The concepts of health and disease form the foundation of medicine and the health system in general, providing the goal or reason for medical and patient-care measures. Discourse on how to appropriately define these terms, which is carried out primarily in theoretical medicine and the philosophy of medicine, is therefore of great interest to society and is by no means merely an academic exercise.
The attribution of disease has important normative implications. These range from the often desired release from responsibilities (for example from work commitments) to the justification of measures taken against the will of a patient, especially in psychiatry. Hence, it is not surprising that the term disease is highly controversial; strong public interests influence which conditions are classified as a disease or illness.
(Quelle: Thomas Schramme "Einleitung", in ders. (Hg.), Krankheitstheorien, Suhrkamp 2012)
Thomas Schramme, 30.06.2014 / Thomas.Schramme@uni-hamburg.de