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Sociology of health/ the biomedical and socio medical model of health - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Instructor: Date: The Biomedical and Socio-Medical Model of Health Introduction Health is defined differently following the medical and biomedical models of health. While the social model defines it as a state of total physical, mental, and social well-being, the biomedical model has ruled that this definition is weak as it lacks operational value…
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Sociology of health/ the biomedical and socio medical model of health
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Download file to see previous pages This paper discusses and compares the two models of health with the factors such as social and economic factors being considered in human health. The Biomedical and Socio-Medical Model of Health The Social Health Model Social model of health is a hypothetical framework that considers the health and general well being of an individual or a population. This model is connected to positive meanings of health. It assumes that the health of an individual or a community is a result of compound and interacting social, economic, environmental and personal factors (Tew, 2005). This method is correct to include these factors since somebody can be exposed to a causative agent and yet emerge without any disease. This method however does not directly identify the cause of a particular illness and how it can be eradicated. Furthermore, this is only a hypothetical model therefore the arguments put forth in this model may not be applicable in the medicine field to treat diseases. The Biomedical Model The biomedical model on the other hand works on the assumption that diseases and illnesses are a result of specific malfunctions of the body of a living being. The main strength of the biomedical model is that there is enough evidence to prove its assumptions. A disease is named and a specific cause of the disease is established. Critics of the model however argue that the model relies heavily on the specific causes of diseases. Evaluation of the Two Models The Biomedical method is more practical than the social model since health and illness are just biological depictions of the state of the human body. This model is superior to the social model since it defines the cause of the disease and also outlines that a disease is just a temporary organic state, therefore it can be cured through medical intervention (Blaxter, 2004). This explains why this model is used in medical practice to identify the cause of diseases and how to cure the diseases. Even though it appears more superior to the social model, it is not wholly inclusive since the biomedical model also borrows from the social model. For instance, the environmental aspect from the social model is adopted in this model while trying to uncover the sources of illness. However, other factors from the social model are considered irrelevant during diagnostics since they may not directly explain the cause of a disease. Examples of the factors that are ignored are intelligence and level of education (Griffiths & Giddens, 2006). The social model unlike the biomedical model, works on the assumption that progress in health and general well being is achievable if focus is shifted to both the social and environmental determinants of health and not only medical and biological factors. This method is also more flexible than the biomedical model since it leaves room for individuals or communities to build their own meaning of health (Tew, 2005). This helps in identification of important factors that determine health in different contexts Conclusion In conclusion, it is imperative to note that health should not be viewed as the absence of disease or illness. Furthermore, even though the Biomedical Model is more practical than the Social Model, it would be more beneficial if the Social Model and the Biomedical Model were to be harmonized into one single model. This would mean that some of the factors from the Social Model such as social class and environment ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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