Reflection on Wit the Movie

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Reflection Paper on Wit
Launa Theodore

A universal constant about being a patient is vulnerability and loss of control. In the movie Wit, starring Emma Thompson, you get to see all these and more. You get to see another side of the medical profession that shows blatant disregard for medical humanities, the similarities between intellects and the simple art of caring by a nurse who is not an intellect. Wit is the story of an intellectual, Vivian Bearing being diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, the treatment and how she is stripped of her personal and professional status, in the name of being a patient. The movie started with Dr. Kelekian telling Vivian that she had advanced metastatic ovarian cancer and the treatment was a vigorous course of chemotherapy for eight weeks as an inpatient. Very early on, Dr. Kelekian refers to Vivian as an intellect, he says to her, “you are a professor, Miss Bearing” to which she replied, “like yourself, Dr. Kelekian”. He wanted to show her that academia and research came at a very high price, maybe even at the price of death. Being sick, especially being hospitalized puts the patient in a position of inferiority and this is shown in the conversations between Vivian and the x-ray technician, and also the young doctor, a former student of Vivian’s. He is put to care for her while she is in the hospital and on their first meeting, he seemed very awkward and amateurish. He rushed through the interview and exam and acted as if she was a scientific experiment showing little interest in her emotional displeasure. He finished the meeting by giving her a degrading vaginal exam, after which he ran out of the room in what appeared to be a shameful fit. As the movie progressed, Vivian became severely sick and was in constant pain while her physical condition declined. The only friend she had was her primary nurse and their bond got stronger as her health got worse. The nurse was not an intellect, but she was...
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