Biopsychosociospiritual Medicine and Other Political Schemes
Jeffrey P. Bishop
Saint Louis University
December 1, 2009
Christian Bioethics, Vol. 15, Issue 3, pp. 254-276, 2009
In the mid-1970s, the biomedical model of medicine gave way to the biopsychosocial model of medicine; it was billed as a more comprehensive and compassionate model of medicine. After more than a century of disentangling medicine from religion, the medicine and spirituality movement is attempting to bring religion and spirituality back into medicine. It is doing so under a biopsychosociospiritual model. I unpack one model for allowing religion back into medicine called the RCOPE. RCOPE is an instrument designed to categorize religion and spirituality as psychological coping mechanisms. I explore how such instruments are related to the history of statistical measurement and demonstrate the political impetus that governs such enterprises. The biopsychosociospiritual medicine is billed as a more holistic and comprehensive model. This new model of medicine offers total care. However, I demonstrate how this total care becomes totalizing, indeed totalitarian, admitting religion and spirituality back into the fold of medicine under a new secularized medical control.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: biopolitics, biopsychosocial model, biopsychosociospiritual model, RCOPE, religion and medicine
Date posted: December 1, 2009 ; Last revised: September 27, 2013
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