Postmodern Perspective on Health versus the Biomedical Model Essay

Postmodern Perspective on Health versus the Biomedical Model Essay

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Postmodern Perspective on Health versus the Biomedical Model

I have chosen to compare the postmodern perspective on health and the biomedical model. The biomedical model view of the body is mechanistic. This point was argued by Engels, who said that the body was a machine and the breakdown of this machine was disease. he also beleived that the the doctor was the only one who could fix the machine. this point leads to many biomedical views. Firstly, it shows the way that doctors view the body as a set of individual parts, diagnose and treat them as such. This non-holistic view of the body is often criticised because it fails to cnsider the person as a whole and entire building. Secondly it shows the importance of the doctor in the biomedical model. Doctors have and maintain power in the biomedical model. They have all of the information and knowledge and therefore all the power. This can mean that the patient gives total control of their body to the doctor.This power ratio is explored by postmodernists who are interested in how one perspctive gains so much power and influence. Foucault (1963) said that the choice of words and phrases can effect the way people think. So doctors who have more influence and respect can gain power over their patients bodies'. This use of language to affect thinking is called discourse to postmodernists.

A study by peter bellamy (1990) of workers in a pottery factory and the way they took time off work. The study concluded that doctors used their status to medicalise problems such as morning sickness to allow the workers paid time off work. Although to the workers this may seem positive this medicalisation of problems that used to be seen as natural has been criticised. Anne Oakely in her study...


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...er critics from different sociological perspectives have points of view on iatrogenesis. coming from a marxist perspective Navarro blames capitalism as apposed to industrialisation for the increase in doctor caused disease. He beleived that in the capitalist society profit is placed over people and this is true of health care.

a major problem with the biomedical model is the way that it fails to explain the cultural differences in health. it cannot account for people in different cultures who use a different model to deal with their health and yet it appears to work for them.

Both the theories give very different perspectives on health, postmodernists beleive that members of society should be able to choose their own methods of health care whereas the biomedical model beleives that science is the only option to make someone healthy.


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