The Patient's Voice2

The Patient's Voice: Experiences of Illness

Second Edition December 2015

The Patient’s Voice: Experiences of Illness, Second Edition is now available in both eBook and paperback formats. This edition includes the original 16 narratives and four new accounts. In "Fear, Hope, and Quality of Life" you learn from Dr. Brian Bilchik, a Cardiologist, how the harmful effects of fear and dread of imminent death can be mitigated allowing a person to live a life with purpose and dignity. With Professor Herbert Mason in "Darkness and Light" you witness the effects of blindness on the human spirit and the altered states of consciousness inherent in grief. From District Court Judge Anselm Eldergill's "Personal Liberty: The Patient's Voice and the Law" readers discover the importance of valuing personal liberty, free from coercion brought to life in court cases in which individuals were deemed to be mentally incapacitated due to the condition of dementia or mental ill-health. With David Clegg, a sculptor and musician, you experience in his "Shared Minds" a new form of social sculpture through his innovative collaborative life story work with people living with dementia. As in the first edition, each new chapter is followed by critical thinking points for discussion and writing devised by the contributor and author/editor. In addition, to further enrich the experience of learning and understanding readers are directed to the contributor's internet connections.

The importance of individual liberty is of the same fundamental importance to incapacitated people who still have clear wishes and preferences about where and how they live as it is for those who remain able to make capacious decisions. This desire to determine one's own interests is common to almost all human beings. Society is made up of individuals, and each individual wills certain ends for themselves and their loves ones, and not others, and has distinctive feelings, personal goals, traits, habits, and experiences. Because this is so, most individuals wish to determine and develop their own interests and course in life and their happiness often depends on this. The existence of a private sphere of action, free from public coercion or restraint, is indispensable to that independence which everyone needs to develop their individuality, even where their individuality is diminished but not extinguished, by illness. It is for this reason that people place such weight on their liberty and right to choose.

District Court Judge, Court of Protection, Anselm Eldergill