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The Strengths And Limitations Of The Biological Model Of Abnormality

796 words - 3 pages

The Strengths and Limitations of the Biological Model of Abnormality
This model uses physical illness as a model for psychological
disorder, suggesting that like physical illness, mental illness has an
underlying bodily cause. It proposes that genetic, organic or chemical
disorders cause metal illnesses which give rise to behavioural and
psychological problems. Thus, abnormality has physical causes such as
brain dysfunction (neurological), biochemical imbalances, infections
or genetics and so can only be cured through medical treatments.
Therefore it implies that abnormality results from properly
functioning physiology, a properly functioning nervous system and no
genetic predispositions to inherit mental disorders. It is the
dominant model, as medical practitioners naturally favour it; but it
has been expanded upon by the diathesis-stress model, which seeks
abnormality as an interaction of genetic predisposition and the

The biological model has positive ethical implications in removing the
‘blame’ culture from the mentally ill patient as abnormal individuals
are more likely to be seen as a victim of a disorder in need of care,
therefore not responsible for their predicament. However a negative
ethical issue is that genetic explanations of mental illness may
result in relatives becoming anxious and such explanations also raise
questions and concerns about the use of sterilisation to prevent the
continuation of such disorders. There are a number of other concerns
about the unfavourable ethical consequences of this model of
abnormality. For example, there is the assumption resulting from the
model that the mentally ill aren’t responsible fro their actions which
may lead to a loss of rights, such as the right to consent to
treatment or institutionalisation. The assumption that there is always
a biological underlying cause for mental...

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