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Medicine and society 

Medicine and society
Chapter:
Medicine and society
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199588442.003.0014
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date: 06 December 2021

Introduction 886

Measuring disease in a society 887

Detection of disease 888

Assessing the effectiveness of treatment of a disease 890

The sociocultural context of medicine 892

Medicine cannot be practised without considering the societal contexts within which it exists: a new ‘wonder drug’ for hypertension will be ineffective if a patient does not take it; an expensive, complicated treatment for an advanced stage of a disease would be unnecessary if that disease could be prevented by more simple means; a patient who is efficiently diagnosed with gluten-sensitive enteropathy (coeliac disease) but who does not understand a doctor's description of sources of gluten in the diet will continue to suffer from the effects of that disease....

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