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  • 1. 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 physical 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 society. 2 Doctors are an elite The medical elite (doctors) are the only people sufficiently qualified and skilled to identify and treat illness. 3 Medicine is curative The body can be repaired with drugs and surgery. 4 Illness is temporary Illness can be cured by the medical elite. Wellness is the normal state of affairs. 5 Treatment is special 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 approach.

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