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Health: The Foundations for Achievement

David Seedhouse

Health: The foundations for achievement

Brendan McCormack, Professor, head of the division of nursing and head of QMU graduate school

Reason you chose this book

At the time of reading this book I was concerned about how older people in residential long-term care settings were viewed as (almost) non-persons. Persons who had no potential and who were dominated by a care focus that was all about dependency and disability. This book opened my eyes to new perspectives on health that I had been wanting to find and that once found, changed my thinking forever.


Health: The Foundation of Achievement by David Seedhouse is essentially a book about ethics. Seedhouse argues that globally accepted definitions of health that focus on the absence of illness and disease, are flawed. He suggests that irrespective of disability everyone has the potential to be healthy. His view of health is that of ‘maximising potential’, so no matter how disabled a person might be, there is always something that they can achieve and if they can be helped to achieve this goal then they are healthy. Seedhouse’s argument is persuasive and convincing and in many ways was revolutionary in terms of how people in care (in particular) began to be viewed.

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Page last updated - 03/08/2019