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Theor Med Bioeth. 2009;30(6):411-25. doi: 10.1007/s11017-009-9122-4.

Can medicalization be good? Situating medicalization within bioethics.

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  • 1Division of Ethics and Health Policy, Department of Clinical Sciences, UT Southwestern, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9070, USA. John.Sadler@UTSouthwestern.edu


Medicalization has been a process articulated primarily by social scientists, historians, and cultural critics. Comparatively little is written about the role of bioethics in appraising medicalization as a social process. The authors consider what medicalization means, its definition, functions, and criteria for assessment. A series of brief case sketches illustrate how bioethics can contribute to the analysis and public policy discussion of medicalization.

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