The medicalization of health and shared responsibility

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


Public, occupational and environmental health are relatively novel disciplines compared to the ancient history of medicine. Their development, together with a more insightful knowledge of the human pathophysiology (this more usual term is the one used in the article itself), have progressively expanded the field of investigation of medicine to environmental, behavioural and genetic factors that favour the development of certain medical conditions. As a result we have developed numerous additional strategies to monitor health and prevent disease, including interventions in anticipation of diseases themselves when patients are still healthy or in a grey area of increased risk. New developments related to genomics and distributed point of care technologies will exacerbate a process of medicalization of health. This process is profoundly re-shaping how medicine interacts with the general population, states and policy makers and has implications for healthcare system design and individual health choices.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalNew Bioethics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Disease, Environmental health, Genomics, Medicalization of health, Public health

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