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To Fix or to HealPatient Care, Public Health, and the Limits of Biomedicine$
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Joseph E. Davis and Ana Marta Gonzalez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479878246

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479878246.001.0001

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Conclusion Limits in the Interest of Healing

Conclusion Limits in the Interest of Healing

(p.307) Conclusion Limits in the Interest of Healing
To Fix or to Heal

Joseph E. Davis

NYU Press

In the Conclusion, Davis summarizes the essays’ explorations of problematic reductionism. He then suggests practices that could have some countervailing holistic force in the three spheres of medicine, bioethics, and public health. In medicine, these might include distinguishing between “health” and professional health care, and mobilizing health professionals to defend their practice against the claims of consumerism. In bioethics, we must make medicine’s ethical values more transparent; rather than accepting a default set of stealth goods, we must deliberate in open recognition that the goods at stake are inescapably common and ethically charged. Finally, public health should reconnect with its social medicine roots, regaining a complementary (not subservient) relationship with medicine. This public health would again focus on life conditions and social inequities, not just on individual behaviors.

Keywords:   public health, social determinants of health, bioethics, medicalization, consumerism, principlism, reductionism, holism, biomedical model, morality

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