Understanding the Integration of Alternative Modalities into an Emerging Healthcare Model in the United States

  • Vimal Patel
Part of the Biomedical Ethics Reviews book series (BER)


Progress in the last 100 years or so in the field of medicine has served us well, particularly in the treatment of communicable diseases, trauma, and surgically correctable conditions. However, the current healthcare system has become extremely technocratic, depersonalizing, expensive and unable to deal with the chronic disease crisis the United States is facing. The hundreds of billions of dollars poured into the biomedical model-based research in the hope of finding “magic bullet” solutions has been largely unsuccessful, but the system still continues to invest billions in the model.

The report, “Healthy People 2000” by the US Department of Health and Human Services recommends the need to completely revamp the current approaches to healthcare. It enumerated the challenges and goals for improving the nation’s collective health by concluding that health of people is measured by more than death rates. It comes from improved quality of life and reducing suffering, illness, and disability. It calls for investigating “alternatives ” to current “disease care” approaches.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities, largely derived from early systems of medicine, with their emphasis on mind—body—consciousness approaches to healthcare, may serve us well as a starting point of the revamping process. A large percentage of the US population, frustrated with the ineffectiveness of the biomedical model-based healthcare system to take care of their problems of chronic diseases in a humane way, is using CAM modalities with or without conventional therapies. Healthcare economics, public demand, and political recognition of CAM modalities are forcing the medical establishment, the hospitals, healthcare-maintenance organizations, and medical- educational institutions to relax their stand against the use of CAM modalities.


Alternative Modality Therapeutic Touch Gentle Touch Alexander Technique Apply Kinesiology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

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  • Vimal Patel

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