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No-name (non-diagnostic medical models and the social construction of disability)

Scott Allan White, Ryerson School of Disability Studies & Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine


"In too many cases, we let a disability label define a human being. Our prejudices run deep". Kathy Snow. This essay is concerned with the social construction of disability, the diagnostic process by which labels are applied to impairment and disability, and the stigma associated with those labels. It is an essay stemming from my research work on the 'voices of people with disabilities on complementary and alternative medicine', and reflects the issues and concerns of a disability related self-advocate council. I have entitled the essay no-name, to illustrate the brand management of disability. Citizenship themes arise in regard to self-determination and choices in healthcare. The Canadian healthcare system is deemed a universal healthcare system, however; growing trends and regulation of alternative medicine raise questions about two tiered healthcare and healthcare that is exclusive to those with extended healthcare benefits. This paper arose from a previous research study investigating the use of complementary and alternative medicine in the disability community. Focus groups from this research project provided personal insights to their choices in healthcare and reasons for choosing CAM. Equality and equal access to healthcare is a focus of this paper.

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