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Thread: the organs

  1. #11
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    Default Re: the organs

    I chose that disease because it has an immune cause, not an infectious one. I may have misunderstood what 5jj meant, but I am interested in the differences of terminology in AmE and BrE. No nefarious intent.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: the organs

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I thought you were confining "disease" to something infectious.
    I didn't actually say that.
    You mentioned germs, virus, bacteria.
    Did you actually read post #6? That's the post in which I said of myself, "As a non-expert in medicine", and speaking of germs/viruses/bacteria, etc, "we non-experts can't tell the difference". I added, "I could not begin to refine those fairly crude ideas". I genuinely have no idea what an autoimmune disease is, and did not know what Systemic Lupus Erythematosus was until I googled it.

    I know nothing about how doctors classify 'illnesses' and 'diseases', and admitted this. I have much in common with 95+% of the population in that respect. I wrote as someone who knows something about English, but next to nothing about medical terminology. The main point of what I wrote was this: I am simply making the point that, in BrE at least, the two words are not often interchangeable.

    Do you have a problem with that?

  3. #13
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    Default Re: the organs

    None.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: the organs

    I agree with the distinction that 5jj made, but I am fairly sure that this is not a difference between American English and British English. I think that any American medical practitioner or scientist will recognize that one may be ill but not be suffering from a disease. The reverse is also possible: one may be suffering from a disease without being ill.

    This article from The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners does a nice job of illustrating the difference between 'disease' and 'illness'. Here are two relevant passages:

    In the scientific paradigm of modern medicine, disease
    refers to abnormalities of the structure and function of
    body organs and systems (Eisenberg, 1977). Diseases are
    the named pathological entities that make up the medical
    model of ill-health, such as diabetes or tuberculosis,
    and which can be specifically identified and described
    by reference to certain biological, chemical or other
    evidence.
    Cassell (1978) uses illness to mean "what the patient
    feels when he goes to the doctor", and disease to mean
    "what he has on the way home from the doctor's office.
    Disease, then, is something an organ has; illness is
    something a man has." Illness refers to the subjective
    response of the patient to being unwell; how he, and
    those around him, perceive the origin and significance
    of this event; how it effects his behaviour or relationships
    with other people; and the steps he takes to
    remedy this situation (Eisenberg, 1977; Kleinman et al.,
    1978, 1980).
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: the organs

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Cassell (1978) uses illness to mean "what the patient feels when he goes to the doctor", and disease to mean "what he has on the way home from the doctor's office".
    That is wonderful!

  6. #16
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    Default Re: the organs

    And there many who find no such clear distinction.

    Disease - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There are many opinions on this, but none are generally accepted as "'the one".

  7. #17
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    Default Re: the organs

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    In most cases, the words are used interchangeably.
    I'd have to disagree with you.
    - I can't think of any disease which is labelled medically as Illness X. You'll rarely be diagnosed with Heart Illness, Chronic Lung Illness, Cushing's Illness, etc. Even if the words mean the same thing, they are not used interchangeably.
    - On the other hand, people who want to claim that alcoholics, drug addicts, gamblers, etc. are ill, will claim that these things are illnesses - "It's an illness" much more frequently than "It's a disease."
    - Statistics are given for days off work "due to illness", not "due to disease". Similarly, parents might get time off if their children are "ill", not if they're 'diseased'.
    There are many usage differences which I won't bother thinking of.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: the organs

    You're correct, interchangeably was a poor choice of words. What I meant was that the definitions overlap significantly.

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