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AbstractThe Meritocratization of Health. As in other Western countries, the aging of the Dutch population is one of the factors responsible for the increased demand for health care. The retrenchment of the welfare state, the privatization of social health insurance, and the widening of income differences will exacerbate tensions arising from this growing demand. Government, insurance companies, and doctors jointly emphasize the importance of health consciousness and preventive behaviors among the population. The internalization and individualization of the medical perspective is greatly enhanced by the fact that for many people, being healthy has become an emblem of civilization. The ideology of "healthism" and the newly emerging corporate health ethic have strong moral overtones: illness becomes a sign of individual weakness and therefore brings about feelings of personal guilt. The advancement of genetic screening turns this meritocratization of health into an even more dangerous development. Adapted from the source document.