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In Dr Jonathan Metzls lecture The Politics of Health How CulturalAnalysis Helps Us Better Understand The Cultures of Medicine hepresented the idea that health is much more complicated than just theabsence of disease or a universal good He believes that theconcept of health is complex and greatly influenced by politics andculture Dr Metzl helped develop the Center for Medicine Health andSociety at Vanderbilt University This is described as an innovativemultidisciplinary center that studies the social and societal dimensionsof health and illness that also allows students and researchers toexplore medicine and science in a wide array of cultural contextswhile at the same time fostering productive dialogue across disciplinaryboundaries Medicine Health and Society Dr Metzl believes thatcritical thinking about illness and health is vital to the innovation ofthe healthcare industryHealth is now defined in a more complex way than it has been in thepast The definition is greatly affected by who is stating it To aninsurance provider a person is healthy if he or she did not cost themmuch money To a doctor it is someone with the proper numbers Athletesbelieve despite their injuries that they are healthy if they can playEdlund The World Heath Organization defines health as a state ofcomplete physical mental and social well-being and not merely theabsence of disease or infirmity WHO Definition of Health This newconcept of health has been derived from the influences of politicalcultural moral and economic factors Understanding factors that affectthe definition of health is critical to the innovation and developmentof medicine What does being healthy really mean Who has the right to be healthyWho decides whose responsibility it is to make people healthy Questionssuch as these have made the concept of health highly politicalized DrMetzl stated that attacks on science and health have become corevernaculars of the american political landscape Politicians often usetheir stances and ideas on the healthcare industry to score politicalpoints The debate of the governments role in healthcare is prominentin todays world There
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