Chapter

Responding to the global challenge of sick societies

David Stuckler and Karen Siegel

in Sick Societies

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199574407
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731204 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574407.003.0147
Responding to the global challenge of sick societies

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This chapter takes a reflective view, looking at our societies' current and future health as a mirror that reveals who we are and who we are becoming. It argues that looking into the mirror, we see unhealthy societies, and a model of development that threatens human welfare. Looking beyond the mirror, we can imagine a more egalitarian world where reducing human suffering — be it chronic or infectious — is the principal objective of social policy. While this approach may seem novel and untried, in medicine it traces back to an historical era of the 19th century, where drugs were ineffective but the public health community was nevertheless able to greatly reduce suffering due to infectious diseases.

Keywords: public health; unhealthy societies; economic development; human welfare; social policy

Chapter.  6488 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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