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Disability is a term that is used to described people who are not able to independently live, achieve their livelihood, attain mobility, speak, learn, take care of themselves among other problems. Most of these are developmental problems and others can occur as a result of accidents.
Other disabilities are congenital, that is, a disability one was born with as a result of genetic failure. Some of these disabilities include Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, fetal alcohol syndrome among others.
The word disability was first used in 1970 in the U.S where it was used by the congress as they were setting the law in order to improve the living standards of institutions where the disadvantaged people were living (Neef, 2001).
The word disability is also used in the society to describe a group of people who need specialized services. The disabled in the society are identified by the support groups who are offering the services (Tassoni et al, 2005).
From the medical field disability can be used to describe people who have mental disorder, physical, cognitive or chronic diseases that can occur before birth or during life time.
Disability is also personal and how a person deals with it depends on the support of family members, friends, relatives, and peers. The medical model concentrates on how a disabled person interacts with other people while society model shows how the society interacts with disabled persons.
Disabled people may suffer isolation and discrimination and to prevent this society should be aware of these people and help them with their needs (Scrambler, 2008).
Medical Model of Disability
Medical model of disability takes disability as a personal thing and it has to be determined by a doctor and a person has to provide medical certificates to prove his disability. Medical model view disability as a deficiency and that being disabled is negative.
It also suggests that disability is a personal thing and that the treatment requires a medical professional. It focuses on the cure and stabilization of a person (Parens, 2006). According to medical model, disability can decrease the quality of life and cause disadvantages to the person.
In the medical model, medical solutions such as surgery and therapies are used to try to cure the condition or normalize a person so as to fit in the society and be able to meet the needs of a person.
In medical model, professionals believe in curing the condition permanently or trying to change its cause in order to normalize the life of a person. They believe in having an in depth understanding of its cause. Medical model of disability is seen as a social degradation of disabled people.
Medical model involves the history, complainant, physical examination, laboratory tests, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. It is a pathology that is trying to treat the symptoms that are causing disability (Hauritz, 1998).
Medical model conducts researches on physical and psychological problems on basis of cause and treatment. It has been observed that in medical model mental illness is examined on behavior of a person and not physical examination this lower the standards of medical model and it is being criticized.
The medical model involves cooperation of the doctor and patient. The patient and the doctor are determined in curing the disability. When the medical model fails the patient feel disappointed and discouraged while on the other hand the doctor feels frustrated because of the failure to achieve the goal.
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The patient may lose trust on the model and stop complying with treatment. The doctor may lose confidence with his medical practice.
Medical model believes that the society should invest in the medical treatment of people in order to reduce disability and normalize self dependence of disabled people. The profession in medical model is seen as central (Burkhauser & Daly, 2002).
Advantages of Medical Model of Disability
One of the advantages of the medical model is that a disabled person can be cured completely from his disability. Medical model deal with investigating the real origin of the disability and try to treat it and it does not revolve on speculations. This makes it possible to cure the disability.
Disability model has instituted the rights of disabled people and independent living movements have gained strength. Medical model does not view disability as a deviance in the society but as a condition that can be treated and a person live a normal independent life.
Medical model is against social discrimination of people with disability and refers to this as worsening the condition. Medical model of disability gets funding from the government and people can benefit from subsidized treatment of disability (Laslei & Anita, 2000).
Problems of Medical Model of Disability
Money is seen as being misdirected to the expensive treatment of disability instead of being directed to social development activities to assist disabled people financially. This includes money used on drugs, tests, surgical procedures (Emerso, 1995).
The social model prefers that such money be put for social development for the whole society to benefit. Disability rights people view medical model of disability as a civil right issue and look down on medical people who use it in their portrayal of disabled people.
People in the society view the medical model as a way of pitying and negative disempowerment of disabled people instead of viewing disability as a political and social problem. Medical model of disability suffers the social cultural criticism as the culture affects the accessibility and adherence to treatment (Alder et al, 2009).
Medical model of disability is involved in finding out the origin of the disability through history, physical examination, and tests. Upon finding the cause, its main goal is to treat and cure the disabled person in order to improve on the self dependence of a person and normalcy life.
Medical model of disability involves the cooperation of the patient and medical professional in treating the disability. Medical model of disability is critical to the disabled rights and civil rights (Tassoni, 2003). It can be trusted in defining disability for a person to get social support.
It suffers criticism from the social model of disability and it is seen as a way of sympathizing with disabled people, which is referred as unintended social degradation of disabled people.
Alder et al, (2009). Psychology And Sociology Applied To Medicine. New York: Routledge.
Burkhauser, R. & Daly, M. (2002). United States Disability Policy in a Changing Environment. Journal of Economic Perspective.
Emerso, E. (1995). Challenging Behavior: Analysis and Intervention with People with Learning Difficulties. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Hauritz, M. (1998). Justice for People with Disabilities; Legal Institute Issues. New York: Federation press.
Laslei F & Anita S, (2000). Americans with Disabilities. New York: Routledge.
Neef, N. (2001). The Past and Future of Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities: When Good News is bad and Bad News is good. The Behavior Analyst Today.
Parens, E. (2006). Surgical Shaping Children.Technology, Ethics and the Pursuit of Normality. New York: JHU press
Scrambler, G. (2008). Sociology As Applied To Medicine. New York: Elsevier health science.
Tassoni, et al, (2005). Children’s Care, Learning and Development. California: Heinemann.
Tassoni, P. (2003). Supporting Special Need; Understanding Inclusion in the Early Years. California: Hinemann