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Chapter 13: Medicine. An Anatomy of Health and Illness. Soc 100. Dr. Santos. Introduction- Euthanasia. Medical futility- treatment fails to end total dependence on medical care

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chapter 13 medicine

Chapter 13: Medicine

An Anatomy of Health and Illness

Soc 100

Dr. Santos

introduction euthanasia
Introduction- Euthanasia
  • Medical futility- treatment fails to end total dependence on medical care
  • Active euthanasia- aiding the dying individual by prescribing or administering a lethal dose of drugs to patients who request it, usually under legally-controlled conditions
    • Arguments in favor of euthanasia
    • Arguments against euthanasia
what is health
What is health?
  • Health- a state of physical, mental, and social well being or the absence of disease
  • Illness- the lack of health
why is health a social issue
Why is health a social issue?
  • Micro- Health impacts our abilities to carry out other responsibilities
  • Meso- The institution of medicine impacts and is impacted by other institutions
  • Macro- Beliefs about illness are culturally determined
  • Global- Pandemics, bio-terrorism, the distribution of immunizations and drugs
theoretical perspectives on health
Theoretical perspectives on health
  • Symbolic interactionism and labeling theory
    • Illness is whatever the powerful (doctors) define and label it as
    • The labels applied can impact policies and treatments surrounding diseases
    • Medicalization- the shift from handling some forms of deviance and normal human functions at home or in the legal or religions arenas to the health care system
theoretical perspectives on health1
Theoretical perspectives on health
  • Functionalist Perspective
    • Social norms define what counts as illness and how to treat it
    • The health care system maintains the social structure and a balance between individuals and institutions
    • Illness is not functional for society
    • The sick role is seen as deviant since it “robs” society of normal role functioning
theoretical perspectives on health2
Theoretical perspectives on health
  • Conflict Perspective
    • People’s economic and social positions in society affect their access to health care and the types of illnesses from which they suffer
    • Global inequality
    • Is health care a right or a commodity?
theoretical perspectives on health3
Theoretical perspectives on health
  • Feminist theory
    • The patriarchal control of women carries over to health care systems and reinforces dependence, submission, and definitions of what is “illness” for women
    • Western women are seen more often and their procedures are more expensive than men’s
    • Women’s bodies and normal life cycles have been used historically to “prove” their inferiority and keep them out of some social positions
micro level analysis the sick role
Micro-level analysis: The sick role
  • Parson’s sick role- the rights and responsibilities expected of ill people in order to be accepted as legitimately ill
    • The sick person is excused from normal social responsibility in order to get well
    • The illness is not the sick person’s fault
    • The sick person should not enjoy being sick and not malinger
    • The sick person is expected to seek competent medical help in getting well
social factors in health and illness
Social factors in health and illness
  • Illnesses and treatments are culturally determined
  • Group factors matter in health care
    • Age- older people need more preventative and acute care
    • Gender- Western women report more health problems than men, receive more preventative care, and take more medications; men use emergency services more
    • Ethnic groups- African Americans are less likely to be able to access health care and are less likely to use hospitals and clinics; infant mortality is much higher among minorities
    • Social status- wealthier individuals are more likely to seek health care, in part because they can afford treatment, especially preventative treatment
meso level analysis modern health care systems
Meso-level analysis: Modern health care systems
  • Types of national health care systems
    • Socialized medicine- government-sponsored consumer service with equal access to all citizens; private care is available for an extra fee
    • Decentralized national health programs- the government regulates health care but does not operate it
    • Developing countries often cannot provide health insurance or security and rely on a combination of Western and indigenous medicine
hospitals as complex organizations
Hospitals as complex organizations
  • Urbanization and industrialization led to new health problems which required systematized, rational health care
  • Hospitals share many of the same characteristics as other bureaucracies
  • Health care systems are major employers in developed nations
  • Clear divisions exist between physicians and administrators
changing professional status of health care employees
Changing professional status of health care employees
  • Hospitals differ from other formal organizations
    • Divisions of labor more extensive and specialized
    • Hierarchical system of stratification is well established and visible
    • Physicians are facing new challenges as the health care system changes
macro level analysis health care and policy issues
Macro-level analysis: Health care and policy issues
  • The U.S. health care system is one of the best and worst in the world
  • Achievements include increases in medical research and public health (e.g., motor vehicle safety, safer workplaces, clean drinking water)
problems in the u s healthcare system
Problems in the U.S. healthcare system
  • Access to healthcare
    • Maldistribution of services
    • Lack of family practice physicians
  • Healthcare costs and funding
    • Costs continue to escalate
    • Managed care attempts to be efficient and offer high quality care
    • Corporatization
problems in the u s healthcare system1
Problems in the U.S. healthcare system
  • Lack of health care security
    • 46 million Americans (and climbing!) remain uninsured
    • Insurance companies deny claims
    • Pre-existing conditions can lead to denial of insurance or higher premiums
    • Racial and ethnic differences in coverage
policy issues and social reforms in the u s health care system
Policy issues and social reforms in the U.S. health care system
  • Is health care a human right or a market-driven system?
  • Current proposals for health care reform include:
    • Revise the partly public, partly private system
    • Vote in reforms one at a time
    • Pass a comprehensive reform package to provide national health insurance and government oversight and administration
  • The high cost of prescription drugs
main challenges for the u s health care system
Main challenges for the U.S. health care system
  • What to do about the rising uninsured population?
  • How to control costs in a managed care system?
  • What will be the physician-patient relationship under new structures of health care?
health care around the world
Health care around the world
  • Each society organizes its health care around its culture and the demographic needs of its population
  • Great Britain- socialized medicine
  • China- medicine in a Communist state
  • Nicaragua- revolutionary changes
global medical problems
Global medical problems
  • International sale of body parts on the black market
  • How to increase life spans and decrease infant mortality?
  • The mobility of diseases with more people traveling globally
  • Growing prevalence of tobacco use
indigenous medicine
Indigenous medicine
  • Medical practices spread with migration
  • Various medical traditions can offer wisdom and compliment one another
  • Allopathy- medicine practiced by the dominant groups of physicians in Western societies