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Questioning Preventive Medicine: Is a Pound of Prevention Worth an Ounce of Cure?

Tuesday, May 17, 2022, 1PM | Great Hall, Trent Semans Center for Health Education $20

Questioning preventive medicine: Is a pound of prevention worth an ounce of cure?

Join us for a symposium on clinical and ethical questions raised by the medicalization of risk.

Everyone knows that it is better to prevent an illness than to treat it once it has occurred. In accord with this maxim, medicine offers innumerable strategies to reduce a person’s risk of future disease and its complications. Many of these strategies involve taking medications. Think of medications for elevated blood pressure, glucose intolerance, low bone density, depression, and high cholesterol, just to name a few. But what if these strategies, all things considered, are not good medicine? What if medicalizing risk too often hinders rather than promotes human flourishing?

This symposium will consider critically the medicalization of risk. Presenters will ask whether medical risk-management strategies are sufficiently justified by the scientific evidence and sufficiently likely to prevent illness rather than cause it. They will consider how medicalizing risk may distort the practice of medicine and the clinician-patient relationship, and how this distortion may have particularly problematic consequences for underserved communities. In dialogue with several distinguished Duke faculty, participants will seek to discern how preventive medicine can serve rather than frustrate the goals of medicine and the good of patients.

Cost: $20 public, Free for Duke faculty, staff and students

Register Here



The Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School
Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine at Duke


Great Hall, Trent Semans Center for Health Education
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