She's a character, she has opinions.

I can’t cure illness through positive thinking.

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But such beliefs have implications for how we regard people who are ill. If people are insufficiently upbeat after a cancer diagnosis or inadequately “spiritual” after a diagnosis of AIDS, are we to assume they have willfully placed their health at risk? And if they fail to recover, is it really their fault? The incessant pressure to be positive imposes an enormous burden on patients whose course of treatment doesn’t go as planned.

It is difficult enough to be injured or gravely ill. To add to this the burden of guilt over a supposed failure to have the right attitude toward one’s illness is unconscionable. Linking health to personal virtue and vice not only is bad science, it’s bad medicine.

Read the rest at A Fighting Spirit Won’t Save Your Life, The NYT

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Written by tldegray

January 27, 2011 at 2:24 am

Posted in Health

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