Objectives: Critical analysis of the biomedical model in the concepts and practice of contemporary medicine.
Methodology: Analytical and interpretive.
Results: The author begins with a historical evolutionary synthesis that considers the ideas and key agents essential to the four paradigms or models that--across an expanse of time--have influenced the current model: magical-religious medicine; the empirical-rational, or Hippocratic, model; the model of Galileo and the contributions made by Paracelsus; and last, the biomedical model.
The author then analyzes the phenomenon of medicalization, simultaneously a consequence of and stimulus for the dominant power exerted by the biomedical model. He places this dynamic process in the context of the consumer society, which obeys market logic. Medications exemplify the distortions produced by increasing medicalization.
Conclusions: Rather than the presumed positive effects of medicine, based on the biomedical model, this model instead manifests more limitations than advantages.
Copyright 2007 University of New Mexico