This study examines the social structure of healthcare through Talcott Parsons’s sick role concept from his seminal work The Social System (1951), analyzing the characters of Deborah in Harold Pinter’s A Kind of Alaska (1982) and Molly in Brian Friel’s Molly Sweeney (1994). In both plays, the female protagonists compromise their personal freedom by submitting to healthcare workers. Although Deborah and Molly experience their medical ordeals differently, they intersect on various social, somatic, cultural, and political levels. Reading both plays in conjunction, the article critiques the authoritative power dynamic between male doctors and female protagonists. Drawing on Parsons’s sick role and the doctor-patient relationship, the study analyzes Deborah and Molly’s journeys toward recovery and explains why they fail to reestablish themselves in their societal roles, as outlined in Parsons’s health concept. The article concludes with an appeal for a more empathetic approach to contemporary medical practices.

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