The twilight of "medicine" and the dawn of "health care": Reflections on bioethics at the turn of the millennium

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (6):723 – 744 (2000)
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The traditional paradigm of medicine assumes that health is a natural given depending on a body's intrinsic teleology, and that medicine aims at restoring or preserving health, making a physician only an "assistant to nature." I argue that nowadays this paradigm is becoming obsolete, because the concept of health is no longer a "natural given" and interventions on the human body attempt not only to help nature's teleology, but also to change it whenever doing so can satisfy human needs and wants. We should abandon the term "medicine" and adopt the term "health care" to mark such an epoch-making transition, analogous to that marking the passage from "alchemy" to "chemistry.".



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Maurizio Mori
Università degli Studi di Torino

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