What does being cured mean?



The medical model is all about curing people ideally or killing them off if that’s not possible, but what do we mean by being cured in terms of a major impairment of cerebral palsy? If we take a minor illness like a chest infection, they are clear symptoms we can measure and make disappear with antibiotics which are separate from the normality on the person so a known state of being is restored.

But with cerebral palsy to a significant degree, the impairment is lifelong and has completely affected the psychology and sociology of an individual. If a cure, a type miracle cure leaves someone physical restored to a perceived level of normality, it leaves someone with a huge psychological and functional rehabilitation journey. I do not know how to cook or iron because I am not able to so I have by default never learnt. Society would see me as cured and remove my support, but leave me alien to my new abilities which may make me as disabled as if someone else was run over by a car.

And if we made a miracle cure that could take this into account and changed a person’s psychological history so they were normal and knew how to be normal, would that person be any part of their former selves and how much would they have lost? It is like a man waking up the next day as a woman with the experiences of a woman, not a man, a form of identity murder.

So when we talk about cure, it is not as simple as it looks!

If you like what I say, have a look at my website at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74

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