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The Philosophy of Prevention

  • Barbara MaierEmail author
  • Warren A. Shibles†
Chapter
Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 47)

Abstract

We use the word “prevention” as if its meaning is fully before us, self contained and as if we know what it means. Prevention of what? In the first place, prevention presupposes something to be prevented. If prevention has the goal to eliminate or lessen disease, then what prevention means depends on the definition of disease. If disease is thought of only as a physical dysfunction, then prevention only involves avoidance of that physical dysfunction. If disease is defined as whatever blocks one’s total physical, emotional and cognitive well-being and improvement of health, then prevention involves helping people change their lifestyle to move toward a balance of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health. Prevention has the insight to anticipate rather than wait for disaster to happen. Prevention is an active process, prevention is a kind of practical as well as philosophical intervention.

Keywords

Hunger starvation prevention poverty disease health aging age death personal lifestyle problems structural lifestyle problems 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsParacelsus Medical University SALKSalzburgAustria
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin–WhitewaterWhitewaterUSA

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