Monday, February 27, 2012

Overly sensitive...

Me:  "I need to find a place for this patient to stay, she can't stay home by herself anymore."

Nurse:  "Well, she has a daughter that might could take care of her..."

Me:  "No, that daughter is retarded."

Nurse:  "That's not very nice!"

Me:  "No, I mean she is literally retarded.  She has Down's syndrome."

Nurse:  "Oh...never mind then."

#PCconversations

14 comments:

Lisa said...

The nurse was correct in the first case. The mentally challenged community takes offense to that word...just warning you.

thethingspatientssay said...

Do they take offense or does someone take offense for them? People take offense to almost everything nowadays. If it cannot be used to refer to them, can it be used in other situations? I had thought the PC phenomenon had peaked years ago, but clearly this is not the case. I'm no longer certain how I am to refer to "little people" anymore, either and may be offending them with that term. The word "dummy" used to describe a deaf person, yet it is now allowed in everyday conversation to refer to someone of lesser intelligence. I wish someone would get us a set of guidelines for this...

Liz said...

i was just having this conversation with my friend who is dating a man from guatemala. is the church he attends, with a lot of individuals from mexico, guatemala, and surrounding countries, "hispanic" church or "latino" church... which is pc? in your case, developmentally disabled might have been a better option, but the word isn't "nasty." there is also the whole "gay" issue... people self-label that way, but others use it as a synonym for stupid... so does that mean "gay" isn't "pc" for homosexual anymore? not sure...

thethingspatientssay said...

My gay friends (several of them at least) refer to thinks they think are stupid as "gay," so maybe it's a "them only" phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

i am constantly amazed by human nature.especially the nature of taking offence. a black comedian can stand on the stage and use the 'n' word and his audience (black and white)will laugh. if it were me being white and tried the same thing......well there's offence.
the same thing goes with an over weight person.....saying whatever they wanted on the subject even to the point of total ridicule. but, one comment from myself on the subject, even bringing it up would cause offence and hatred.i am not a rocket surgeon.....so i have never figured out why this is so.

but.......
i think with the mentally challenged we tend to protect and defend them. akin to our need to protect the innocent just like innocent babies and puppies....a natural human hard wired thing that i hope we never lose as humans.
#thingsbloggersay........ordon'tsay

Lisa said...

I was using the word community to include both the people themselves and their caregivers. From what I've seen it's both who take offence, because the word itself is used as a slur as in "That's retarded!" or "You retard!" I'm really not a fan of pc, but when a word hurts some, especially someone with challenges, it's time for me to not use it.

thethingspatientssay said...

See, but there's a clear dichotomy here. The community simultaneously doesn't want the word used to refer to themselves, but also doesn't want it used to refer to something that the person sees as stupid. So what they want is both the disuse of the word to refer to themselves and the use of the word that refers to their population not to be used in a different way. It's ridiculous.

Stacey said...

I personally believe it should be completely based on if any ill intent is meant. If it is said innocently and the person having respect for that word it shouldn't be bad. If it is said in a derogatory manner then it is unacceptable. I also feel swear words (mainly the ones said in frustration and not towards someone) should just become words and then all their 'power' and 'danger' will be no more.

Anonymous said...

Gov.Christie got in big trouble recently by saying something was going to"go down"-I font remember the exact quote- people were up in arms because he used the words " go down" while talking to a woman. It was sexual harassment !!?? Really ? So now I'm afraid to give anybody directions, what if I tell them to "go down" to the next corner.
I think some people just take themselves too seriously. Lighten up folks, you'll be a lot happier and gave less wrinkles and gray hairs

thethingspatientssay said...

Slight update: I just overheard the physician who RUNS the human development center here refer to a patient in dictation as a "sweet little retarded lady," so the memo regarding its use clearly has not made the rounds.

Anonymous said...

10 comments so far. nice !
perhaps it touched a nerve.
its great when a blog opens up the lines of communication.....when we learn something from others we learn something about ourselves.
thank you !
#thingsbloggerssay

Just Me said...

Retard is a nasty word and shouldn't be used at all. In the UK we use Learning disabled or intellectual disability. I know its still in use in US medical terms but has been used as an insult so that's why its non pc to say it

medrecgal said...

From a boatload of experience with disability, I think the term they prefer these days is "developmentally disabled". Don't know if it's a PC thing or what, but it is of relatively recent origin. I remember my own father telling stories where he quoted doctors actually using the term "retarded", and that was less than 40 years ago. I don't like the word, either, but that's because I like to think we've progressed beyond the ways of thinking that were common when retarded was standard terminology.

Anonymous said...

retard means:
Occurring or developing later than desired or expected; delayed.

so it makes perfect sense to use it.

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