By Saras Henderson, Alan Petersen
In our post-welfare society, health and wellbeing is more and more considered as a commodity and people are outlined as 'health care consumers'. even as, the concept that the kingdom may still take care of the future health of its voters is being changed via an expectation that electorate may still play a extra lively function in taking care of themselves. those advancements are in no way uncontentious. eating well-being explores the varied meanings and purposes of the time period 'consumer' within the box of overall healthiness care and the results for policy-making, overall healthiness care supply and reports of well-being care. members are famous leading edge researchers and academics from the Australia, the united kingdom and Canada. among them they hide quite a lot of issues - from the medicalisation of the menopause to the participation of patron teams within the nationwide coverage strategy - to create an unique and thought-provoking textual content for college students and practitioners within the box of healthiness care.
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Extra info for Consuming Health: The Commodification of Health Care
Sciolino 2000) Neo-liberalism elevates consumer choice to the level of a right that society is organized to defend; the right of each to spend his or her own resources as he or she chooses is the organizing principle behind the privatization of government services. ‘Giving money back’ to taxpayer/consumers and allowing them to spend it as they choose is the recurring slogan of neoliberal political parties. Advertisements by cosmetic surgeons join this presumption of consumer right with psychotherapeutic imperatives to discover or liberate an inner self that has been repressed or hidden; thus messages such as the one quoted above, ‘celebrate a reflection of the true you’.
To summarize my first level of critique, fragmentation distorts because it renders bodies like other merchandised commodities: collections of ‘features’. Homes, cars and stereos are now advertised with a bulleted list of their features; the number of features sets one version of a commodity above another. As transformed by the language of merchandising, ‘homes’ are no longer places that achieve value through the accumulated experiences of lives transpiring there but instead become collections of features – hot tubs, bars, decks, views, and so forth.
They also have the capacity to form, articulate and act on what they perceive to be their own best interests. Viewed from this angle, consumer discourse is both empowering and dangerous. Freed from the unifying power of sovereign professional authority, patients as consumers might contest the authority of professionals to prescribe knowledge and practice, and eclipse traditional systems of order and rule, at least theoretically, by engaging in personalized acts of choice geared to maximizing their interests and attaining what they desire.