Wrongful Medicalization and Epistemic Injustice in Psychiatry: The Case of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 17 (2):(S4)5-36 (2021)
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In this paper, my goal is to use an epistemic injustice framework to extend an existing normative analysis of over-medicalization to psychiatry and thus draw attention to overlooked injustices. Kaczmarek has developed a promising bioethical and pragmatic approach to over-medicalization, which consists of four guiding questions covering issues related to the harms and benefits of medicalization. In a nutshell, if we answer “yes” to all proposed questions, then it is a case of over-medicalization. Building on an epistemic injustice framework, I will argue that Kaczmarek’s proposal lacks guidance concerning the procedures through which we are to answer the four questions, and I will import the conceptual resources of epistemic injustice to guide our thinking on these issues. This will lead me to defend more inclusive decision-making procedures regarding medicalization in the DSM. Kaczmarek’s account complemented with an epistemic injustice framework can help us achieve better forms of medicalization. I will then use a contested case of medicalization, the creation of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder in the DSM-5 to illustrate how the epistemic injustice framework can help to shed light on these issues and to show its relevance to distinguish good and bad forms of medicalization.



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References found in this work

Conceptualizing Epistemic Oppression.Kristie Dotson - 2014 - Social Epistemology 28 (2):115-138.
Epistemic Exploitation.Nora Berenstain - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3:569-590.
Epistemic Injustice in Healthcare: A Philosophical Analysis.Ian James Kidd & Havi Carel - 2014 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (4):529-540.

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