Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters How should health be defined?

Complexity science may help in defining health

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 09 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b32
  1. Vivian S Rambihar, cardiologist1,
  2. Vanessa Rambihar, medical student2
  1. 13000 Lawrence E, No 3302, Toronto, ON, Canada M1P 2V1
  2. 2University of Toronto, Toronto
  1. vrambihar{at}

    Jadad and O’Grady suggest that defining health may be futile since a definition may not capture its complexity.1

    Our perception of the world changes and uses ideas from the science of its day.2 3 The mid-20th century definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing and not merely the …

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