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Political Economy Model Of Disease

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The relationship between society and disease causes some of the most complex issues in existence today. This complexity continues to grow, as the global community does not have a universal mode of combating health decline. For this reason, some diseases and causative agents have thrived for hundreds and thousands of years without a true cure. Fortunately, there are numerous scientific fields dedicated to researching the problems and solutions that contribute to worldwide health. Medical anthropology is one of the fields that attempt to bridge the gap between contrasting belief systems, and ask the sensitive questions that politicians and world leaders avoid answering. For this reason, understanding disease is becoming more available, and…show more content…
43). The strength of these forces influenced people for centuries, and determined which individuals thrived when illness spread. Although this model has only recently emerged, the hierarchy that existed in every point in time shows that the model is accurate for its role in shaping overall health. Historically, those in power were the first to receive treatment or prophylaxis against illness. Those who could not contribute to the economy nor had a voice in politics were always at the greatest risk for disease. Darwin’s theory of evolution can be applied to the political economy model of disease because the fittest individuals at a given time will overcome the challenges posed by the economic and political demands. In modern times, this model is woven between the complexities of economic development and the emergence of diseases that cause health decline. The state of the political environment surrounding health and economics ultimately drives which issues are of most concern. In United States politics, stem cell research, abortion, birth control, and cancer are important and controversial health related topics. The reason these topics get the most attention is because they have the potential to stimulate or hinder the economy, and create progress or partitions throughout the country. When applying this model to smallpox, it is understood that the demand for vaccination and eradication was stemmed from political motives. The desire to end worldwide epidemics was appropriated through the global contributions that occurred hand in hand with foreign policies that provided economic gain. The economic and political infrastructures at the time when smallpox was eradicated called for worldwide compliance, especially as a way to come to a consensus
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