Your Rights and Responsibilities When You’re Sick

Being Sick Sucks

The greatest wealth is health.  ~Virgil

Whether it’s a bad chest cold, or a serious diagnosis of a cancer tumor, being sick is just the worst. There is a process of adjusting to all of the ways our lives change when things in our bodies don’t work the way they always have.

Rights and Responsibilities

Ever wish there was a “sick pass” you could get that would relieve you of all your normal duties when you get sick? Sociologist Alexander Segall proposed that when you get sick, you automatically should get 3 rights or privileges and have 3 responsibilities or duties to fulfill. What do you think?  Check this out:

Rights of The Sick

1.  The right to make decisions about any health-related issues.

2.  The right to be exempt from normal life duties.

3.  The right to become dependent on others for assistance.

Responsibilities of the Sick

1.  The responsibility to get well (if possible).

2.  The responsibility to perform routine health care management.

3.  The responsibility to use a range of health care resources (if possible).

Lie Down For Your Rights!

If you’re sick, let others take care of you. Everyone has to shop… ask your friends or neighbors to pick up chicken soup for you. They’ll likely want to do even more, but at least start by asking for something you need.

Take it as easy as you can, stop pushing and pretending that you don’t need extra rest and TLC.  You’ll get better faster if you do. To recover from a serious diagnosis, the phrase “it takes a village” applies.  Use your network of friends to arrange transportation, childcare, cover meals, house cleaning, etc. You cannot and should not do it alone!

Take Good Care of Yourself!

If you’re sick or have been diagnosed with a serious disease, take the time to learn about all of your treatment options. Even educating yourself about how cold medications can interact is important. The stakes increase when you’re trying to weigh chemotherapy options. Take time to do your research, ask questions, and get answers before you proceed with a treatment plan for yourself. To paraphrase an old song:

“Take good care of yourself… …you belong to us!”    

DrAnita Sanz, PhD, Psychologist

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