Baylor Philosophy Professor Releases Latest Book

Sept. 18, 1995

Dr. Kay Toombs, Baylor University assistant professor of philosophy, has recently published her second book titled Chronic Illness: From Experience to Policy.

"We've tried to look at the difference between acute and chronic illness because chronic illness offers a completely different problem than acute illness," Toombs said. "Most modern medicine focuses on acute illness."

Toombs was lead editor of the book that focuses on such chronic illnesses as AIDS, multiple sclerosis, mental illness and diabetes. The book examines chronic illness through different essays written by individuals who have been personally affected by chronic illness.

"We looked at experience and what impact that has for health care, policy issues and medical ethics," she said.

Toombs authored one essay in the book, an autobiographical account of coping with multiple sclerosis. Each first-person essay is original and in each, the author recounts his or her experiences in dealing with different chronic illnesses.

The book was inspired by a seminar concerning chronic illness at the Institute for Medical Humanities at the University of Texas-Galveston, and examines the issue from the perspectives of literature, medicine, sociology, philosophy, religion and the medical humanities.

"The book brings different perspectives of the medical community to look at the effects of chronic illness," she said.

Chronic Illness is Tombs' second book. Her first book, The Meaning of Illness, was published in 1990. Toombs has taught at Baylor since 1990. She received her bachelor and master's degrees from Baylor, and her doctorate is from Rice University.

For more information, call Toombs at 755-3369.

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