Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Health Definition and comments
Health concept – Birth
I am really impressed with word Health since I am in medical science. I have read definition of health in text book of K Park first time year 1993 when I was in second MBBS. I am greatly obliged to read the definition. It is “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity”. The definition is written in the World Health Organization in the preamble of its constitution1. In 1978, with ‘Health for All’ series document, WHO has amplified the definition to include “the ability to lead a socially and economically productive life”2.
In the textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine by K Park has written something about critics on definition. One critic is about ‘state’, book argue that health can not defined as a state at all but must be seen as a process of continuous adjustment to the changing demands of living and of the changing meanings we give to life. It is a dynamic concept3. I definitely agrees with the author on this aspect.
My argument in the definition is that we should add one more dimension of Spiritual Health along with physical, mental and social. The area of spiritual health is still unknown to us. Very few research and evidence are available on this dimension. In textbook of Preventive and Social medicine, the author has describe spiritual health as one dimension. But the concept of spiritual health is vague. So my personal logic is that we need to find more evidences and suggest to WHO to incorporate this dimension in definition. I think our Indian pathy Ayurveda will helap to get evidences in this aspect. Thus the suggested new refined definition of Health is
“Health is a dynamic condition of physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing and not merely absence of disease or infirmity which lead to a socially and economically productive life”
Do you all support the new revised version of definition? I need support to add spiritual health dimension, Should we add or not? I am interested in our Indian context definition of health with evidences. Please share if anybody has Indian definition. Our Ayurveda is the science of life that one is the biggest concept of health. But any published literature anybody has please shares. I read one interesting blog on health definition by BMJ please see http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2008/12/10/alex-jadad-on-defining-health/
Waiting for your comments
Dr. Niraj Pandit
1. WHO. Constitution of the World Health Organization. 2006. www.who.int/governance/eb/who_constitution_en.pdf.
2. WHO (1978) Health for All sr. No 1
3. Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine, K Park 19th Edition page 13