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'Health promotion' has unfortunately come to mean different things to different people. Interpretations have frequently been left implicit and where spelt out have often been too diffuse or too limited to be useful. Nevertheless the term can be usefully employed to define a set of health-enhancing activities in which the focus is deflected from current disease- and cure-oriented power bases. Used in this way health promotion can come to include the best of the developing theory and practice from a wide range of 'experts' but can also place due emphasis on community involvement. To reject health promotion on the basis of selected, inadequate interpretations is to discard past successes, current developments and future possiblities in important fields of activity and to preserve an inappropriate status quo.
Journal of Medical Ethics © 1984 BMJ