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Medicalization

  • Patrick M. WhiteheadEmail author
Chapter
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Abstract

This chapter describes what happens when the existential concept of health is objectified. The term for this is medicalization. In short, medicalization reverses the medicine and well-being relationship: Instead of understanding that medicine is in service to well-being, well-being is now in service to medicine. As such, preventative medicine asks individuals without any impairment to make changes that affect their well-being. One’s routines are inhibited for the sake of not having their routines inhibited. Instead of seeing health as the absence of medical treatment, it has become synonymous with medical treatment. This includes pharmaceutical regimens as well as so-called healthy lifestyle choices. A dissident of modern medicine, Ivan Illich, is used to describe the gravity of these consequences.

Keywords

Medicalization Iatrogenesis Ivan Illich 

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: APA.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gadamer, H. (1996). The enigma of health: The art of healing in a scientific age (J. Gaiger & N. Walker, Trans.). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Healy, D. (2012). Pharmageddon. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  4. James, W. (1909). The meaning of truth. New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology and PsychologyAlbany State UniversityAlbanyUSA

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