Bmj Usa: Editor's Choice

What's wrong with that?

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E115

This article originally appeared in BMJ USA

Five articles in this issue are taken from the April 13, 2002 theme issue of the BMJ, which was devoted to “medicalization.” That term refers to the practice of giving a medical name to what many might consider a “non-disease,” such as social phobia or male pattern baldness.

Whether these are “non-diseases” is somewhat contentious. Many contributors to the BMJ theme issue doubt that these conditions warrant the stature of disease, whereas victims of these conditions may feel otherwise. Something is clearly amiss when the normal troubles of life are labeled as pathological, but those in suffering often resent having their ailments dismissed as “non-diseases.”

The …

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