This pioneering work addresses a key issue that confronts all industrialised nations: How do we organise healthcare services in accordance with fundamental human rights, whilst competing with scientific and technological advances, powerful commercial interests and widespread public ignorance? "The Nature of Health" presents a coherent, affordable and logical way to build a healthcare system. It argues against a health system fixated on the pursuit of longevity and suggests an alternative where the ability of an individual to function in worthwhile relationships is a better, more human goal. By reviewing the etymology, sociology and anthropology of health, this controversial guide examines the meaning of health, and proves how a community-centred healthcare system improves local economy, creates social capital and is affordable, rational, personal, and just. "This is badly needed nourishment for a medical system glutted on technology, individualism, profit and the pursuit of longevity. Read and be fed." - Christopher Koller, Health Insurance Commissioner, The State of Rhode Island, USA. "Unique. Surprising. A real eye-opener. Just about everyone who doesn't have a vested financial interest in maintaining the status quo will agree that U.S. healthcare is badly broken. [This book] is making it possible for us to refocus from how to provide healthcare to how to achieve health. Their description of health as successful functioning in community, rather than as a measure of longevity is a definition that can make a reader feel healthier as they take gradually appreciate the power of the concept. On this foundation, it is not as hard as one might think to outline a healthcare system that is equitable, affordable and achievable." - Alexander Blount EdD, Professor of Family Medicine, University of Massacusetts Medical Center.
Table of Contents
What health is not: demented and contracted. The health we have. The health we buy. What we measure is not health. Medications are not health. Medicine is not health either. Science is business, not health. Hancock County. What went wrong and why? The happy victim. The human tsunami. The reductive trap. The trap is sprung. How longevity kidnapped health. Medical services and communities. The zero sum game. Three people, three aortas. What health is. A fib. What Webster thinks. Old villages, new lives. Toward a social definition of health. Health and community together. Health and fairness. Amish boy. What's next? Who gets what? How should it look? How should we pay for it? Which doctors?