Quo Vadis Medical Healing: Past Concepts and New Approaches / Edition 1

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Medical healing implies knowledge of the assumptions that underlie our understanding of "health," and, concomitantly, how we define well being and its opposites, illness and disease. Today, health, health care (business, wellness, recreation), and medicine (especially research-driven scientific medicine) have become separate entities with different institutions, budgets, marketing philosophies and "corporate cultures". Furthermore, healing is individual and subjective, yet at the same time also culturally determined. The present volume brings together papers on these topics in an unique interdisciplinary approach. The book provides an ethical framework for healthcare from a political perspective. It discusses definitions of the terminology of healing and health and their ethical and medical implications including their historical contexts. A separate section expands the theme of the cultural constructedness of healing by the concepts of traditional Chinese medicine and homeopathy. Modern medicine has a strong focus on acute care, which urgently needs to place greater emphasis on preventive medicine including the crucial importance of social factors on health and on the emergence of "public health". The point of view of Business Concepts, their potential and limitations are by no means neglected and the legal ramifications of genetic research and innovative medical strategies with regard to some of our most foundational notions are discussed.

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Editorial Reviews

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"The book aims to pique interest in the concept of medical healing, and shed light on how a diverse array of fields can approach the topic. … it will be most useful for bioethicists and physicians with a broad interest in the philosophy of medicine." (Nathaniel J Brown, Doody’s Review Service, April, 2009)

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Nathaniel J Brown, B.S.(Saint Louis University Department of Health Care Ethics)
Description: This book asks where the field of medical healing is going. It surveys what medical healing has meant in the past, and at times hints at where it might be going in the future. It does not have a single set of recommendations for where the field should go, but rather asks the questions so that readers are left to ponder both historical precedent and current trends in forming their own answers.
Purpose: The book aims to pique interest in the concept of medical healing, and shed light on how a diverse array of fields can approach the topic.
Audience: The interdisciplinary nature of bioethics lends itself naturally to the range of questions this book asks. For this reason, it will be most useful for bioethicists and physicians with a broad interest in the philosophy of medicine.
Features: The first part, which considers various philosophical questions foundational to the concept of medical healing, moves very nicely into the next section, which deals exclusively with the concept of healing as it has been understood in different historical periods. From this point on, the book leaves behind a single narrative and adopts a more eclectic approach. Left unasked are broader questions about the concept of medical healing and the trajectory of understanding. Many expected arguments are not directly addressed, but neither are they entirely absent. Instead, broad arguments about healing are implied from the more specific subjects that the chapters in the second half of the book address. For instance, in a chapter on pharmaceutical business practices, the topic of enhancement is discussed in terms of demand. This section implies a populist answer to the question of what, or perhaps who, defines medical healing.
Assessment: The second half of the book approaches broad questions through discussions of very specific topics. This seemingly narrow focus is an interesting approach for a book that purports to be asking broad questions. While the topics initially may seem a bit discordant with the main theme, they are tied together well if one keeps the ideas from the first half prominently in mind while reading the second half.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of contributors Preface Susanna Elm and Stefan N. Willich 1. Philosophical and Ethical Foundations How Political is the Future of Healthcare? The Example of Allocating Scarce Resources in Liberal Democracy Annette Schulz-Baldes The Concept of Disease and Medical Action – A Reciprocal Relationship and its Relevance for Modern Medicine Thomas Heinemann 2. Concepts of Healing in History Medicine between Natural Philosophy and Physician’s Practice: A Debate Around 400 BC Oliver Primavesi Roman Pain and the Rise of Christianity Susanna Elm A Perfect Healing for All Our Wounds: Religion and Medicine in Judaism John Efron 3. Chinese Medicine and Homeopathy How Chinese is 'Chinese Medicine'? Paul U. Unschuld Medicus curat, natura sanat in Homeopathy Claudia Witt 4. Acute Health Care and Social Medicine Healing in Acute Medical Therapy: Opportunities and Limitations Stefan N. Willich The Historical Development of Social Medicine as a Responsibility of the Physician Dieter Koch-Weser 5. Business Concepts Unmet Medical Needs and the Role of Pharmaceutical Companies Wolfgang Meyer-Sabellek A Revolution in Research and Development – The Impact of Biotechnology Herbert Schuster 6. New Approaches in Medicine and Their Constitutional Ramification Healing by Gene Therapy – Hype or Hope? Martin Paul Biotechnology and the Guarantee of Human Dignity Martin Nettesheim

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