Clinical medicine would gain from a discussion of the significance
of health promotion. Some central concepts are discussed: the
diagnostic process; disease prevention vs. health promotion;
the practical importance of the understanding of the
difference between the 2 concepts health and
absence-of-disease. The concept of health catches the
intra-personal level, the undisrupted self, whereas absence of
disease concerns the proper functioning of the organism, the
By means of comparing 2 diagnoses, multiple
sclerosis (MS) and fibromyalgia syndrome (FS), it is argued
that there are diagnoses of at least 2 distinct kinds. The
diagnosis of MS is similar to a scientific discovery, whereas
the diagnosis of FS is constructed more like criminal law.
Consequently, diagnosis-based disease prevention and health
promotion have to comply with a wide range of reality.
Finally, clinical dialogue is pointed out as a method that
successfully combines diagnostic, preventive and promotive
efforts, as well as clinical care and cure.