Medical Humanities:medhum-2020-011873 (forthcoming)

Luigi Tesio
Università degli Studi di Milano
In a recent paper, Sharpe and Greco argue that some clinical conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, should be treated by altering the patient's experience and response to symptoms without necessarily searching for an underlying cause. As a result, we should allow for the existence of ‘illnesses without diseases’. Wilshire and Ward reply that this possibility requires unwarranted causal assumptions about the psychosocial origins of conditions not predicted by a disease model. In so doing, it is argued that Sharpe and Greco introduce epistemological and methodological problems with serious medical consequences, for example, patients feel guilt for seeking treatment for illnesses that only exist ‘all in the mind’, and medical researchers are discouraged from looking for more effective treatments of such conditions. We propose a view that integrates the insights of both papers. We abandon both the strict distinction between disease and illness and the naïve unidirectional account of causality that accompanies it. This, we claim, is a step towards overcoming the current harmful tendencies to conceptually separate Symptom management and disease-modifying treatments. Rehabilitative-palliative care and ‘causal’ curing. Most importantly, biomedicine and clinical medicine, where the latter is currently at risk of losing its status as scientific.
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DOI 10.1136/medhum-2020-011873
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References found in this work BETA

The Agency Theory of Causality, Anthropomorphism, and Simultaneity.Marco Buzzoni - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (4):375-395.
Neuroethics.Thomasine Kushner & James Giordano - 2017 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26 (4):524-526.
On Medicine as a Human Science.Marco Buzzoni - 2003 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 24 (1):79-94.

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