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Goals of Medicine in the Course of History and Today

  • Fleischh_Herm_Goals_of_MedicineAuthors:
    Kurt Fleischhauer, Göran Hermerén


  • Titel:
    Goals of Medicine in the Course of History and Today
    (A Study in the History and Philosophy of Medicine)


  • Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien,
    Stockholm 2006.
    479, (1) pages / 250 mm x 174 mm
    SEK 388 / € 41,25 (ca.)
    ISBN 91-7402-353-5


  • Abstract:
    The purpose of this book is to study the history of medicine from a particular point of view: the changes of, and tensions between, medical goals from early Greek medicine till today. These goals are neither self-evident nor immutable.

    The book consists of two parts. The first historical part is concerned with the development of medicine, and particularly with its increasing differentiation. Certain areas, where conflicts between medical goals have been particularly evident, are examined in some detail, for instance the development of public health, eugenics, cosmetic surgery, abortion, contraception, medical genetics and medical research. The focus is on the development in some European countries and the US.

    In the second part of the book a number of philosophical issues raised by the first part are discussed. This part of the book concentrates on three problem areas. The first is whether the historical investigation supports the assumption that there is a common core or a conceptual kernel in the goals of medicine that has remained constant over time (essentialism). The second tries to identify and clarify the values behind goals and changes of goals, which are also reflected in controversies over the responsibilities of patients, doctors, nurses and relatives. The third concerns how different types of goals in and for medicine have been, and may be, classified, differentiated and defined. Finally, the book identifies some proposed health care reforms, where clarity about medical goals is essential. 
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