Fifty years ago, when medicine had relatively few effective treatments to offer, its value was unquestioned.
Twenty-five years ago clinicians had become concerned that treatment could sometimes do harm and McKeown published epidemiological evidence claiming that medicine did little good.
This state of affairs was used by Illich to bolster his crusade against technology in general.
Today it is clear that medicine now makes a large contribution to health.
But doubts still exist and alternative pathways to health are continually exhorted.
Large-scale efforts at behavioural modification, encouraging the adoption of healthier lifestyles, have been largely unsuccessful.
Social activists now argue that funds should be diverted from medical care to social programmes that, they claim, might contribute more to health.
While it is true that health is strongly associated with socio-economic status (income, education and occupation), there is little sense of how best to reallocate scarce resources so as to improve the health impact of social and economic programmes.
Social reform is not a substitute for medical care.
Rather, our social environment is a second, important but quite separate, determinant of health and well-being.
Mots-clés Pascal : Innovation, Technologie, Etude critique, Information, Comportement, Santé, Nuisance, Risque, Politique sanitaire
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Innovation, Technology, Critical study, Information, Behavior, Health, Nuisance, Risk, Health policy
Notice produite par :
ORS Auvergne - Observatoire Régional de la Santé d'Auvergne
Code Inist : 002B30A11. Création : 21/07/1998.