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IDS 101: Contested Illnesses: Home

This LibGuide is designed for the IDS 101 College Colloquium course, Contested Illnesses, Differential Diagnosis.

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Colloquium Description

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In this course we will investigate a range of medical conditions classified as Contested Illnesses. Contested illnesses are those, ”where sufferers claim to have a specific disease that many physicians do not recognize or acknowledge as being distinctly medical” (Conrad & Barker 2010). Common examples are Fibromyalgia, Chronic Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and disputes over the environmental causes of a number of chronic diseases. But why are some illnesses contested while others are not? What are the experiences of patients living with these illnesses, and how are their lives impacted? Why do some doctors consider these conditions to be bio-medically grounded, while others suggest that the illness has a psychological underpinning? Should an illness only be considered real if it is validated by a physician or laboratory test? How are these tensions ultimately negotiated, and by whom? And how does medical and scientific uncertainty fit in to these questions? We will grapple with these questions by engaging a wide range of sources: academic texts, science reporting, personal blogs, and films. These sources, coupled with class discussions, will force us to consider, evaluate, and respond to multiple competing perspectives surrounding some of the most prevalent and highly debated contested illnesses today.

Source: College Colloquium Page

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