The Definition Of Health And The Absence Of Social Well-Being

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In 1948, the World Health Organisation (WHO) defined health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’1, which has sparked significant controversy in the medical community. This is in large part due to the word ‘complete’ being included in the definition, as this may no longer be applicable to a modern population of aging patients with chronic conditions. New medical technologies and advancements in public understanding of wellbeing and illness can be directly associated with the growing healthcare epidemic: as awareness of medical conditions increases, more diagnoses are made. This means that most of the population could be described as unhealthy, as what may once have been viewed as a normal variation is now be associated with a health condition.…show more content…
Although mental illnesses are challenging to define and effectively diagnose, the absence of psychological conditions can usually be established upon examination, whereas social features are subject to daily change. With no explanation of the meaning of ‘social well-being’, significant discrepancies in health status may be reported, demonstrating the ambiguity associated with social health. Recent studies have suggested that there are three definitions of health, which can be used in different contexts to examine the well-being of a patient. These are the absence of disease, the ability to manage the stresses associated with daily life and the act of equilibrating self with external environments.2 These alternative definitions may be more appropriate in the present, especially when used in application to people suffering with chronic

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