Health and Illness Essay

1900 Words Apr 25th, 2014 8 Pages
Sociology Health and Illness The medical definition of health is: the state of being whole and free from physical and mental disease or pain, so that all the parts of the body carry on their proper function". This is a negative definition where health is defined as to be free from pain and discomfort. (Critchley, 1978, p.784).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) definition of health (1947), states that “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. This is a positive definition which defines health as being fit and able to undertake reasonable task.
The criticisms are that the definition deals with “a state rather than a process” and puts no boundaries
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The model also believes if there is a cure for an illness it will be through the use of drugs or surgery, instead of changing social relationships or people spiritual lives. This model sees the human body as a form of machine, where parts can go wrong and need repairing and eventually will stop working at some point. This is why the model is sometimes referred to as the “bio-mechanical model”. (Moore et al.2005, p. 83)
Eisenberg (1977) recommend that we should make a division between illness and disease. He believes that illness is when the individual suffers from ill health and disease is clinical conditions defined by medical professions. (Eisenberg 1977, p. 18)
Blaxter (1990) suggests that it is possible for “a person to be suffering from some form of illness without a disease or suffer from a disease without an illness”.
According to the biomedical model disease is seen has a way to take people from their normal everyday functioning in society. It also believes that biological processes are enough to explain diseases. The medical model of health tries to treat people through the use of medicine and science, and it does not take into account the social and emotional factors, such as, how the injury, illness, or disease was caused or brought about. It looks at

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