Moving away from the “medical model”: The development and revision of the world health organization’s classification of disability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recently, there has been a prominent call in the history of medicine for greater engagement with disability perspectives. In this article, I suggest that critiques of the so-called medical model have been an important vehicle by which alternative narratives of disability entered the clinical arena. Historians of medicine have rarely engaged with the medical model beyond descriptive accounts of it. I argue that to more adequately address disability perspectives, historians of medicine must better historicize the medical model concept and critique, which has been drawn upon by physicians, activists, and others to advance particular perspectives on disability. My present contribution describes two distinct formulations of critique that originated in differing interest groups and characterized the medical model alternatively as insufficient and oppressive. I examine the World Health Organization’s efforts to incorporate these distinctive medical model critiques during the development and revision of its International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities, and Handicaps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-269
Number of pages29
JournalBulletin of the History of Medicine
Volume93
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

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Medicine
History of Medicine
Public Opinion
Physicians
Medical Model
World Health Organization
Historian
Interest Groups
Descriptive
Handicap
Activists
Impairment

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • History

Cite this

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