Assignment 3: What causes disease?


Please follow the instructions on this page. Submit your answers to the Assignment drop box on your Moodle Webpage.
Please write a 1-2 page paper for this assignment. The paper is due Friday, 3/7/2014, by 11PM. Follow normal expectations for a college paper:
Please, write full sentences. All papers have to be type-written, spell-checked, and proofread. The fond should be 12, line-spacing 1.5. You are expected to use an appropriate format for citations and references, if applicable (ASA style – a brief outline of ASA style is posted on your Moodle). Students should retain a copy of the paper. Please, put your name and the title of the course on the paper.
Evaluation Criteria (Total: 20 points)
1. Completion of assignment – answering conclusively all questions (12 points)
2. Concise and clear argumentation (4 points)
4. Format. Name, title of paper, date, spelling, proofreading, grammar, correct and complete references (if applicable). (4 points)
The topic of class this week is disease, the view of bodily afflictions by scientific medicine. This assignment was designed to illustrate the monomorphic disease model underlying modern biomedicine.
Please go to health information webpage of the Mayo Clinic at
Under disease and conditions, select 5 random diseases (under each letter, you will find a long list of diseases).
Start with the first disease you selected.
– Read the definition of the disease on the first page when you pull up the disease information.
– Go to “Causes” – the link is on the left side of the text.
– Read the information on the causes of the disease and answer the following 12 questions:
• Is there a known cause of the disease?
• Is the “exact cause” known?
• Is there one cause or several possible causes?
• Could the same cause (e.g. bacterium) cause other diseases? (you might have to do some further research on this question)
• Could the disease occur without the described cause?
• Do other conditions in the host or the environment need to be present to trigger the disease?
• Which body parts, organs, hormones, chemicals, or cells are mentioned in the description of the cause? How many of these are visible to the eye?
• Can you trace the “web of causation” – the chain of events leading to the disease based on the information?
• Does the description of the cause also mention social or cultural factors?
• Are there any implicit social or cultural factors in the general description of the disease or the description of the causes?
Please repeat the questions for the next 4 diseases you selected.
Look across the information you gathered.
• Does the information you gathered conform to the monomorphic disease model?
• Could another disease model explain the disease (e.g. Chinese medicine, Shamanism)? You might want to do a little research to look for alternative causal models.

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