The Biomedical Model of Health and Illness Essay

The Biomedical Model of Health and Illness Essay

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The Biomedical Model of Health and Illness


The most dominant theory in Modern Western medicine of health and
illness, held by many official health practitioners such as doctors,
consultants, and surgeons has been labelled the 'biomedical approach'
or by some as the 'biomechanical model'. The biomedical model presumes
that illness is always due to abnormalities in the body's workings. It
is the basis of modern Western medical practice. It works on the
theory that if a part of the body goes wrong it should be fixed or
replaced, in the same way that a machine would be repaired. It is a
reductionist view of illness. This means that it takes the simplest
possible cause of the illness and applies the simplest cure. It’s
unlike other models such as the social model as that looks to other
factors and focuses on them, such as culture, and social aspects.

The biomedical model has an emphasis on an Illness being treated and
hopefully cured, for example with the use antibiotics can be use to
treat infections. Biomedical treatments often involve the removal of
the cause, for example the virus or bacteria. The biomedical model is
based on the belief that there is always a cure and the idea that
illness is temporary, episodic and a physical condition. Modern
biomedicine rests upon two major developments, both of which remain
influential to this day. It is first important to consider the
Cartesian revolution, after the 17th century French philosophy René
Descartes. The Cartesian revolution encouraged the idea that the body
and mind are independent or not closely related. In this mechanistic
view, the body is perceived to function like a machine, ...


... middle of paper ...


...t social factors need to
be considered. However this “sick role” is a dangerous creation and
could lead to a subculture of “sickness” to which people are drawn to
because of the release from responsibilities. However this perspective
relies too heavily on the “over-socialised” concept of society. Not
everyone accepts and adopts the “sick role”, many would ignore the
role and soldier regardless, and for example many disabled people do
this.

Overall at this point the evidence presented seems to be inconclusive
and unable to support a specific model, within this discussion.
Therefore it’s concluded that there needs to be more of a joint model
of health and ill health such as the new realists approach, which
takes into account both medical and social aspects of health; giving a
more well rounded definition of health.

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