For better and worse: The technological imperative in health care

M. Janet Burger-Lux, Robert P. Heaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


Few elements of our lives have changed as profoundly these past 30-40 years as health care. Despite almost miraculous advances and the acquisition of powers previously undreamed-of, there is a sense that all is not right. Paradoxically, dissatisfaction seems to have grown in parallel with the ability to intervene in the course of illness and injury. Many astute observers believe that the problem lies in the smothering dominance of technology, in the fact that technology tends to displace persons as the focus of interest and to create confusion about the purpose and limits of restorative health care. We shall review briefly the terms of the problem as seen by health professionals, social scientists, and ethicists. Out of this analysis we shall suggest the rough outline of an approach to establish some measure of balance in the application of technology to human health problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1313-1320
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1986


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Health(social science)

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