i. Explanation of sick role and medicalization
1. Kevin McNealy was diagnosed with Diabetes mellitus type 2 in the summer of 2011.
2. Kevin experienced many physical difficulties such as nausea and vomiting, fluid retention especially in the legs and feet, decreased tolerance to cold and numbness in the fingers and toes.
B. The sick role in Kevin’s situation
1. Kevin could not walk long distances, engage in sports such as soccer or carry heavy goods around the house.
2. Kevin was secluded from attending church, school or holiday camp due to his medical condition that meant he had to be constantly monitored.
C. Medicalization in Kevin’s situation
The medicalization increased people’s sympathy for his diabetes.
2. Kevin’s’ family also received the same hospitality after the medicalization results became public.
3. Most of his friends’ stopped associating with him after he was diagnosed with diabetes.
ii. Explanation of how the concepts apply for the experiences
A. No responsibility
1. Kevin was also exempted from any household chores such as cleaning, preparing meals or doing laundry.
B. Exemption from social obligations
1. No responsibilities meant that Kevin had a lot of time on his hands although he could not enjoy any of it with his family or friends. Instead, he made many trips to the hospital for checkups.
C. Exempting Kevin from social obligations created a certain degree of the stigma associated with the condition.
D. Undesirable state
1. The disease was explicitly characterized by high blood sugar that meant that he had to constantly watch what he consumed and regularly take his medication
2. Mental stress as the disease increased his guilt as he blamed himself for the situation in which he was.
iii. Application of medicalization and sick role
A. Application of medicalization
1. Medicalization stigma and seclusion easily follow any patient who has visible symptoms but has no medical explanation. Medicalization is advantageous to patients as it helps the surrounding people to understand one’s health condition.
B. The application of sick role
1. Sick roles are concerned with the rights and obligations of sick people. When they become sick, the individual disrupts the normal social patterns making them deviants.
iv. Areas where medicalization cannot apply
1. Medicalization can become disorganized if it is not controlled by experts. Allocating more power to these individuals leaves the rest of the society powerless and unable to discuss or negotiate on these matters. Common examples include addictions and depression that are a normal part of the human life but which when medicalized, become the specialty of health professionals.
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