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Rudolf Firkow is quite incensed. As a pathologist who had devoted his life to liver dysfunction, he was certain that he could tell the differences between normal and diseased tissues. But a current issue of Arch. Histopath carries a bizarre article by some obscure philosopher stating that the concept of disease is irrelevant. He cannot believe that a reputed journal would publish such arrant nonsense. It seemed to be a waste of precious space, almost pathological. He feels strong that if they continue to publish such rubbish, he should cancel his subscription. He would like to write a rebuttal, but is perplexed by the philosophical jargon and does not even know where to start.
A number of questions were raised following the brainstorming session. Some of these are given below:
Does disease require a biological basis? Will absence of clear pathological signs exclude disease? Is the concept of a disease relevant? Do pathologists define disease differently? Does an altered histological picture denote disease? Can a disease that remains undefined not be treated? Is a disease only a label of convenience? Does abnormaility at a tissue level denote disease? Does absence of an abnormality denote health?