The biomedical model of health states that the individual is not responsible for their illness and that the mind and body work independently from each other. Ogden J, (2004) However, for example, in the case of an individual who is suffering from an eating disorder i.e. bulimia, this indicates that there is a clear link between the mind and body due to the sufferer vomiting after ingesting food; therefore resulting in the sufferer being responsible for their physical illness due to psychological illness. The biomedical model also suggests that treatment is to change the physical state of the body and that only the medical profession can treat the sufferer but in this case; this would be very problematic due to the mind causing the physical illness and the sufferer only being treated for the physical symptoms which would therefore result in a reoccurrence of the illness due to the psychological needs of the sufferer being overlooked. In this example the sufferer would also be involved in the treatment of his/her illness by aiding in the change of their psychological behaviour, promoting healthy behaviour and lifestyle and the education of preventing ill health. The biomedical model did provide the foundations for Engel’s biopsychosocial model of medicine.
According to Ogden, J (2004) Engel’s biopsychosocial model of medicine viewed the individual as a system made up of biological, psychological and social aspects. McLaren, N (datastarweb online 2001) criticises Engel’s model by stating that it didn’t satisfy any sense of a model as a formal, working representation of an idea and at most could be classed as a theory. He also suggests that all Engel offered was an emotional case for humanity and less medical technology. Munitz, H et al (datastarweb online 2000), suggests that Engel’s psychosocial aspect of the model remains in the dominance of patient and doctor communication and that he was interested in sensitivity and humanity being applied in medicine....
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