Apparently Western medicine was wrong the whole time, and people with dementia are really just “idiotic,” according to Chinese medical terminology. Other incredibly scientific terms include “sugary pee disease” for diabetes, and “infection from corpses” for TB. Naturally, the Chinese doctors who consider themselves part of the 21st century, aren’t too pleased. Bloomberg reports:
Worried that many people with dementia are so self-conscious they won’t seek treatment, Chinese psychiatrists are calling for professionals and patients to adopt a new term [for dementia].
“The Chinese name [“idiotic”] implies that patients are both mentally ill and severely stupid, so the stigma is doubled,” said Helen Chiu, a professor of clinical psychiatry at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the lead author of an editorial in the International Psychogeriatrics journal. The eight doctors who signed the piece advocating a change are from China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Switzerland.
Diabetes became known as “sugary pee disease” after doctors noticed ants around patients’ urine, Lin said. In his glossary, constipation is “has difficulty defecating,” incontinence translates to “loss of excrement control” and tuberculosis is an “infection from corpses” — apparently because mortuary workers and others who handle dead bodies run a risk of catching TB from an infected person’s remains.
Experts say sensitivity was clearly not considered when they were coming up with the terms. Unfortunately, this insensitivity seems to have carried over to China’s medical community today, what with both AIDS patients and AIDs ward medical staff being regarded kind of like lepers in Medieval Europe.