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Grief is not a disease, but cancer is -- what about erectile dysfunction?
Date:12/4/2012

considered to be diseases. Five states were considered not to be diseases by at least 80 percent of the respondents. The responses to the remainder of the states showed large disagreement whether they should be considered, or not, diseases.

Public funding only for the treatment of "real" diseases

Doctors were the most inclined to consider states of being diseases. Laypeople were the least inclined, and nurses and legislators were in between. However, the differences between the groups were not large, and were very small in comparison to the disagreement within each group.

In all groups, willingness to pay for treatment from public funds was very strongly correlated with the perception of disease (that is, whether respondents regarded a particular state of being as a disease).

"The substantial disagreement we found in classifying of states of being as diseases, and the parallel disagreement regarding the legitimacy of public funding for those that warrant treatment provides insight into the attitudes underlying a number of current high profile social debates. The solutions and management of drug addictions, for example, may vary greatly depending on whether addiction is seen as a disease or as a moral failing." Tikkinen says.


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Contact: Dr. Kari Tikkinen
kari.tikkinen@fimnet.fi
358-046-908-5251
University of Helsinki
Source:Eurekalert  

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