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By Sarah Cant

This comparative textual content examines the increase of non-orthodox drugs and theorizes the altering nature of healthiness care in glossy societies. It engages with sociological debates on modernity and postmodernity, anthropological paintings.

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Additional resources for A New Medical Pluralism: Complementary Medicine, Doctors, Patients And The State

Example text

Nevertheless, the rise in the use of alternative medicine does coincide with the ever increasing use of biomedical services and questions have to be asked about the rising expectations and demands held by the consumer. Whereas the variety of usage patterns means that it is important that we recognize that the use of the alternative medical sector is a complex question, it does appear that we are seeing a pluralistic and “complementary” system of health care developing. However, the continuing reluctance on the part of the patient to tell their general practitioner that they use these services may mean this plural use of services continues to be a clandestine activity.

It may also be the case that practitioners only want to encourage a degree of participation, partly no doubt to maintain their own distance and boundaries of expertise (see Cant & Sharma 1996b, 1996d). g. ) because the practitioners are concerned that the patient may read the descriptions and make assumptions about how the practitioner viewed their personality. Overall, however, patients talked of feeling that they were participating in the medical encounter. According to Taylor (1984) this shift links more to changes in the political rather than medical culture and demands for the democratization of decision-making.

The authors concluded from these findings that users were more conscious about their health and concerned with healthy living. Overall these differences need not be too surprising. The large number of women users may be related to the likelihood that they experience chronic illnesses more than men and their preparedness to consult the biomedical services more extensively. Yet this observation does not account for the statistical likelihood that they would have less disposable income than their male counter-parts THE NATURE OF USER DEMAND 29 (Pahl 1989).

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