After being diagnosed with a brain tumor, digital artist Salvatore Iaconesi was dissatisfied with his treatment. “It was almost as if I had nothing to do with it,” he said. “The doctor comes up, he tells you that you have a tumour, and it’s like you disappear and only your clinical records remain. I didn’t want to disappear. I’m not just a patient, I am a human being.” Iaconesi took matters into his own hands by publishing his medical records online, soliciting treatment advice from neurologists, neurosurgeons and radiologists. To date, he has received advice from over 60 healthcare professionals.
What’s the Big Idea?
Iaconesi’s intention in posting his medical condition online was to find a new definition for being sick, ill or diseased. He also aimed to investigate the word “cure” which can take on distinct definitions depending on the language. “[Cure] could refer to the body or the soul or to society,” he said. Iaconesi says he is using the Web in much the same way everyone does, debunking the mythology that people are stupid and that some things can only be done by professionals. Nonetheless, he remains wary of charlatans and clowns offering fraudulent miracle cures. He doesn’t respond to those emails.