Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (6):403-412 (2011)

This article analyses the different connotations of “normality” and “being natural,” bringing together the theoretical discussion from both human medicine and veterinary medicine. We show how the interpretations of the concepts in the different areas could be mutually fruitful. It appears that the conceptions of “natural” are more elaborate in veterinary medicine, and can be of value to human medicine. In particular they can nuance and correct conceptions of nature in human medicine that may be too idealistic. Correspondingly, the wide ranging conceptions of “normal” in human medicine may enrich conceptions in veterinary medicine, where the discussions seem to be sparse. We do not argue that conceptions from veterinary medicine should be used in human medicine and vice versa, but only that it could be done and that it may well be fruitful. Moreover, there are overlaps between some notions of normal and natural, and further conceptual analysis on this overlap is needed
Keywords Natural  Normal  Definition of  Conception of  Veterinary medicine  Human medicine
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-011-9184-y
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