Normal: Definitions and Controversy

The concept of normality is of the utmost importance to the topic of pharmacology, yet it is rarely acknowledged, much less discussed. The purpose of pharmacology is the rational use of medicines to safely and effectively treat disease. This begs the question, what is disease? The simplest answer is that disease is the state that produces illness in a person due to their typical degree of functioning being in some way impaired. Disease is thus defined as a deviation from an original state of health, and a return to this healthy state is the goal of treatment. Another way to describe this view of disease is that we have come to view health as normal and illness and disease as abnormal. This mindset is known ...

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