This timely and assured text provides lecturers and students with a well informed, penetrating analysis of the key questions in medicine and society. The book is divided into three sections. It opens with a well judged account of the context of health and illness. It moves on to examine the process and experience of illness. Finally, it examines how health care is negotiated and delivered.



Chapter Summary

This chapter describes:

  • some indicators of medicine's power as an institution;
  • the relationship of trust between an individual doctor and a patient as central to medicine's influential role;
  • how critics have suggested that medicine's influence is overbearing and that trust in the beneficence of medicine has been eroded by recent scandals;
  • how medicine's obligations to promoting equitable levels of health between social groups and the need to promote equity in its own ranks are linked to similar prejudices;
  • how inequalities within medicine reflect those in the wider world.

Useful Terms for this Chapter

iatrogenesis: an illness or injury introduced as a result of medical intervention that was intended to be therapeutic

medical sociology: the study of the structural and cultural features of medicine as an institution, ...

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