Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 411–425 | Cite as

Can medicalization be good? Situating medicalization within bioethics

  • John Z. Sadler
  • Fabrice Jotterand
  • Simon Craddock Lee
  • Stephen Inrig
Article

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.

Keywords

Medicalization Bioethics 

References

  1. 1.
    Metzl, Jonathan M., and Rebecca M. Herzig. 2007. Medicalization in the 21st century: Introduction. Lancet 369: 697–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nye, Robert A. 2003. The evolution of the concept of medicalization in the late twentieth century. Journal of History of the Behavioral Sciences 39(2): 115–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lock, Margaret. 2001. The tempering of medical anthropology: Troubling natural categories. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 15(4): 478–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wildes, Kevin W. 1999. Medicalization and social ills. America 180(11): 16–18.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Conrad, Peter. 2007. The medicalization of society: On the transformation of human conditions into treatable disorders. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Conrad, Peter. 2007. Medicalization: Context, characteristics, and changes. The medicalization of society: On the transformation of human conditions into treatable disorders, 3–19. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Acheson, Roy M. 1990. The medicalization of public health; the United Kingdom and the United States contrasted. Journal of Public Health Medicine 12(1): 31–38.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Verweij, Marcel. 1999. Medicalization as a moral problem for preventative medicine. Bioethics 13(2): 89–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Borgmann, Albert. 1984. Technology and the character of contemporary life: A philosophical inquiry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Agich, George J. 1997. Toward a pragmatic theory of disease. In What is disease?, ed. James M. Humber and Robert F. Almeder, 219–246. Totowa: Humana Press.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Starr, Paul. 1982. The social transformation of American medicine: The rise of a sovereign profession and the making of a vast industry. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Illich, Ivan. 1976. Medical nemesis: The expropriation of health. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Foucault, Michel. 1973. The birth of the clinic: An archaeology of medical perception. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kirk, Stuart A., and Herb Kutchins. 1992. The selling of DSM: The rhetoric of science in psychiatry. Hawthorne: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Heidegger, Martin. 1976. The question concerning technology. In Basic writings, ed. David Farrell Krell, 283–317. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sadler, John Z. 2005. Values and psychiatric diagnosis. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Leichter, Howard M. 2003. ‘Evil habits’ and ‘personal choices’: Assigning responsibility for health in the 20th century. The Milbank Quarterly 81(4): 603–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Minkler, Meredith. 1999. Personal responsibility for health? A review of the arguments and evidence at century’s end. Health Education and Behavior 26(1): 121–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bostrom, Nick. 2005. In defense of posthuman dignity. Bioethics 19(3): 202–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jotterand, Fabrice. 2007. Beyond therapy and enhancement: The alteration of human nature. Nanoethics 2: 15–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    McKenny, Gerald P. 1997. To relieve the human condition: Bioethics, technology, and the body. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lee, Simon J. Craddock. 2006. Ethics of articulation: Constituting organizational identity in a Catholic hospital system. In Listening to the whispers: Re-thinking ethics in healthcare, ed. Christine S. Dinkins and Jeanne M. Sorrell, 69–129. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Risse, Guenter B. 1999. Mending bodies, saving souls. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Porter, Roy. 1997. The greatest benefit to mankind: A medical history of humanity. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Porter, Roy. 2003. Flesh in the age of reason: The modern foundations of body and soul. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kauffman, Christopher J. 1997. Ministry and meaning: A religious history of Catholic health care. New York: Crossroad.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lee, Simon J. Craddock. 2002. In a secular spirit: Strategies of clinical pastoral education. Health Care Analysis 10(4): 339–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Aries, Philippe. 1974. Western attitudes toward death: From the Middle Ages to the present. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Gorer, Geoffrey. 1955. The pornography of death. Encounter 5: 49–52.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kaufman, Sharon R. 2000. In the shadow of ‘Death with Dignity’: Medicine and cultural quandaries of the vegetative state. American Anthropologist 102(1): 69–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kaufman, Sharon R. 2006. And a time to die: How American hospitals shape the end of life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Harris, John. 2007. Enhancing evolution: The ethical case for making better people. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hughes, James. 2004. Citizen cyborg. Cambridge: Westview.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Immortality Institute. 2004. The scientific conquest of death: Essays on infinite lifespans. Buenos Aires: Libros En Red.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Immortality Institute. 2008. Immortality Institute constitution & by-laws. http://www.imminst.org/mission#art2. Accessed 15 Dec 2008.
  36. 36.
    Freitas, Robert A. 2004. Nanomedicine. In The scientific conquest of death. Essays on infinite lifespans, ed. Immortality Institute, 77–92. Buenos Aires: Libros En Red.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Laufer, Maurice W. 1962. Cerebral dysfunction and behavior disorders in adolescents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 32: 501–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Hawthorne, Susan. 2007. ADHD drugs: Values that drive the debates and decisions. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 10: 129–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Beauchamp, Tom L., and James F. Childress. 2009. Principles of biomedical ethics, 6th ed. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Nozick, Robert. 1977. Anarchy, state, and utopia. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Rawls, John. 1999. A theory of justice, Revised edition. Cambridge: Belknap Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Z. Sadler
    • 1
  • Fabrice Jotterand
    • 1
  • Simon Craddock Lee
    • 1
  • Stephen Inrig
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Ethics and Health Policy, Department of Clinical SciencesUT SouthwesternDallasUSA

Personalised recommendations