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.

Defining the Doctor's Remit

Defining the doctor's remit

Chapter Summary

This chapter describes:

  • how doctors' work can be distinguished from that of other health professionals;
  • key features of the doctor's role which are identified as:
    • determining what constitutes legitimate disease;
    • defining when a person has died;
    • overseeing death when it is sanctioned by the state.

However, these features do not apply exclusively to physicians and not all physicians undertake this type of work.

Useful Terms for this Chapter

diagnosis: the process of identifying a disease or condition through its symptoms and signs

disease: a medically recognized and diagnosable pathological condition associated with an underlying lesion, such as an infection or tumour. Disease is an organic process, usually distinguished from injury or a stable disability

illness: state of sickness, subjectively identified by the ...

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