Nicky Hart (1985) and the five features of the biomedical model of health and illness
Feature Explained Do you agree? Why? Why not?
1 Disease is
The biomedical model concentrates on
physical symptoms of disease, not social
and environmental factors. Disease happens
in an individual’s body, not as part of
2 Doctors are
The medical elite (doctors) are the only
people sufficiently qualified and skilled to
identify and treat illness.
3 Medicine is
The body can be repaired with drugs and
4 Illness is
Illness can be cured by the medical elite.
Wellness is the normal state of affairs.
5 Treatment is
Treatment of disease takes place in
recognised health care environments (e.g.
doctor’s surgeries, hospitals) which are
distinct from the environment where the
patient got ill.
Can you evaluate the medical model below? In the boxes suggest some strengths and weaknesses to this