: An Unfinished Symphony. Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine 51 (1): 47–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Stephen, Craig. 2014. Toward a Modernized Definition of Wildlife Health. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 50 (3): 427–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Subbarayappa, B. V. 2001. The Roots of Ancient Medicine: An Historical Outline. Journal of Biosciences 26 (2): 135–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tengland, Per-Anders. 2006. The Goals of Health Work: Quality of Life, Health and Welfare. Medicine Health Care and Philosophy 9 (2): 155–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Care SciencesErsta Sköndal Bräcke University CollegeStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations