Beyond Biomedicine: Relationships and Care in Tuberculosis Prevention
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- Mason, P.H. & Degeling, C. Bioethical Inquiry (2016) 13: 31. doi:10.1007/s11673-015-9697-6
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With attention to the experiences, agency, and rights of tuberculosis (TB) patients, this symposium on TB and ethics brings together a range of different voices from the social sciences and humanities. To develop fresh insights and new approaches to TB care and prevention, it is important to incorporate diverse perspectives from outside the strictly biomedical model. In the articles presented in this issue of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, clinical experience is married with historical and cultural context, ethical concerns are brought to bear on global health, and structural analyses shed light upon the lived experience of people living with TB. The relational and reciprocal dimensions of care feature strongly in these discussions, which serve as a poignant reminder that behind each of the yearly deaths from TB is a deeply personal story. No single discipline holds a monopoly on how to care for each of these people, but strong cases are made for support from mental health and social workers in addressing the kaleidoscope of needs in TB prevention. As the World Health Organization moves towards the goal of eliminating TB globally by 2050, attending to the needs of TB patients serves global interests to lower disease burden and to develop better integrated communities worldwide.