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2020 | 17 | 66 | 18

Article title

The Biomedical Model in Psychopathology. A Critical Historical Outline, Contemporary Context and Ethical Problems


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The article presents a critical historical outline and description of the biomedical model of psychopathology, focusing on the second half of the 20th century. It also identifies and discusses the key problems connected with its dominance in the contemporary clinical and research practice. These problems concern, among other things, the validity and reliability of psychiatric diagnoses, research methodology, treatment effectiveness, or the influence of pharmaceutical companies on research and therapeutic activity. The serious conceptual problems of the whole model call into question the foundations and knowledge base of contemporary psychiatry. There are also justified doubts regarding antipsychotic and antidepressant medications nowadays – despite their increasingly wide use, the number of chronically ill people keeps rising. This situation leads to serious ethical problems and warrants questions regarding the over-medicalisation of issues commonly associated with mental health. A reform of research and clinical practice is urgent.









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  • Institute of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University in Kraków


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