Stigma, Biomedical Efficacy, and Institutional Control
Goldin, Carol S.
Social Science and Medicine. 1990; 30(8): 895-900.
This paper explores the role of biomedical efficacy in the rehabilitation of the disabled. Ethnographic data are presented from two studies, one concerned with the prevocationally blind, the other with the institutionalized chronically mentally ill. A comparison of rehabilitation for these two groups suggests that when disabilities do not respond well to biomedical interventions, inconsistent and contradictory interpretations and policies about etiology, therapy, and post-treatment prognosis are likely to flourish. These conflicts may, in turn, increase pressure on rehabilitation institutions to maintain control over their clients. This paper addresses these issues in order to stimulate discussion about the relationship of different kinds of disability to stigma and rehabilitation.
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