The Medical Model of Disability

The Medical Model

The medical model of disability focuses on treating or trying to cure an illness.

The medical model may portray negative attitudes towards disability for the following reasons :

  • Does not make the distinction between impairment and disability
  • It focuses on the condition the person has rather than upon the person with the condition, placing the impairment or illness rather than the person at the centre.
  • It does not recognise the strengths of disabled people or their expertise through experience
  • It confuses illness with impairment and this gives rise to treating people outside their own homes such as in institutions when they are not ill but disabled
  • Focuses on diagnosis and treatment and as such considers that a person should be ‘treated and managed’
  • Focuses on medication to alleviate symptoms without considering other less invasive interventions such as appropriate social support
  • Because it places the illness or impairment at the centre it does not pay close attention to meeting the person’ other needs such as their social needs
  • It fosters dependence on others and disempowerment

Use to answer question 9.2b of the Care Certificate

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