Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 53 (4):584-595 (2010)
The concept of disease is deeply rooted in medical practice, and one can hardly conceive of caring for patients without this tool. Nevertheless, under this seemingly uncontroversial idea there are some highly polemical axioms that we usually take for granted, even though they often lead us to some uncomfortable inconsistencies and contradictions. Some of the conceptual issues derived from our traditional view of disease, which condition the way we conceive and practice medicine, include:We conceive of disease as a real entity that affects a previously healthy person, thus making him ill. The purpose of medicine is to identify and fight this entity. If it succeeds, the patient is cured; otherwise, the patient will ..
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