This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Biomedicine: Scientific Medicine Prominent In Western Societies

1977 words - 8 pages

Health, how it is defined and how it is maintained, is a reflection of the dominant ideology in a certain society. The medical system of Western countries, including Australia, is based on the biomedical model of health or biomedicine. According to Lord Nigel Crisp, who is a global health reform advocate, former Chief Executive of the National Health Service (NHS) in United Kingdom (UK) and previous Permanent Secretary of the UK Department of Health, Western scientific medicine and the health systems based on them have exhibited spectacular success in improving health over the last century and it has come to dominate medical thinking, habits and institutions globally. It also served as the guide for health regulating bodies including the World Health Organization, health care professional associations and pharmaceutical companies. He argued, however, that presently Western scientific medicine is no longer capable of solely managing the health demands of peoples in both the industrialised and developing countries. There is a need to adapt and absorb new ideas to be able to meet the demands of the twenty first century(Marble, 2010). In order to get a better understanding of the current health system in Western societies this paper attempts to take a closer look at the development of scientific medicine as the foundation of modern medical practice. In addition to the overview of biomedicine, a few of the challenges to its discourse will also be presented throughout the discussion.
The term biomedicine is used to describe scientific medicine which is prominent in Western societies. To get a better grasp of this concept, Baronov (2008) presented the following interrelated views which account for biomedicine’s ongoing development. Firstly, from an empirical perspective, biomedicine is described as a scientific enterprise and is seen as a product of scientific knowledge. The second outlook is interpretive which means that biomedicine is depicted as a symbolic-cultural expression wherein the principle of scientific objectivity obscures an ideological agenda. Lastly, biomedicine is represented in the conceptual perspective as an expression of social influence that defines the framework of power and privilege within the capitalist society.
The Enlightenment during the eighteenth century paved the way for the development of modern medicine. It was during this period when evidence and theories were backed up by scholarly observations and ideas are likewise confirmed rationally through experiments (A.-M. Barry & Yuill, 2008). A lot of the breakthroughs in treating diseases are brought about by scientific methodology. Society greatly benefited from the progressive outcomes of biomedicine such as, to name a few, the development of vaccinations, infection control, surgery, organ transplants, advanced monitoring techniques like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the advent of the human genome project.
The context of health as a result of scientific...

Find Another Essay On Biomedicine: Scientific Medicine Prominent in Western Societies

Why is it monogamy the 'appropriate' form of relationships in Western societies?

2495 words - 10 pages , adult males are permitted and usually encouraged to take two or more wives - in other words, to contract polygamous marriages. (Lee, 1979) This practice can still be found in some Islamic and Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Malaysia while it has already been restricted in most of other countries. Throughout the past few decades, monogamous relationship has taken place and become the ideal type of relationship in many Western societies

Christian Morality in Western Societies Essay

579 words - 2 pages with other men. Everywhere you turn there is some type ofvulgarity and the things/activities that are getting the most attention are non Christian typeactivities. It is hard to live in western society without a good foundation and solid fellowship andcommunion with other Christians. I wouldn't say it is impossible, but it is extremely hard.I attribute the difficulty of upholding Christian morality in western society to the fact thatwe are human beings with natural instincts that are hard for us to control.

The Dominance of Biomedicine and Challenges to its Discourse

3477 words - 14 pages unconventional narratives, which view human illness not as a machine or malfunctioned body part but as a distinctive experience of meaning-making and embodied being (Morris, 2000). Recognising these conflicts produces skepticism and concern, increasing interest and uncertainty about scientific medicine (Mozes, 2010). Accordingly, this essay will discuss the dominance of biomedicine in major western societies such as United Kingdom, Australia and the

Health Care in the Global South

4595 words - 18 pages . The diversity of traditional medicine and its integration with the culture and beliefs of many societies in the south has encouraged studies and research over the years. The aim of these studies have been to understand the nature of traditional medicine and its ability to succeed where biomedicine has failed – access and usage; it is estimated that up to 80% of the population in the global south depends on Traditional medicine to meet their care

Exploring the Boundaries between Alternative Medicine and Biomedicine

2855 words - 12 pages Alternative medicine has been considered the “hidden mainstream” of patient care in America. As biomedicine increased in popularity, alternative methods of healing arose as a response to the treatments used by physicians. Historically, alternative (or “complementary”) medicine conveyed itself by highlighting its “natural” attributes. These characteristics attracted those who were wary of the chemicals used in allopathic medicines. Much of the

Western Views of Non-Traditional Medicines

2567 words - 10 pages remedies such as bee pollen for allergies and antineoplaston (peptides originally derived from urine) for cancer" (Scientific American 10/96). Vancouver hospital has recently established the Tzu Chi Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which will be a pioneering institution in that is provides "a variety of traditional healers work space at a major Western-style hospital and subject[s] their work to rigorous, Western-style research

Food as Medicine

2505 words - 10 pages omega-3’s and much more red meats and fried fatty foods (Xu, Xu, 2006). There is a movement toward integrating nutrition into our health care system, though Allopathic medicine has not changed its view. It fails to take into account that food has many dimensions, making it hard to single out nutrients or groups of food (Quirk, et. al 2013). Allopathic medicine needs to wake up and smell the wonderful scent of food. The foods in Western Societies

South Africa's AIDS Epidemic

2387 words - 10 pages the AIDS epidemic also stems from a fear grounded on the sudden explosion and global dominance of biomedicine. Since its rise in the mid-nineteenth century, the scientific medical establishment has taken the world by storm: it has discovered miracle drugs, such as penicillin and 'magic bullets' like Salverson to help eradicate disease ("How The Word 'Scientist' Came To Be"; “Magic Bullet”; “Penicillin, The Wonder Drug”). Through development of

The Future Instead of the Past

1321 words - 6 pages need for healthy food is the greatest as well as being prominent areas of black populations. Johnson goes on to highlight the coming computer age as a source of hope that could help alleviate many of the black community’s problems. He concludes his article by stating, “Blacks, in order to be competitive in the arenas of scientific accomplishment and technological innovation will have to be exposed to the sciences at an early age. They will have to

The Development of Ancient Medicine & Influences

1745 words - 7 pages were practices in China. Dissection, operations and drug therapy were also performed. But how did theses societies – who did not have as much technology as today – found out about the different illnesses and their cures? The western medicines usually compromise the use of folk remedies and prayers. They now believed that sickness was not a result of punishments sent from gods, but something ‘natural’. Dissection was performed and thus, they knew

The spirit catches you and you fall down

697 words - 3 pages medications, like in the Hmong culture, instead of going for treatment through American medicine (Fadiman, 1997). The writer explores the misunderstanding between her parents and the doctors. This cultural clash is basically a result of the Hmong’s involvement in the Vietnam War and their struggle to survive in America. Though both of the parents and doctors of the little girl want her to recover as soon as possible, their methods were quite

Similar Essays

Ageism Is Widespread In Western Societies

1671 words - 7 pages The aging of society has not significantly changed our perceptions of the elderly. Ageism is widespread in Western societies (Dionigi, et al, 2011). Older adults are seen as boring, grumpy irritable, weak, debilitated, mournful, and most significantly cognitively. These stereotypes which are negative can be allowed by the aged themselves negative self-stereotyping (Dionigi, et al, 2011) and are as well found among specialized caregivers (e.g

Combining Western Medicine And Traditional Medicine In South Africa

2447 words - 10 pages The clash between the western (or scientific) and traditional approaches to medicine has existed for many years. The conceptual differences between the two schools of thought resulted in mistrust between scholars of representing them. Each one of the approaches can be effective in some medical cases and neither can offers complete solutions in others. However, the western approach has been proven to be much more effective in treating serious

Cosmetic Surgery And The Mask Of Aging In Western Societies

1089 words - 4 pages Cosmetic Surgery and the Mask of Aging in Western Societies "Nature isn't always the best. I have the money to improve on nature and I don't see why I shouldn't" (Cher, as cited in Glasgow Evening Times: 24 April 1992) "We hadn't seen or heard from each other for 28 years…Then he suggested it would be nice if we could meet. I was very nervous about it. How much had I changed? I wanted a facelift, tummy tuck and

Pain And Acupuncture In Eastern And Western Medicine

1829 words - 7 pages Pain and Acupuncture in Eastern and Western Medicine Acupuncture is an ancient medicinal art that has been practiced for thousands of years. Acupuncture today is mainly seen by Western medicine as a "new alternative" medicine (2). This basically means that while Western medicine acknowledges the value and positive medical research supporting acupuncture in many realms of medicine, for the most part it is not a practice that has been