Under the Patronage of the French President of the Republic, Ethics and Society Alzheimer Summer University plays a key role in the current discussions regarding this disease. The main activity is a national symposium, with both academic and social aspects, whose objective is to exchange knowledge and experiences and to current practices used by those who, on a daily basis provide care-giving and help.
What is at stake is to further develop the correct treatments, competencies and creativity available for patients and their families, and to reinforce alliances and networks in order to be stronger and more consistent in this battle that challenges both our knowledge and practices.
→ So that the disease of silence can be answered by a collective Voice
The new evil of the century, Alzeihmer’s disease and its consequences, are today widely ignored in our normal, predictable and comfortable lives. Any mention of this disease does not fail to create an irrepressible feeling of uneasiness, while imposing on a growing number of us, demanding requirements (people, equipment, medical and legal). We have a hard time reacting to the dependancies, demencia and further alterations which are part and parcel of this disease, other than considering it as an attack and insult on our vision of human dignity. And being totally ignorant and terrified by the mental alterations caused by Alzheimer’s disease, we hesitate to address the ethical issues the disease raises.
How can society accept a pathology that destroys everything than Man has rationality built? How can an individual face a condition that affects his very identity and takes him back to his original fragility? How can we manage to respect the integrity of the sick-citizen when access to his conscience seems impossible? And when medical ethics is based on a partnership with the patient in decision-making, what happens with it when the pathology radically alters his cognitive functions?
Unresolved issues, and yet... By raising these paradoxes, Alzeihmer’s disease questions us at the deepest levels, both individually and as a society. It highlights the fact that we are inherently vulnerable and that we cannot look to science to protect us. Meeting someone who suffers from this disease raises a host of questions in each of us, that make this disease a major issue for society.
Because it is only by raising these questions that we will be able to mobilize all of our resources, to make Alzheimer’s disease a national solidarity cause, the meetings organized for the three past years by the Alzheimer Summer University are intended to be a platform of exchanges and transmission of the widest possible scope. It requires all ideas and good will of people to develop a collective intelligence of the disease and to position it as a top priority disease. At a time where the issue of dependencies is high on the agenda, it is time to reformulate it as a major driver of social cohesion. At the same time, the experience of the disease reveals forgotten spaces of humanity, being able to face reality allows us to define new horizons in order to positively revisit our collective existence. It invites us to gather together generational care-taking values, attention to the most vulnerable people, solidarity and generosity, so often ignored in our society.
Alzheimer Summer Universities combine these energies and transmit them to the entire community. Their objective? To never renounce nor accept the current trends of individualism and budgetary constraints. At a time when insecurity, exclusion and discriminations are increasing, in our hyper medicalized world where scientific performance has found its limits, care of others must take over.
Association France Alzheimer
Fondation Médéric Alzheimer
Le laboratoire DISTALZ
La Ville de Lille
La Région Nord-Pas-de-Calais
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