What is medicine? Why it’s so important to answer this question

What is medicine? We recognise it in all societies past and present. But the nature of medicine differs so greatly from destination to place and Anavar online for sale time to time that it’s difficult to offer a single answer. So what exactly is it that we see in accordance between an old-fashioned healer’s throwing of our bones and the cardiologist’s incisions?

One of the answers that often seems to be implicit in what we say and think about medicine is a curative thesis: medicine’s goal is to cure the sick. Curing the sick is the core medical competence, whose exercise is medicine’s core business.

However if the curative thesis does work, then most medicine throughout history – as well as much contemporary medicine – isn’t medicine at all. Much medicine was and is ineffective, or at best to some extent effective. The curative thesis leads to a dismissive attitude towards the past efforts upon which any current medicine is built, as well as failing to promote profitable collaboration between traditions.

A second idea is an request thesis about medicine: although with regards to medicine is to cure, its core business is something quite different. It’s this thesis I explore in my latest article.

That “something” is du to asking into the nature and causes of health and disease. The idea is that we don’t necessarily expect someone to be able to cure us. We encourage that they are a medical expert if they can show a preliminary understanding individuals ailment, often by providing an accurate analysis. Perhaps they won’t have a complete understanding, but they should somehow be engaged with the larger project of request into the nature and causes of health and disease.

The request thesis offers a way to understand the of medicine making it higher than a tale of quackery and gullibility. It also provides a way to understand medical traditions that practised not in the Rest of the world, or in the Rest of the world in defiance of the mainstream. They may offer or at least build relationships a project of obtaining; a kind of knowing that Western medicine cannot.

The request style of medicine lays the earth for successful and well intentioned discussions between medical traditions that doesn’t descend into an untenable relativism in what works.

We do not define an action by its goal alone, unless it has at least some success in that respect. A blacksmith cannot be defined as one who makes horseshoes if he simply throws lumps of hot metal onto his anvil and hammers them randomly – occasionally producing something horseshoe-like, but more often making a mess.

Yet, taking a historical perspective, something of this kind has been true of medicine for much of its history, before it developed a serious curative collection. Historian of medicine Roy Porter has remarked that

the prominence of medicine has lain only in small measure in its capacity make the sick well. This has been always true, and remains so today.

What, then, could be the business of medicine – the thing in which we recognise expertise, even when we accept that there is no cure to be enjoyed?

This is where the request model enters the picture. I propose that the business of medicine is understanding the type and causes of health and disease, for the purpose of cure.

The core of the argument is easy: what could medical persons be good at doing, that relates to with regards to cure without achieving it? The most likely candidate is understanding. Understanding is something that we can gain without matching curative success.

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