Allopathic –cure based – the biomedical approach takes this approach via surgery, drugs etc.
Alternative medicine – see complementary medicine
Altruism – the idea that some medical professionals are motivated by the need to put society first rather than financial reward – functionalists such as Barber often argue this.
Artefact approach – an approach that believes that the statistics about class and health exaggerate the real situation.
Bio-medical model of health – the conventional Western model of health which sees the body as a machine under attack from germs etc and which insists on diagnosis of symptoms by medical professionals.
Birth rate – the number live births per 1000 of the population each year.
Clinical iceberg – the idea that most illness never comes to the attention of doctors because it is self-medicated.
Complementary medicine – alternative forms of health therapy, usually disapproved of by the medical profession, e.g. homeopathy, acupuncture etc.
Cultural explanations of health – blame the victims (or their culture) for engaging in unhealthy behaviour and lifestyles, e.g. smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise etc.
Cultural relativity of health and illness – the idea that different cultures explain and react differently to illness, e.g. some take a holistic approach, some blame witchcraft or magic, Hindus refer to chest pains as a ‘sinking heart’ etc.
Disability – a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Disableism – the effect of social prejudices and discriminatory practices on a disabled person’s chances of leading a normal life.
Discourse – a term used by Foucault to describe a powerful set of ideas that dominates a medical debate, e.g. the biomedical discourse currently dominates health care.