Download The Limits of Medicine by Andrew Stark PDF

By Andrew Stark

What are the ultimate limits of medication? What should still we no longer attempt to medication medically, whether we had the mandatory monetary assets and expertise? This ebook philosophically addresses those questions via studying mirror-image debates in tandem. individuals of sure teams, who're deemed via conventional criteria to have a scientific , similar to deafness, weight problems, or anorexia, argue that they have got created their very own cultures and methods of existence. Curing their stipulations will be a kind of genocide. contributors of alternative teams are searching for to supply clinical therapy to what may conventionally be deemed 'cultural conditions'. light neurotics who take anti-depressants to raise their temper, runners who use steroids, or women and men looking plastic surgery are inquiring for scientific remedy for difficulties that will be solved culturally, through altering norms, pressures, or expectancies within the broader tradition. each one of those debates endeavors to find medicine's ultimate frontier and to articulate what it really is that we must always no longer deal with medically no matter if lets. This quantity analyzes what those modern debates need to say to one another and therefore bargains a brand new manner of choosing medicine's ultimate limits.

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Extra resources for The Limits of Medicine

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I’ll take this opportunity to stress that there is a profound difference between a “social cure” for a condition, say obesity, and the “social P1: KAE 0521856310int CUNY308B/Stark 26 0 521 85631 0 November 28, 2005 21:26 The Limits of Medicine accommodation” of that condition. A social cure would fight cases of phenotypic obesity through an attack on its social-behavioral causes; it would involve, among other things, our reconciling women’s conflicting social roles or eliminating poverty. The social accommodation of obesity, by contrast, would require us to reframe our attitudes toward the phenotype by celebrating fat culture or to reform the environment by altering airplane seats.

So, in a far from satisfactory fashion, I have tried to give their due to those who have introduced the term cultural genocide into the debates I am analyzing by using the term myself, except in contexts where I simply am not comfortable doing so. ” I suspect that there will be readers who will bristle at what they see as my use of euphemisms, just as others will bridle at my invocation of what they would deem an unnecessarily provocative term. Finally, I want to bracket out two issues – equality and autonomy – from discussion.

But a person can eat with discolored teeth, so curing him will always be enhancement. Here again, though, there is some sleight of hand in the biological-norm position. In fact, a person can eat with decayed teeth, even badly decayed teeth, just not as well as with nondecayed teeth. So what we’re talking about couldn’t be a biological norm, but a social norm – a norm that at any given time sets an expectation as to how well one should be able to chew one’s food. And once we talk about social norms, we have to take into account the possibility that those norms could evolve to include pearly white teeth.

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