The Definition of Health and Illness between Juridification and Medicalisation: A Private/Public Interest Perspective

In: European Journal of Health Law
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  • 1 Associate professor of comparative constitutional law, Faculty of Law, University of TrentoTrentoItaly
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This article addresses the interactions between medicalisation and juridification and their impact on the concepts of health and illness. Juridification, de-juridification, medicalisation and de-medicalisation are defined in many different ways and it is particularly interesting to see how they affect each other, impinging on individual freedom and contributing to shaping the definition of health and illness and their public understanding. Juridification and medicalisation are particularly affected by the shifting perceptions of the public and private interests at stake, even if the identification of the public or private interest is not an easy task, especially when ethically controversial issues come into play. Nevertheless, the private/public interest analysis is a crucial issue in the understanding of the interactions between these two concepts and in the identification of the boundary lines between them, giving an important key to the understanding of their influence on the rights and liberties at stake.

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