A Synthesis Of Learning Across Topics

2233 Words Nov 25th, 2014 9 Pages
Social Science and Medical Ethics: A Synthesis of Learning Across Topics
Introduction:
Allan Brandt (1997: 2) in the book “Morality and health: Interdisciplinary Perspectives”, begins with the assertion that health and morality are “deeply and fundamentally entangled.” He is not alone in this view. De Vries (2007), as cited in Harden (2014a), states that “The predominantly medical battle against obesity could then also be explained not because of the potential harmful effects of obesity on health, but by an inclination to medicalize behaviour we do not find acceptable.” What these two perspectives share is the concept that the knowledge of medicine is intrinsically linked to the social circumstances of the lay people and medical professionals that study and practice it. The GMC publication “Tomorrow’s Doctors” stresses the importance of medical practitioners’ awareness of the effect that social contexts have on their ability to meet the health needs of their patients. From the manner in which illness is categorized, to the social determinants that shape it’s prevalence, to the role of patients in deciding how illness is treated, social science serves as a valuable tool in modifying medical behaviour to better suit the needs of the unwell.
We will begin the first section of this essay by focusing on the development of medical knowledge within lay and medical knowledge communities, examining this knowledge as a product of wider historical processes and social determinants.…
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