The paper was intended to be an introductory exposition for workshop about acceptability of a retrospective diagnosis. It deals with various methods used in the history of medicine, and with problems which are related to them. In the beginning it describes shortly development in the medical historiography that took place during the last three decades. It emphasizes those approaches which have not been discussed in the Czech ambient so far. The paper focuses above all on methods suggested by Jon Arrizabalaga, Giorgio Cosmacini, and Roy Porter. In other words it describes socio-constructivistic history of medicine and medicine that is seen using 'patient's view'. In the second part the paper describes how relativity in the modern approach affects the most basic terms of medicine: health, healing, illness, disease, etc. The aim is to show that once we leave secure area of institutional history or medical biographies we face a whole lot of serious obstacles.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.