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Eros and Illness: A Caregiver's Tale

University of Virginia. School of Medicine
Online; Online Video; Video
Filmed Lectures
The caregiver—whether a family member pressed into service or an underpaid home-care aide—is a representative figure of our time. This status is paradoxical because actual caregivers (so often female) do their work largely out of sight and almost in secret. It is an uncanny representative figure whom we do not see. Writer and scholar David Morris spent over a decade as caregiver for his late wife, Ruth, a medical librarian who in her mid-fifties began to show signs of dementia, most likely earlier-onset Alzheimer’s disease. In this Medical Center, Morris describes his experience but also uses his personal caregiving as a fulcrum for opening up larger questions about what biomedicine often overlooks in its molecular vision of illness. Desire is the neglected force that Morris sees as basic to illness, and it is the role of desire in illness that he seeks to clarify. Desire, it turns out, also offers an unanticipated common ground where health-care professionals—caregivers too in their medical role—may meet with patients and families in mutual, richer understanding. A John F. Anderson Memorial Lecture
University of Virginia. School of Medicine
Childress, Marcia Day
Morris, David B.
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
Medical Center Hour
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The speakers in this presentation have given the University of Virginia permission to make it freely accessible online for all audiences to view. To request permission to reproduce, republish, and/or repost this presentation please contact the Historical Collections and Services Department of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at the University of Virginia.
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