Do We Need a Concept of Disease?

Theoretical Medicine: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Methodology of Medical Research and Practice 14 (1):1-14 (1993)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,127

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Do we need a concept of disease?Germund Hesslow - 1993 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 14 (1).
Why Bioethics Needs the Philosophy of Medicine: Some Implications of Reflection on Concepts of Health and Disease.George Khushf - 1997 - Theoretical Medicine: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Methodology of Medical Research and Practice 18 (1-2):145-163.
Medical Informatics and the Concept of Disease.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 2000 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 21 (1):85-101.
On the Relevance and Importance of the Notion of Disease.Lennart Nordenfelt - 1993 - Theoretical Medicine: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Methodology of Medical Research and Practice 14 (1):15-26.
“Disease Entity” as the Key Theoretical Concept of Medicine.Peter Hucklenbroich - 2014 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (6):609-633.
Re-evaluating Concepts of Biological Function in Clinical Medicine: Towards a New Naturalistic Theory of Disease.Benjamin Chin-Yee & Ross E. G. Upshur - 2017 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 38 (4):245-264.
A Pathological View of Disease.William E. Stempsey - 2000 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 21 (4):321-330.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-04-02

Downloads
34 (#485,615)

6 months
11 (#272,000)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Reframing the Disease Debate and Defending the Biostatistical Theory.Peter H. Schwartz - 2014 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (6):572-589.
The Concept of Disorder Revisited: Robustly Value-Laden Despite Change.I.—Rachel Cooper - 2020 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 94 (1):141-161.
Can aging research generate a theory of health?Jonathan Sholl - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-26.
Conceptual fragmentation and the rise of eliminativism.Henry Taylor & Peter Vickers - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):17-40.

View all 42 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references