A World Leading SFI Research Centre - Science Foundation Ireland - For What's Next

APC News

The Language Of Illness, Book Launch

14 Sep 2020

The Language Of Illness, Book Launch


 APC Microbiome Ireland was delighted to host the launch of Fergus Shanahan’s latest book, The Language of Illness, via Microsoft Teams, on Thursday, September 17th. For those of you who could not attend, you can watch the launch here.

The book, written for a lay audience looks at how language can act as a barrier between patients and their carers, and proposes practical ways for dismantling the distancing effect of medical language. He addresses controversial topics including end-of-life language and tackles communication issues surrounding COVID-19 pandemic sparking articles in the national press including “The Covid-19 pandemic is changing the way we speak”  “Flawed public health messages must end if we are to defeat the infodemic” and “Cork scientist warns about vaccine uptake”.

Since our thoughts, judgments, decisions and actions are shaped by our language, it is curious why so many spend so little time considering the words they use.  Sooner or later, we will all be called to play a role in someone’s illness story. The way we play that role, the words we use or don’t use, may alleviate or accentuate the suffering of that illness. The language of illness is simple and honest, it’s time to consider the language we use.

Copies of the book can be ordered from the published Liberties Press here

Host Institution

Host Logos - UCC and Teagasc

Partner Institutions

APC Microbiome Ireland

Biosciences Building, University College Cork, Ireland,