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.

Risk, Choice and Lifestyle

Risk, choice and lifestyle

Chapter Summary

This chapter describes:

  • how encouraging a healthy lifestyle should prevent disease and reduce the burden on the health services and acts as a central plank of modern healthcare policy;
  • how choices relevant to health are constrained by structural factors and shaped by cultural interpretations of risk;
  • how health competes with other values so choices need to be understood in the appropriate cultural context;
  • how the treatment of asymptomatic patients who are ‘at risk’ on the basis of biochemical or genetic indicators has implications for what it means to be ill.

Useful Terms for this Chapter

horizontal transmission of culture: social learning between peers based on a choice to emulate one another's style of dress, language, communication, often in opposition ...

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