162 , 2015-03-30 , 金沢大学外国語教育研究センター = Foreign Language Institute Kanazawa University
The concept of Health and Disease is so familiar to us, often too familiar to define what they mean, and when we are asked their meaning, we answer sometimes circularly that health is not disease, and disease is not health. The famous definition of the WHO Charter in 1946 has made the same mistake. In order to understand well the concept of disease, we must distinguish first of all between disease and its appearances, and then those appearances into subjective symptom and objective sign, of which the former makes subjective illness and the latter objective disease(in the narrow sense). Therefore in the concepts of symptom and illness there are such various subjective moments, of which the most representative is pain or suffering. As the ‘total pain’ of C. Saunders shows, the concept of pain is so extensive, that contains various socio-cultural moments such as inequalities, injustices and discriminations. They may be not the cause of physical pain, but that of mental,social and possibly spiritual pain. Medical sociology focuses itself on social pain and socially caused illness, and it is interested in sickness as ‘deviance’ from the normal standard of the social behavior, and by curing the sickness as deviance, health care system plays an important role as a ‘social control’ tool. In relation to the question, what is disease, the last important here is “Medicalization”. Various behaviors, e.g. ADHD and PMS, which were earlier not regarded as sickness, are now looked upon as such, and moreover, the former has been expanded to adult, the latter to men (andropause), who are treated with medicaments. Behind the expansion of medicalization we fear the spreading out of the intolerance of the society against the cultural diversity and social minorities.