People with disabilities occupy an important and ever-growing segment
of the health care continuum. In Still Lives: Narratives
of Spinal Cord Injury, Jonathan Cole takes a compassionate and probing
look at a unique subset of this important population: persons with spinal
cord injury. Still Lives provides an unabashed and
candid account of the complex medical, psychological, and social environment
often faced by persons with spinal cord injuries.
“I have gone to people, not with a white coat or a stethoscope . . . but
to listen to their lives as they express them,” eloquently declares
the author in the opening chapter. In the pages and chapters that follow,
Cole powerfully portrays life as truly seen through the eyes of a person with
a spinal cord injury. In doing so, he strives to fathom the intricacies of
“spinal cord injury personhood” by answering a number of fundamental
questions, including, how does it feel to lose one’s sex life? what
is it like to experience social and architectural isolation? how is life different
in a wheelchair? and what does it mean to have to catheterize every 4 hours?
Young MA. Spinal Cord Injury. JAMA. 2005;293(4):497–502. doi:10.1001/jama.293.4.497-a
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