The WHO’s definition of “health,” formulated in 1948, reads: ‘A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. Worldwide there is and was discussion about it.
When the Dutch physician and researcher Machteld Huber fell ill, she noticed she was able to influence her recovery to a large extent. This led her to organize an international conference in 2009 and since then numerous experts from over the world worked on a new definition. In line with positive psychology their insights led to the definition of what was called “Positive Health”: The ability to adapt and self-manage in the face of social, physical, and emotional challenges. So the emphasis is on the resilience from individuals and on what makes their lives meaningful. It is the mission of the Institute for Positive Health (iPH), headquartered in the Netherlands, to stimulate, strengthen and accelerate this new concept.
Although the so-called Positive Health movement has achieved great success, certainly in the Netherlands, it has also been criticized. In 2017 Frans Vosman, founder of this website, wrote an essay in which he argues why the idea of Positive Health has to be seen as a cause for serious concern. As editorial staff of our website we agree with his critique and we share his concern, so we decided to get his text translated.
(Introduction to the article: Brecht Molenaar)
You can read the article here