Health can be viewed as the state of being fit and well, as well as a state of mental sanity (WHO 2005). According to Blaxter (2004), if a person can perform daily functions such as going to work, taking care of the household, etc he/she is healthy. Many studies have found that lay people define health as the absence of illness (Williams 1983, Calnan 1987, Hughner & Kleine 2004). However being healthy means different things to different people as much have been said and written about people’s varying concepts of health. Some lay perceptions are based on pragmatism where health is regarded as a relative phenomenon, experienced and evaluated according to what an individual finds reasonable to expect, given their age, medical condition and social status. For them being healthy, may just mean not having a health problem, which interferes with their everyday lives (Bury 2005).
Some taxonomies have evolved in attempt to define health. In this work, health has been considered from the perspective of biomedical and social models.
According to Baggott (2004) the biomedical model of health looks at individual physical functioning and describes bad health as the presence of disease and illness symptoms as a result of physical cause such as injury or infections and attempts to ignore social and psychological factors.
Baggott (2004) states that the features of biomedical model rest mainly on biomedical changes, which can be defined, measured and isolated. In effect this is directed towards the dysfunction of the organs and tissues of the body rather than the overall condition of the patient.
Biomedical treatments often involve the removal of the cause, for instance the virus or bacteria. The biomedical model is based on the belief that there is always a cure and the idea that illness is temporary, episodic and a physical condition.
The basic values of the biomedical model of health consist of the theory called doctrine of specific aetiology, which is the idea that all...