, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 411-425
Date: 09 Dec 2009

Can medicalization be good? Situating medicalization within bioethics

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Abstract

Medicalization has been a process articulated primarily by social scientists, historians, and cultural critics. Comparatively little is written about the role of bioethics in appraising medicalization as a social process. The authors consider what medicalization means, its definition, functions, and criteria for assessment. A series of brief case sketches illustrate how bioethics can contribute to the analysis and public policy discussion of medicalization.