Original Research

Die medikausering van die samelewing

E. Pretorius
Curationis | Vol 6, No 4 | a574 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v6i4.574 | © 1983 E. Pretorius | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 September 1983 | Published: 27 September 1983

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E. Pretorius, Universiteit van die Oranje-Vrystaat, South Africa

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Abstract

Until a decade or two ago there existed a widely held belief that mankind had slowly but surely been rid of its diseases by medical science. According to this view advances in medicine coincided with the transformation in human health. After an initial period of wonder about the marvels of medical science, certain doubts came into being: the honeymoon period with the marvels of medical technology showed signs of disillusionment. Criticism was voiced which ranged from mere statements that the successes of medical technology were less spectacular than was widely held, to very sharp criticism of the institution of medicine. Criticism came not only from outside the medical profession - social scientists, jurists, politicians, social critics, etc. - but also from inside - from medical scientists and doctors - who denounced both the autonomy and authority of the medical professional, and what was termed the medicalisation of society. The most pugnacious of these critics, Ivan Illich, said of the medical establishment that it had become a major threat to health.

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