To tell the truth. A critical trend in medical sociology – an introduction to the problems
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Department of Medical Sociology and Sociology of Family, Institute of Sociology, Maria Curie - Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland
Independent Medical Sociology Unit, Medical University in Lublin, Poland
Chair of Sociology of Ethnic Groups and Civil Society, Institute of Sociology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(3):613–623
Introduction and objective:
The presented analysis is a reconstruction of the origins, inspirations for development, and theoretical foundations of the critical and unmasking trend in Polish and Western medical sociology.

Abbreviated description of the state of knowledge:
As a part of the critical medical sociology initiated in Poland by Professor Magdalena Sokołowska, a diagnosis of the (dys)functionality of contemporary medicine is carried out, emphasizing pathologies in the realization of its basic social functions, both at the level of systemic and institutional solutions, as well as stressing their consequences which include inter alia social health inequalities. Within the critical sociomedical research orientation, the diagnoses of the social role of medicine and distortions in the ways it is exercised are placed in the broad structural, political, and cultural contexts, which makes it possible to point to the principal causes of the analyzed phenomena.

The crucial ‘value added’ of critical sociological analyses of medicine and health policy are directives intended to humanize medicine and health systems in contemporary societies, taking social and cultural realities into consideration. We understand the humanization of medicine in terms of its better adjustment to human needs that emerge in the situations of illness and being ill, with the simultaneous guarantee of universal and equal access to medical services.

Włodzimierz Piątkowski   
Independent Medical Sociology Unit, Medical University in Lublin, Poland
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