Is imposing risk awareness cultural imperialism ? The ethics of epidemiology.
Epidemiology is the main supplier of bases of action'for preventive medicine and health promotion.
Epidemiology and epidemiologists therefore have a responsibility not only for the quality and soundness of the risk estimates they deliver and for the way they are interpreted and used, but also for their consequences.
In the industrialised world, the value of, and fascination with health is greater than ever, and the revelation from epidemiological research of new hazards and risks, conveyed to the public by the media, has become almost an every-day phenomenon.
This « risk epidemic »in the modern media is paralleled in professional medical journals.
It is in general endorsed by health promoters as a necessary foundation for increased health awareness and a desirable impetus for people to take responsibility for their own health through behavioural changes.
Epidemiologists and health promoters, however, have in general not taken the possible side effects of increased risk awareness seriously enough.
By increasing anxiety regarding disease, accidents and other adverse events, the risk epidemic enhances both health care dependence and health care consumption.
More profoundly, and perhaps even more seriously. it changes the way people think about health, disease and death - - and ultimately and at least potentially. their perspective on life more generally.
The message from the odds ratios from epidemiological research advocates a rationalistic, individualistic. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Facteur risque, Aspect culturel, Classe sociale, Epidémiologie, Ethique, Homme, Prévention
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Risk factor, Cultural aspect, Social class, Epidemiology, Ethics, Human, Prevention
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0476719
Code Inist : 002B30A09. Création : 19/02/1999.