The development of the American health-care industry and the failure of efforts to tame or reform it are only part of the story. Over the past 30 years, a series of independent developments in scientific research, in various national and international social movements, and in mainstream institutions internationally (including transnational corporations, European parliaments, NATO, and the United Nations) have opened up new ways to understand the health-disease process. The new conceptions extend far beyond the confines of biochemistry and reorient our sense of the legitimate domain for health-care policy. At first, because explorations went in so many apparently unrelated directions, critics often dismissed them as irrelevant. Only now are we beginning to understand what each has to contribute to a more basic reorientation of approaches to health and disease that seems to be occurring. Scientific research, social protest movements, international political and military alliances, philanthropic foundations, and transnational corporations have all contributed to an important shift in conceptual frameworks that is developing as one response to an emerging global social order.