Patient as Hero

Such an interesting discussion on the “patient as hero” narrative. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Future Patient - musings on patient-led healthcare

Halfway through an inspirational talk at a conference, I began to feel uncomfortable.

As the eloquent speaker told a gut wrenching story of injury, despair, recovery and nationally recognised achievement, I became guilty about my unease.

She was a hero, no doubt about it. What she had achieved was extraordinary. With the help of an impressive medical team and her supportive family who never gave up on her, she came through. At one point, she said that she had faced a choice one day: to continue to wallow in self-pity or make the most of the life she had.

People were in tears. Emotional tweets were retweeted and favourited. And I left, puzzled about my reaction. And then I got it.

Patient as super-hero is the new myth. And it is dangerous.

I tweeted into the fray: ‘Not all patients can be heroes. For those with mental health problems, it…

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