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Cultural influences on medical knowledge / David Hughes

Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine

Swansea University Author: Hughes, David

Abstract

This article examines how culture influences the content and practical application of medical knowledge. The current state of medical knowledge is not simply the outcome of a neutral process of scientific investigation, but is affected by more general cultural perspectives. Disease classification sy...

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Published in: Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine
Published: Springer 2016
Online Access: http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-94-017-8706-2_73-2
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa19989
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Abstract: This article examines how culture influences the content and practical application of medical knowledge. The current state of medical knowledge is not simply the outcome of a neutral process of scientific investigation, but is affected by more general cultural perspectives. Disease classification systems utilised by doctors emerge in a social context, and lay health beliefs reflect local cultural perspectives, so that medical practice involves mediating between expert and laybelief systems. Additionally, medical practice is itself affected by the subcultural perspectives associated with the medical profession, its constituent specialisms, and the diverse hospital and community settings where healthcare is provided. Medicine is both a scientific and practice-based discipline and this has resulted in tensions between the art and science of practice, with some doctors putting more weight on clinical judgement based on experience rather than the standardised application of codified knowledge.
Item Description: Handbook published first online and subsequently in print. Full text available as open access example chapter at: http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-94-017-8706-2_73-2
Keywords: culture, medical knowledge, classification, medical profession
College: College of Human and Health Sciences