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By Sarah Cant

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

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Extra info for A New Medical Pluralism: Complementary Medicine, Doctors, Patients And The State

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Sharma 1996a:243) Thus, alternative medicine may offer new ways of looking at health and illness that move beyond reductionist accounts and allow for more varied and plural understandings that converge with those held by the patient. Johannessen (1996) argues that the individual ized treatment bestows meaning to the patient and allows them to create order in a situation of personal chaos, created by the illness episode. The explanations offered by the alternative practitioner purport to be and are experienced by the patient as “tailor made” to their own biography and experiences and can in turn engender changes to the person’s perception of their health and social situation.

Perhaps there is a level where patients do not wish to exercise knowledgeability and consumerism, just as in the private biomedical sector where the patients do not make the choice of consultant (Calnan et al. 1993). 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.

It is generally agreed that the general public have become increasingly sceptical about the value of medicine (Gabe et al. 1994a) but has there been a fracturing of societal trust? Of course, there can never have been complete trust but has the faith in the medical profession declined and are users of alternative medicine more sceptical and concerned about biomedicine? Bakx (1991) has argued that biomedicine has lost the support of the lay public: biomedicine is in danger of losing both its actual and ideological hegemony: firstly, it has culturally distanced itself from the consumers of its services; secondly it has failed to match its propaganda polices with real breakthroughs; thirdly patients have become further alienated by negative physical and psychological experiences at the hands of the biomedical practitioners themselves.

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