Biomedicalization: New Concepts Of "Disease"

Biomedicalization: New Concepts Of "Disease"


Over the past 100 years, there's been a fundamental shift in the way disease is conceptualized, argues Paul Root Wolpe, speaking at the 2009 Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Symposium. There are now many more diseases than there once were, not only as new conditions are identified but as criteria for definition of "disease" expands. In some cases, for example schizophrenia, a disease that was once conceptualized as a single disease is now, due to study of genetics, seen as being a whole host of different diseases under the "umbrella" of schizophrenia. This ever-expanded definition of "illness," along with biomedicalization on all fronts, is in part leading to increased healthcare costs, Wolpe says. About Paul Root Wolpe, PhD Wolpe is director of the Emory Center for Ethics. He is also the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics (Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine), the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, professor of medicine in Emory University School of Medicine, professor in Emorys Graduate Department of Religion and adjunct professor in the Emory College Department of Sociology. About the Emory Center for Ethics An international leader in the exploration of ethics, the Emory Center for Ethics is dedicated to exploring how ethical issues underlie the decisions that shape our minds, lives, and society. To do so, scholars from across the university gather at the Center to collaborate and study. The Center also hosts public programs, partners and consults with private and public community organizations, and teaches students at every level of university life. The Center is committed to asking tough questions and developing strategies to help enable people and organizations put ethics into practice. Related Links Emory Center for Ethics Emory Names Ethics Center Director Paul Root Wolpe to New Schinazi Chair in Jewish Bioethics Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Symposium

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