Medicalisation is thought as a process where non-medical problems become described and treated as medical problems usually in terms of ailments or disorders.
Initially all deviant tendencies were referred to as sin or unlawful behavior and religion possessed full control over how to punish such deviant behavior. Down the road as societies became more complex with the development of technology so that the hold of religion reduced as a control agent, the emphasis shifted from punishment as a preferred sanction for deviance to treatment of health problems. Deviance that was considered sin or bad is now regarded as sickness.
With increasing success biomedicine began working as a control agent.
Review of recent research demonstrates now many socially undesirable actions have been medicalized and assigned disease terms in the 20th century and even normal real human occurrences and common human problems are considered under medical jurisdiction. For example, alcoholism, drug dependency, hyperactive children, suicide, over weight, mental retardation, criminal offense, violence, child maltreatment, learning problems, births, increasing age, menopause and many public deviances are all brought under the umbrella of medicalization. Treatments is all pervasive inside our lifestyle.
At once some behaviors recently considered medical problems have become more acceptable and been de-medicalized, e. g. , homosexuality and masturbation.
T. Moreira (2006) suggested that the procedure of medicalisation is inadequate to comprehend the social aspect of relationship between a state that is recognized as medical disorder and health. One must also look at the dynamics of the creation, evaluation and use of biomedical knowledge. The need for these dynamics was underlined in her research on marriage between sleeping and health. She explored an extremely common rest disorder, viz. , obstructive sleeping apnoea symptoms (OSAS)and shaping of continous positive airway pressure, an extremely common remedy for obstructive sleep apnoea(CPAP).
She used the method of research study. Two case studies were scrutinized-
- Historical literature review of introduction and,
- development of OSAS and CPAP.
Initially rest apnoea was referred to as "Pickwickian syndrome" on the basis of symptoms that led to sleep disturbances. It was believed that sleep apnoea occurs among those who are overweight, lazy and snore loudly creating inconvenience to others. Extreme overweight was associated with severe daytime sleepiness. William Dement et. al. investigated this website link by using rest laboratories.
But by later 1970s, obesity was forget about considered the reason for sleep aponea, it was merely regarded as a risk factor that can lead to disease. With laboratory observation of sleeping it became clear that rest process was in charge of OSAS rather than obesity. There is a move from "Pickwickian syndrome" to "sleep aponea syndrome". In Pickwickian symptoms, the clinical symptoms like weight problems, hypoventilation and plethoric face were highlighted while in sleep aponea symptoms Apnea/Hypoapnea Index became progressively more suitable.
The development of CPAP showed how on one hand patients' actively take part in evolving health technology and on the other palm adjust and adapt to devices available corresponding to their own needs and circumstances. Inside the studies of CPAP users the emphasis shifted on spotting patients who will probably discontinue to make use of these machines rather than blaming the patient for not deploying it. This resulted in taking a look at patient as an all natural calculative subject who'll do the cost-benefit examination and make a decision whether to utilize health technology or not. This cost-benefit examination is affected by many subconscious constructs like do it yourself identity, personal- efficacy, self-confidence and social support, etc. On the basis of these calculations, by non-participation in certain health solutions, patients have created a fresh portion of knowledge and treatment in biomedicine, health psychology, medical sociology and in sociology of science and technology.
Thus medicalization of sleep has redefined the sleeping as medically difficult and whole sleeping industry has appear in last one decade roughly. A person suffering from OSAS is forget about stigmatized individual. He is forget about powerless passive, dependent on medical personnel. He's a calculating impartial person, a dynamic consumer of health technology.
Evolving the look of sleeping machines confirmed that patient organizations actively influence making of, analysis and use of medical knowledge.
Advantages & Down sides of Medicalization
- According to Illich medicalisation has serious negative impact on the culture as the general public is manufactured docile and reliant on the medical profession to help them deal with their life in their contemporary society.
- There is also structural problem as Traditional western medicine's idea of issues of recovery, aging, and dying as medical ailments. This effectively medicalises human life, making individuals and societies less in a position to deal with these "natural" techniques.
- Marxists such as Vicente Navarro et. al. (1980) connected medicalization to a oppressive capitalist culture. They argued that treatments makes people see health as an individual problem rather than considering disease because of this of social inequality and poverty. It will strip subjects with their social context, so they come to be understood in terms of the prevailing biomedical ideology, producing a disregard for over-arching cultural triggers such as unequal syndication of electric power and resources.
- Many critics believe the word medicalization is becoming much more complicated now as pharmaceutical companies have more and more bought out the role of doctors, adding everyday problems into the domain of professional biomedicine. Direct to consumer advertising further undermines the role of doctors, as patients are encouraged to require particular drugs by name, in that way creating a talk between consumer and medicine company.
- Another problem with medicalization is the fact that it puts the duty for the problem on individual causes and the perfect solution is to public problems on specific treatment. The psychologizing of interpersonal problems leads from the analyses of the social structure of culture. For instance, the reason for obesity is thought to be the obese person himself rather than the change in life-style, socio-economic status of the person, easy availableness and capability of prepared to eat processed foods, etc.
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