Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Dominance of Biomedicine and Challenges to its Discourse Essay

Contemporary approaches in understanding health, illness and its treatment largely differ from the traditional way of treating people’s health conditions. For instance, before the â€Å"Age of Reason† beliefs about vindictive spirits, evil and divine intervention, and practices of sorcery and witchcraft were widely held (Porter 1997 as cited in Williams, 2003). Another example is the practice of Greek medicine; a more naturalistic approach used by the practitioner to tune the body through humoral theories of balance and lifestyle modification. Similarly, during this age, the combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual factors contributed to the development of the â€Å"sick man† (Williams, 2003). These medical teachings were authoritative until the eighteenth century. However, towards the nineteenth century, numerous discoveries such as Vesalius’ anatomical atlas and Harvey’s process of blood circulation challenged mainstream medicine, which p aved the way for the rise of a newer and more systematic form of medicine (Williams, 2003, p. 11), marking the growth and supremacy of scientific medicine. The evolution of scientific medicine is well documented in several literature (Gabe, Keheller, & Williams, 1994; Longino, 1998; Marcum, 2008; Morris, 2000; Quirke & Gaudilliere, 2008; Williams, 2003). A progressive shift from preference of either licensed or unlicensed healers to the legitimization of the medical profession and medicalisation of natural life experiences had occurred (Gabe, et al., 1994). With this, scientific medicine, commonly known as biomedicine, continued to dominate the discourse of health and illness from the end of the 18th century up to the present (Williams, 2003). Despite this perceived supremacy, scientific medicine... ...s of thi sTrial Apply? The Lancet, 365(9453), 82-93. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(04)17670-8 Thorpe, R. D. (2008). Integrating biomedical and CAM approaches: The experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS. Health Sociology Review, 17(4), 410-418. Tonelli, M. R., & Callahan, T. C. (2001). Why Alternative Medicine Cannot be Evidenced-Based. Academic Medicine, 76(12), 1213-1220. Torgerson, D. J. (2003). Avoiding Bias in Randomised Controlled Trials in Educational Research. British Journal of Educational Studies, 51(1), 36-45. Williams, S. J. (2003). Medicine and the body. London: SAGE publications Ltd. Xue, C. C. L., Zhang, A. L., Lin, V., Costa, C. D., & Story, D. F. (2007). Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Australia: A National Population-Based Survey. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 13(6), 643-650. doi: 10.1089/acm.2006.6355.

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