The Illness Clause

Ticktin Miriam

in Casualties of Care

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780520269040
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950535 | DOI:
The Illness Clause

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This chapter examines a defining moment of the politics of care: a focus on the universality and legitimacy of the suffering body, here manifest as the sick body. The illness clause was put in place to protect biological integrity as the manifestation of a common humanity. In this case, the universal truth of the suffering body gets produced through discretionary power: both institutional and affective. The chapter introduces the illness clause and illustrates how it institutes and protects what is considered an apolitical suffering body. It then turns to examine the factors influencing how bureaucrats and health officials actually translate claims about human suffering into state recognition. Moreover, it focuses in on compassion as a critical mediating force between suffering of various forms and biologically based injury.

Keywords: politics; care; suffering; body; illness clause; humanity; compassion; injury

Chapter.  14710 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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