chapter  One
Medicine, Value Orientations, and Their Meanings
WithHoward F. Stein, Margaret A. Stein
Pages 33

This chapter identifies core values in biomedicine and explores the roles they play in healing relationships. It explores how values affect clinical thinking, judgment, decision-making, and action. Values and value orientations are thus far more subtle and dynamic matters than one might at first consider them to be. Official professional scientific medicine and the popular lay "health culture" that shares with it a common cultural system of meanings, gives voice to the selfsame values and orientations. Many family practitioners and family medicine academicians of this school reject the narrowness of internal medicine and zealously advocate the family systems thinking of external medicine. The dominant value orientation prevalent within medicine commits those in the healing professions to frequently unrealistic reliance upon one-way technique apart from the therapeutic relationship in which the technique is used. The concept of acting out is crucial for understanding the underlying dynamics of much medical decision-making and the value given to action.