Do we need a concept of disease?

The terms health, disease and illness are frequently used in clinical medicine. This has misled philosophers into believing that these concepts are important for clinical thinking and decision making. For instance, it is held that decisions about whether or not to treat someone or whether to relieve someone of moral responsibility depend on whether the person has a disease. In this paper it is argued that the crucial role of the disease concept is illusory. The health/disease distinction is irrelevant for most decisions and represents a conceptual straightjacket. Sophisticated and mature clinical decision making requires that we free ourselves from the concept of disease.
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Mark Ereshefsky (2009). Defining 'Health' and 'Disease'. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 40 (3):221-227.
Jacob Stegenga (2015). Effectiveness of Medical Interventions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 54:34-44.
Matthis Synofzik (2006). Kognition à la carte? Ethik in der Medizin 18 (1):37-50.

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