ANTC61H3 Lecture Notes - Biomedicine, Social Constructionism, Pharmaceutical Industry

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10 Nov 2012
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ANTC61: October 30, 2012 - Ethics
Medicalization
- Peter Conrad
o Medicalization is more driven by commercial and profit now
o Medical and market interest
- Process of transforming non-medicalization issues that matters of health and
well-being
o E.g. doctor testing for your blood pressure in solution to stress
- Doctors and their disease categorize, society and its intrinsic desire to label
and have solution to illness, big pharma and markets to sell more medicine
Pros of Medicalization?
- drugs work
o recognition as a disease and ways of treating them and they can
actually be cured
o e.g. viagara, medicalization of Alzheimer’s or dementia
- medicalization can combat stigma
o normalizes and makes it easier to talk about disease e.g. HIV
- can increase feelings of self-worth
o sense of relief from being ostracize
o Goes back to Cartesian’s mind body dualism
- leading to better medical outcomes
- can destabilize biomedical hegemony
o destabilizes clinical or hospital based hegemony / biomedical system
/ power of doctors
o if you know how to treat your disease, if you know what medication =
you can destabilize
o if you know you can “diagnose” your own illness = critique
Cons of Medicalization?
- biomedicine intrudes on everyday life
o you can’t escape hegemony
o biomedicine increases our reliance to hegemony
- profit drives, not health concerns
- can cause increased stigma
o label of disease can be attached to the individual as stigma
o e.g. shyness in the article
- medicalization = social constructionism (the authority of institutions rather
than biology determines the agenda)
o believes in the perspective that reality is socially constructive
o e.g. PMS may not really exist?
What’s the truth about medicalization?
- no changes in stigmatizing against schizophrenia in two different times
- indirect effect of profit
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Document Summary

Peter conrad: medicalization is more driven by commercial and profit now, medical and market interest. Process of transforming non-medicalization issues that matters of health and well-being: e. g. doctor testing for your blood pressure in solution to stress. Doctors and their disease categorize, society and its intrinsic desire to label and have solution to illness, big pharma and markets to sell more medicine. Drugs work: recognition as a disease and ways of treating them and they can actually be cured, e. g. viagara, medicalization of alzheimer"s or dementia. / power of doctors if you know how to treat your disease, if you know what medication = you can destabilize if you know you can diagnose your own illness = critique. Biomedicine intrudes on everyday life: you can"t escape hegemony, biomedicine increases our reliance to hegemony. Profit drives, not health concerns can cause increased stigma label of disease can be attached to the individual as stigma: e. g. shyness in the article.

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