The Sick Role Model: A Case Study

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Omadjohwoefe (2010:36) maintains that ill health is a life threatening experience to the sufferer and also the society as a whole. The moment an illness takes over, the patient is left with no choice but to seek assistance from physicians and others to help her get better (Omadjohwoefe, 2010:36). Yet, the extent to which the sick person seeks medical assistance is a response to his or her illness behaviour (Omadjohwoefe, 2010:36). Omadjohwoefe (2010:36) define illness behaviours as “the way in which symptoms are perceived, evaluated, and acted upon by a person who recognizes pains, discomfort and other signs of organic malfunction” In other words, the reaction to symptoms, use of lay referrals and compliance with health professional’s advice…show more content…
It is with the aim of minimising the disruptive consequence in the society that the functionalist, Talcott Parsons suggested that there should exist a set of share cultural norms known as the sick role model- general expectations of the sick person and those around him or her (Cockerham, 2003:177). The sick role model legitimates the deviances imposed by illness and help the sick person to return to his or her normal state so that he or she can resume his or her normal responsibilities in the society (Omadjohwoefe, 2010:36). The most essential component of the sick role is that the sick person is not to be blamed for his or her illness but must try to get well as soon as possible (Cockerham,…show more content…
According to Parsons, the sick role model consist of two rights and two obligations that ought to be performed by the sick person. The components of the sick role are:
 The person who is sick is not personally responsible for being sick. Illness are seen as caused by forces beyond the individual’s control (Cockerham, 2003:177). Thus, the sick person cannot be blamed for his or her illness, yet have the right to be taken care of by other people around him or her (Omadjohwoefe, 2010:3). The sick role model automatically excuses the person of any blame for her condition (Omadjohwoefe,
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