The Etiological Stance: Explaining Illness Occurrence

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 60 (2):151-165 (2017)
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Models of illness causation play a crucial role in medicine and public health. In their recent paper on this topic, Michael Kelly, Rachel Kelly, and Federica Russo state that the integration of social, biological, and behavioral causes in one and the same etiologic mechanism remains to be clarified. In particular, they think that current models of illness causation do not appreciate "the truly integrated nature of bio-social-behavioral pathogenesis". In brief, Kelly, Kelly, and Russo suggest that two levels of explanation are at work in medicine and public health, biological and social; that integration is difficult because of resistance to including social determinants of disease in both the...



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Olaf Dammann
Tufts University

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