Medicalization

Powerful Essays
Topics: Medicine
Q1. Outline and discuss Peter Conrad’s (2005) thesis that consumers have become a major “engine of medicalisation” “The shifting engines or the driving engines of medicalisation” as described by Peter Conrad have three major influences to the growing changes in the medical field and medical jurisdiction, starting with “biotechnology i.e. the pharmaceutical industry, then there is the consumers and managed care” throughout the thesis paper Conrad describes each of these factors in detail with examples referring to medications and illness or disorders that have become medicalised due to these factors. Many symptoms and disorders have become medicalised in the past and resulting with the treatment of these disorders with medication, for example “hyperactivity, child abuse, menopause, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and alcoholism, among others, broadened our understanding of the range of medicalisation and the attendant social processes” (Conrad 1992) many symptoms and disorders became medicalised due to the pressures of society, if individuals didn’t conform to the society norms and beliefs they were deemed to medically ill and needed to be treated. These individuals may actually have no medical problems, yet they were treated as if they were ill. As far back as 1838 The Dangerous Lunatic Act was brought in to deal with individuals in the society who had mental problems or just didn’t conform to society norms. This Act was aimed at many different types of individuals they even forced homosexuals to receive treatment as they weren’t seen as normal and were then classified as ill. One aspect I found portrayed throughout the thesis was that the medical field is very monetary driven and money is a major influential factor and is a driving factor behind it all. Many pharmaceutical companies are in it to make the profits. They have resulted to the broadening of there products to treat other disorders “Since the FDA approved the use of Paxil for SAD in 1999


Bibliography: * Conrad, P. “the shifting engines of medicalization”, Journal of health and social behaviors, Vol. 46 No 1. March 2005, pages 3-14. * Relman, Arnold S. and Marcia Angell. 2002. "America 's Other Drug Problem." New Republic, December 16, pp. 27-41. * Illich, I. 1995 (1975). Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health. London: Marion Boyars. * Illich, I. 1995. ‘Death undefeated’, British Medical Journal, 311,1652-1653 * O’Donovan, O. lecture slides, Lecture 1; the medicalisation of everyday life, September 2012. * IMS Health. 2004. "IMS Reports 11.5 Percent Dollar * Growth in U.S. Prescription Sales." Retrieved July15,2004 (http://www.imshealth.com/ims/portal/front/articleC/0,2777,6599_3665_44771558,00.html) * Action on antibiotics, HSE web page, December 5th 2012 (http://www.hse.ie/go/antibiotics?gclid=CIW073Tk7QCFUqV4Qod0B8A7Q)

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