Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Criticism Against the Modern Medicalization

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Today the world in which we live in has faced steady medicalization of daily existence. Critics argue whether this leads to a favorable or a non favorable outcome. The establishment and development in medicine has become a major threat to health. Dependence on efficient health care affects all social relations. In rich countries medical colonization has reached sickening proportions whereas poor countries are quickly following suit.

Medicalization, that “is the process by which human conditions and problems come to be defined and treated as medical conditions and problems, and thus come under the authority of doctors and other health professionals to study, diagnose, prevent or treat. ” (wikipedia. org). In the modern world people feel dependant towards medical treatment no matter how minor it is. Whether the doctor is effective or not, it is an illusion what seems to be there in peoples’ hearts that they actually are being cured.

Useless medical treatments, doctor-inflicted injuries, leave the patients helpless and as they are already defenceless and still consider themselves to be dependent on doctors. Modern Health care system has grown beyond limits in an unfavorable way. This can be said to happen due to 3 reasons. It must produce clinical damages which outweigh its potential benefits; it cannot but dim the political conditions which execute the society unhealthy; and it tends to assume the power of the individual to heal himself and to shape his or her environment.

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When it comes to producing medicine, Industrial progress is more being put into concern rather than personal growth. Such medicine is but a device to convince those who are sick and tired of society that it is they who are ill, incompetent and in need of technical repair. Most people are already doubtful about medicine and only need evidence to affirm their uncertainty. Doctors already find it necessary to boost their credibility by demanding that many treatments now common be officially prohibited.

Medical performances which are considered as necessary are often so basic that restrictions are put on to them and are not acceptable to many politicians. Medications are costly and contain a high risk, which sometimes makes them not worth to be used. The world that we live in has experienced dramatic changes in the diseases afflicting population. Facts have proved that now a day’s early deaths are caused due to different diseases rather than accidents, violence, or suicide.

During the past century deaths have been mainly due to different diseases for example malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, scarlet fever and many more. But the death rate has been fairly decreased due to the introduction of antibiotics and widespread immunization. Improved housing and better nutrition are also one of the factors that have caused the death rate to fall and keep people away from various deadly diseases. Past century has also experienced major malnutrition syndromes, such as rickets and pellagra.

But these have been soon replaced by modern epidemics such as coronary heart disease, emphysema, bronchitis and obesity, hypertension, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and the so called mental disorders. In a way, the elimination of old forms of mortality has increased life expectancy which now suffers from the new diseases. The trend experienced of the diseases afflicting the population shows that the environment is the primary determinant of the state of general health of the society.

The food we eat, the houses we live in, the working conditions, neighbourhood coherence, as well as the cultural mechanisms, which make it possible to keep us stable, and play a major role in deciding how healthy we feel and at what age we tend to die. The life expectancy is no doubt increased due to more healthy way of living, but more and more diseases that are affecting people is not due to the number of doctors available, or the medical treatment. The new techniques available to recognize and treat unhealthy conditions by surgical interventions redefine but do not reduce despair.

It is not surprising to see that where certain diseases have become rare, the number of doctors exceeds the need of people as compared to the places where those diseases are more to be found. Doctors tend to work in places where the climate is healthy, where the water is clean, and where people work and can pay for their services. Useless medical treatments also take place in cases where they are not necessarily needed. During the last century there have been many, but limited number of medical procedures that have indeed become effective and beneficial for the people.

Those medical treatments which are designed for widespread diseases are comparatively cheaper than the ones used for unique or diseases that do not exist on a high scale. The cheap medical treatments are only in the case where they are monopolized for personal use, and they require a minimum of personal skills, materials or hotel services from hospitals. Many dangerous diseases such as malaria, paralytic poliomyelitis, whooping cough, and measles, medicines to cure these diseases have shown considerable progress. But for most other infections, medicine can show no comparable results.

For many diseases medicine has a short term effect but for the long term, it tends to be unsuitable or ineffective. Heart diseases, different types of cancers are highly curable, but there are some stages of these diseases at which the diseases gets hard or impossible to be cured. Breast cancer for example is curable but in some cases it is impossible to be cured no matter how frequently medical checkups are being performed. Surgery and chemotherapy for rare congenital and rheumatic heart disease has increased the chances for an active life for some of those who suffer from these conditions.

The drug treatment of high blood pressure is effective for the few in whom it is a diseased condition and can do a serious harm to those in whom it is not. But no matters how careful we are or how frequent checkups are being down, doctor inflicted injuries are also getting very common. People suffer from illness that is caused by professional medical treatments. This doctor-made disease is also known as Iatrogenesis. Medicines are widely used for the smallest of diseases. But their unwanted side effects have increased with their effectiveness and widespread use.

Several people now a day’s swallow medically prescribed chemical. Some take a wrong drug, others get a contaminated or old batch, others take several drugs which are dangerous or take them in dangerous combinations, and others receive injections with improperly sterilized syringes or brittle needles. Many drugs are also addictive or mutilating, or also mutagenic. Other drugs contribute to the breeding of drug-resistant strains of bacteria. Unnecessary surgeries are normally performed these days.

Diseases that are not to happen, a person gets effected because of over medical treatment. The side effects of medications are more than the benefits gained from them. Malpractice, which is known as carelessness is neglected and is not given much of an importance even though it is something to be put into concern. While performing medical surgeries on which lives are dependant, sometimes malpractice even causes a loss in human life. Doctors are being transformed into technicians applying scientific rules to classes of patients.

What had formally been considered an abuse of confidence and a moral fault can now be rationalized into the occasional breakdown of the equipment and operators. Malpractice is considered a technical problem not an ethical problem anymore. Undesirable side effects or mistaken or unintentional use of medication has left many patients as helpless and defenceless. Damages are done to the patients due to the doctors carelessness or exploitation and also in the case when the doctor attempts to protect himself against the patients eventual legal action of malpractice.

Many people who are inflicted with specific diseases are not allowed to work leaving them helpless and are unable to live their life to the most and earn themselves a good living. Many people start living their lives in a way they think is health wise better and beneficial for them, but at a later stage it turns out to be as harmful and makes them fall into illness. Modern medicalization has faced critics and in a way they prove to be right and unethical for the society. Medical nemesis can only be reversed through mutual self care, if not than the world will be bound to suffer from this dilemma that prevails.

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