Changing Perspectives in the Study of the Social Role of Medicine

The “Milbank Quarterly” over the past 14 years took the lead in examining inequalities (and their policy implications) arising from stigma and devaluation because of age, disability, mental impairment, and lifestyle as well as socioeconomic disadvantage. It sought to examine alternative models in a context sensitive to the inextricable connections between health and society, their persistence through time, and their link to demographic changes. In focusing on concepts of disease, disability, cultural responses, and ideas of personhood, it brought to health policy considerations a depth of discussion that was visibly absent as our society increasingly became obsessed with containing health care costs. Throughout the years of David Willis’s editorship, the Quarterly conveyed a vision of a more equitable health care system sensitive to practical realities but dedicated to moral objectives.

Author(s): David Mechanic

Download the Article

Read on JSTOR

Volume 69, Issue 2 (pages 215–232)
Published in 1991