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Trisha Torrey

The King's Speech, the Oscars and Patient Empowerment

By February 27, 2011

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If you haven't seen The King's Speech, nominated for 12 Academy Awards, winner of four, then you're wondering how the movie, the Oscars and patient empowerment can possibly end up in the same title.  So bear with me.

But if you have seen The King's Speech, then this won't be a huge leap.  As pointed out by my friend and colleague, Dave deBronkart (e-Patient Dave), the entire basis for the movie is that Queen Elizabeth (not the current queen, but her mother, who we came to know and love as the Queen Mum) moves from her frustration with doctors and medical professionals who could not help her husband overcome his stutter, to researching, finding and connecting with the man who COULD, and did, help him.

That man is not a credentialed medical professional, by the way.  Further, he is a commoner, who works in not-such-a-great-neighborhood.  He's not traditional or mainstream. He's an alternative practitioner - and it's HIS cure that moves the King past his stuttering.

The movie itself is a joy - and the story is true.  I loved it - and I don't say that about many movies, ever.

Whether or not you have seen the movie, with your interest in patient empowerment, you'll be interested in Elizabeth Cohen (CNN's Empowered Patient)'s interview with David Seidler, who wrote the story of The King's Speech, and who was a stutterer himself.  It's an interesting study of Seidler's own empowerment approach, to his stuttering - and cancer, too.

Did you learn anything about patient empowerment by watching The King's Speech?

•  Learn more about what it takes to be an empowered patient - to uncover all your options like the Queen did for her husband.

•  Learn more about choosing the best doctor for you (no matter what that doctor's background.)

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Agree? Disagree?
Share your experience or join the conversation!


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Photo of Helena Bonham Carter who played the Queen in the movie The King's Speech 
© Getty Images / Sean Gallup

February 27, 2011 at 11:02 am
(1) BonnieB says:

There have been plenty of times that I have not listened to my doctors and have done what I have felt was better for me or my family. Starting with not listening to a doctor who told me I was gaining too much weight while expecting my first child (my mother did as the doctor told her and had a premature baby, but mine was full term and healthy). Doctors wanted to put my husband on medications for various problems, but each time I said “let’s try changing our diet and increasing exercise” and every time, it worked! Searching and finding the information for parents at http://www.stutteringhelp.org and getting a referral from them has made a big difference in my and our son’s speech. Their page about how to find the right therapist is great. It was good to read of Seidler’s experience with cancer. I amazed the dermatologist who did skin cancer surgery as he said it would probably reappear in 3 months. I did research and found things to do and not do, and no new evidence of skin cancer has shown up after several years!

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