The protest against SCC, Bangalore has triggered an interesting debate- Stammering Cure. Cure in medical terms is achieved when the health is restored back to it’s normal state after being affected by a disease, and the symptoms of the disease no longer exist. For instance, if I had malaria, one major symptom would be- I would be getting high fever accompanied with shivering. When I go to the doctor, he assures me cure with his medications. I take the course of the medicine and gradually observe that the symptoms begin to diminish, and finally I will cease to have high fever and other symptoms. In the same context, if we consider stammering, and sit back and think about the symptoms of stammering, it would be- sudden blocks experienced into the speech system while trying to speak, leading to lack of co-ordination of breathing and talking, resulting into a distorted and broken speech. Let’s leave aside the secondary symptoms and the emotional baggage for time being. Now, what would cure mean in such circumstances? Anything that promises a cure should stop the symptoms. Once cured, those sudden blocks during speech will no longer be experienced, thus leading to a smooth flow of air and speech, and end result- FLUENCY! Has medical science been able to offer this yet to people who stammer? Is there a 5-day (or rather 15-day) course of some therapy or even medications- a few tablets and may be syrup and the blocks disappear? Unfortunately, this miracle has not yet happened! Stammering and it’s causes and so to speak it’s cure has continued to be an unsolved mystery. Now, continuing with our analogy- what would happen if there was a doctor claiming to cure malaria in just 1 day?! He would certainly pull a lot of crowd. Now what if he treats the patients by a paracetamol like Crocin, applies cotton soaked in cologne-water on the forehead and tells the patient to sleep for 6 hours with a thick blanket? The paracetamol will certainly bring down his high fever within hours. The shivering will also stop, and the patient will feel much better when his body temperature is back to normal! And the doctor says- “Voila! You are cured! Your body temperature is normal! I have cured you within 6 hours!” Is this ethical on the doctor’s part? Definitely not! Now, on the protest. Medically, it is unethical to promise a cure for a disease or a condition which has no known cure, and can only be controlled. Leave aside stammering- diseases like Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease don’t have a cure, but can be controlled. For such patients, if I am not wrong, doctors would never promise a ‘sure cure’. With regards to stammering, for many of us, controlling our stammering effectively is cure! I came across many PWS who often say- Hrithik has cured his stammer! Dr. Sachin is cured too! And so are Gareth Gates (UK Pop singer) and Julia Irani! But have they stopped experiencing those sudden blocks? It’s the ethics that is being questioned here… Medically and scientifically, attaining control over a condition or a disease is NOT A CURE! Be it Diabetes, or Parkinson’s or Stammering!
- Saturday February 17th 2018“Stop thinking too much. It’s alright not to know the answers. They will come when you least expect it.” ~ Seven Rules of Life … more
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