Health is Not Merely The Absence of Disease example

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Health is Not Merely The Absence of a Disease


It is a traditional belief in the medical field that health is the absence or lack of a disease; while disease is anything that is not consistent with health. The most crucial problem in the medical field is to break this cycle with a critical analysis of either disease or health. This paper argues that health is not entirely the lack of a disease in the body .Apart from environmental injuries; a disease is the internal state that limits a functional ability of an individual’s typical level. Health as freedom from illness is the statistical normality which is the ability to carry out all physiological activities with at least typical efficiency. This paper first begins with a survey on the main ideas discussed earlier by different scholars, and then it presents and defends the functional account. A part from the normal clause that health is the absence of health; this research focuses on giving additional information that health is the normal functioning of the body, where the normality is the biological and statistical functioning. It focuses mainly on distinguishing between the absence of disease which is the theoretical health and practical health which is basically lack of treatable illness


These are lots of clinical literature and very little philosophical concepts of health. There are elementary ideas that come up frequently during the definition of the word health; unfortunately none of these ideas provides sufficient or necessary conditions for disease. These elementary ideas include value, treatment by physicians, statistical normality, pain, discomfort and suffering, disability, adaptation and homeostasis.Treatment by physiciansOften it is proposed that a disease is something that is undesirable that physicians need to treat. It is very important to cite realities of treatment to give an insight to why some undesirable conditions are not diseases. As the medical practices changes from time to time with the evolving values and social institutions, so is the inventory of illness. Most human illnesses, for sociological, technical or historical reasons, fall within the medical practice. If there was a standard treatment for the need to sleep or shortness, then automatically these physical conditions would be diseases. The reason they do not exist in the medical books is because there is no treatment for them. This argument is entirely not correct because there other untreatable diseases found in the medical books. Besides, medical usage posses a converse difficulty while trying to define the word disease. As much as they regard some conditions they cannot treat as diseases, doctors at times treat some conditions they do not acknowledge as diseases (Boorse, 1975).

Pain, suffering and discomfort

Another issue of controversies is that health does not agree with, is the discomfort and pain of illness. It suggests focus on medical practice instead of focusing on the theory and more specifically on patients who complain of signs and symptoms. But within the medical practices, there are routine check-ups that disclose asymptomatic illness …

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