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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


SEGRE, Marco  and  FERRAZ, Flávio Carvalho. The health's concept. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1997, vol.31, n.5, pp.538-542. ISSN 1518-8787.

Objections to the present WHO (World Health Organization) definition of HEALTH, as "the state of perfect physical, mental and social well-being", are expressed. It is considered to be anachronistic, first because it aims at perfection which is unaltainelle because of distict personality characteristics. As the main support for this idea, the necessary renunciation of part of man's drive to liberty in exchange for the lesser insecurity provided by social life (Freud, Castoriadis and Mc Dougall), is groted. The validity of distinguishing between "soma", "psyche" and "society" is questioned and the concept of the "integrated man", alluding to Pierre Marty and to Freud himself is adapted, and situations are recalled in which the interaction of the three aspects mentioned above is actually evident. Finally, the notion of the quality of life, in accordance with an antipositivistic taken from Bion, point of view, is discussed, and the concept that reality is that of each human being, is adapted. This priority and the proposal to rescue subjectivism which was also observed by Foucault when he studied mental disease, leads to a last criticism of the present definition of health, based exclusively on external, objective evaluations.

Keywords : Health; Quality of life.

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