PWR Research paper for workshop

PWR Research paper for workshop - Gupta 1 Ankur Gupta...

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Gupta 1 Ankur Gupta Professor Marconi PWR 1 2 December 2004 Boring Title Aside from the fact that they are both human, I would be extremely hesitant in making any other comparisons between my own grandmother and the late Ronald Reagan. One was a homemaker for her entire adult life and the other was the president of the United States. They do share another common trait, however, and that is the affliction of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease was once an extremely obscure disease, whose intricacies only doctors knew. The common citizen either knew very little of the disease and, thus, attributed any of its symptoms, which will be discussed later, to simple memory lapses that were normal or knew enough about it but was too embarrassed to seek medical attention. The latter was a direct result of the intense stigma associated with the condition which society equated to aging. Now, with President Reagan’s death, Alzheimer’s has come to the forefront of medical research and is drawing a lot more funding for research. The stigma associated with Alzheimer’s can be likened to that of AIDS and cancer. In the essays Illness as a Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors , Susan Sontag talks about the exacerbation of disease caused by the societal misinterpretation of it. She claims that, through popular metaphor, the afflicted are further traumatized and thus suffer more severe consequences. This affects how patients are able to cope and treat their condition. In reference to her own cancer, she stated that “…the very reputation of
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Gupta 2 this illness added to the suffering of those who have it… cancer was regarded as an irrational revulsion, as a diminution of the self” (Sontag 100). Sontag focuses on this because of all the various stressors she endured while barely recovering and surviving her bout with cancer. She asserts that cancer patients almost always feel doomed to die because of the way the media can misconstrue and misrepresent an illness. Refocusing on Alzheimer’s though, “ultimately it is a terminal illness, but unlike cancer there is a lot more stigma attached to it" ( The Sentinel ). Significant progress has been made in Alzheimer’s research but not enough to
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PWR 194 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '07 term at Stanford.

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PWR Research paper for workshop - Gupta 1 Ankur Gupta...

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