Home Solutions Meaning and the Experience of Illness
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Meaning and the Experience of Illness
For this discussion assignment, read Medicaid’s qualifications for disability and the four components to Parson’s sick role. How do these qualifications illustrate the limitations of Parsons’ definition of sick role? How do they correspond to the sick role? If you were advising policy makers about coverage for persons with disabilities or chronic conditions, what revisions would you recommend to the existing policy? What would you tell them to keep the same? Reference at least one reading in your essay
The Sick Role Theory, according to Talcott Parson’s description in 1951, refers to an approach of explaining an ill person’s particular rights and responsibilities. Given that, individuals who are diagnosed with a particular medical condition cannot constantly complete the same responsibilities that an individual in fine health can, the society adapts to this circumstances and consent to a reasonable amount of variation from activities that would be seen as typical of an individual of good health.
In his theory, Parsons simply outlines being sick not as a condition or state of fact but as a patterned social responsibility. Sick role implies that the sick individual is exempted temporarily from ordinary social duties and the severe the illness the greater the emption from these duties (Scarince). Although to some extent it protects the ill individual from being exploited by others, the sick can be perceived as a social threat, because they are relieved of most social obligations.
Another challenge with Parsons’ hypothesis is that it does not particularly apply to those individuals with chronic conditions with no likelihood of improving. In circumstance such as this, a person with a considerable visual impairment or physical disability, they cannot fulfill one of their two responsibilities as laid out by Parsons; they cannot endeavor to get well, since their condition is deemed permanent and no treatment available at the time will improve their condition.
In conclusion, Parson’s hypothesis fits acute illnesses such as appendicitis or measles, which are relatively short-term conditions (Scarince). However, it does not fit chronic illnesses as easily since trying to get well is not an expectation with permanent conditions such as diabetes or blindness (Varul). Therefore, in my opinion, I would have policy makers make amendments that do not victimize the sick and changes the duties, compensates and encourages the chronically ill.
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