Individual health, collective health

Agirre Ruiz de Arkaute, Aitziber

Elhuyar Zientzia eta Teknologia aldizkariaren zuzendaria

The COVID-19 crisis has provided an excellent opportunity to contemplate health as a whole. Beyond the current limited biological perspective, it has given many keys to understanding health as a broader well-being, and of course, to addressing health from the community point of view.

What brings us to begin with can be a conflicting issue: where is the border between individual and collective health. When developing the COVID-19 vaccine, 50% of Americans would not. This would endanger the ability of vaccines to ensure public health. Could citizens be forced to get vaccinated? Where is the border between health sovereignty and social responsibility?

Sociologist Amaia Bacigalupe de la Hera has approached the issue from another perspective and explained how she understands health. Doctor of Public Health, has been critical of the interpretation and management of the covid-19 crisis. The uniform and strict measures adopted during confinement have conditioned the health and well-being of many collectives, since there has been a lack of flexibility over the characteristics and needs of individuals. Specifically, it investigates how social conditioners affect health and explains how they have acted in the context of covid-19.

On the other hand, we have brought an example that for centuries has conditioned the health of an entire collective: the reproductive organs of women and, above all, the clitoris. With the excuse of the myth that it only serves pleasure, the clitoris has suffered a true social and scientific exclusion because it has not been considered necessary to guarantee the reproduction of women. But the latest research has shown that it plays a fundamental role not only in pleasure, but also in reproduction and therefore in women's health.

We are convinced that this issue of the magazine Elhuyar provides interesting contributions in human health and will serve to deepen our path as a society in the concept of health.

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