Alzheimer’s Disease, Media Representations and the Politics by Megan-Jane Johnstone PDF

By Megan-Jane Johnstone

Drawing on broad information together with information media stories and commentaries, documentaries, courts and court docket studies, motion pictures, web content, specialist literature and executive and non-government organizations, this e-book explores the 'Alzheimerisation' of the euthanasia debate, studying the shift in recent times in public attitudes in the direction of the desirability and ethical permissibility of euthanasia as an end-of-life 'solution' for individuals residing with the disorder - not only at its finish degree, but in addition at past levels. With cognizance to media representations and public understandings of Alzheimer's affliction, Alzheimer's affliction, Media Representations and the Politics of Euthanasia sheds gentle at the methods contributing to those alterations in public opinion, investigating the drivers of vexed political debate surrounding the difficulty and reading the way within which each side of the euthanasia debate mobilise help, painting their rivals and utilize media applied sciences to border the phrases of discourse.

Paving the way in which for a better point of highbrow honesty with reference to a subject wearing major coverage implications, this ebook should be of curiosity to students of media and verbal exchange, social hobbies and political verbal exchange, and the sociology of overall healthiness and drugs, in addition to researchers and pros within the fields of palliative and finish of lifestyles care.

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Extra info for Alzheimer’s Disease, Media Representations and the Politics of Euthanasia: Constructing Risk and Selling Death in an Ageing Society

Sample text

What is significant about this statement (and other similar statements) is that it imbues Alzheimer’s disease with punitive meaning. The extent to which punitive and damning notions of Alzheimer’s disease are active, is exemplified by a range of expressions and behaviours, such as: Alzheimer’s disease ‘kills slowly’; Alzheimer’s disease ‘gnaws away the brain’; Alzheimer’s ‘attacks speech and memory’; people with Alzheimer’s disease become ‘Alzheimer victims’; sufferers are ‘afflicted’ with Alzheimer’s; people are ‘stricken’ by Alzheimer’s disease; Alzheimer’s disease causes ‘social and financial catastrophes’; there is a rush to ‘find a cure’, a rush to mobilize a ‘crusade’ aimed at situating Alzheimer’s as a focus for political action – as a ‘social problem’ requiring response by a ‘social movement’ (see Herskovits 1995).

Professional and mass media coverage: Professional and academic journals and books as well as mass circulation media reports, in which questions concerning Alzheimer’s disease/dementia, euthanasia, physician assisted suicide, and ‘mercy killing’ were addressed. Data analysis had as its focus the ‘image’ and ‘tone’ that was used to represent Alzheimer’s disease/ dementia and, in particular, whether the portrayals were positive, negative or neutral. Attention was also given to ‘who’ was speaking and from what position of authority they were speaking from (for example, whether they were lay or professional people; had a high or low public profile).

Dementia, which is commonly although incorrectly used interchangeably with the term Alzheimer’s disease, is not a ‘disease’ as such. Rather it is a term that is used to refer to a set of symptoms that may be caused by many different underlying disease processes and disorders and which, ultimately, lead to a decline in a person’s complex cognitive functioning (Prasher 2005, Ritchie and Lovestone 2002). The decline in a person’s cognitive functioning is commonly described in the literature as being characterized by ‘chronic personality disintegration, confusion, disorientation, stupor, deterioration of intellectual capacity and function, and impairment of control of memory, judgment and impulses’ (Harris et al.

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Alzheimer’s Disease, Media Representations and the Politics of Euthanasia: Constructing Risk and Selling Death in an Ageing Society by Megan-Jane Johnstone


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