Case Study: Mark Zupan in Murderball

Case Study: Mark Zupan in Murderball



Case Study: Mark Zupan in Murderball

Body Functions and Structures Impacted

In this case, the character, Mark Zupan, illustrates the impact on body functions by revealing his physical status as a quadriplegic (Mandel & Rubin, 2005). The story of Murderball revolves around paralyzed individuals that take the time and effort to engage in wheelchair rugby. In this respect, the respective personality is no exception. Similar to other characters, the body functions exhibited by Zupan illustrate that he is incapable of utilizing his legs in comparison to the manner that a physically capable person would behave. Concerning the structures that are affected, Zupan rebuffs the negative and stereotypical frameworks encompassing disability.

Activities and Participation


In terms of the capacity to perform daily living tasks and social roles, this particular personality illustrates that he is incapable of performing such obligations to complete normalcy. Accordingly, Zupan receives significant care from his girlfriend, Jess in an array of situations. For instance, as the character attempts to swim, he ends up sinking which leads to a moment of concern and tension from his mother as well as his girlfriend (Mandel & Rubin, 2005).


Zupan illustrates that he possesses the capacity for daily living tasks and social roles. Undeniably, he is capable of executing his role as a son and a boyfriend to his romantic interest. In addition to this, Zupan is also able to assume his role as an avid and aggressive rugby player despite being quadriplegic. However, his capacity for routine living tasks is complemented by his girlfriend who carries out certain duties such as tying of his shoes as well as pumping gas while the respective personality rests in the car (Mandel & Rubin, 2005).

Contextual Factors

Environmental Factors

The environment that Zupan occupies presents a considerable degree of difficulty for him. As a quadriplegic, Zupan cannot receive or engage in activities that normal people can perform. This is illustrated by his inability to tie his own shoes or swim properly. Additionally, Zupan is confined to a sporting environment that allows him and fellow quadriplegics to participate with their respective disabilities. As such, Zupan can only engage in wheelchair rugby since it provides him with a fair platform for competitiveness (Mandel & Rubin, 2005).

Personal Factors

Aside from his physical impairments, Zupan possesses the resolve of a competitive and aggressive normal man. He is capable of executing his spousal and social role like any other person. Additionally, Zupan averts from contextual stereotypes by engaging in a difficult and challenging sporting activity irrespective of his disability.

Rehabilitation Goals

Medical Treatments

For a quadriplegic such as Zupan, there are null medical treatments that can be used to reverse the damage imposed on his spinal cord. Nevertheless, in extreme circumstances, treatments involving screws, metal rods, bones, and muscle can be used in order to improve partial movement. Specific prescribed medication will be required particularly for preventing the expansion of the personality’s spinal cord.

Accommodations/Assistive Technology

Operational electrical stimulation can be used as assistive technology in order to offer partial movement specifically to the muscles that are immobilized. In terms of accommodation, Zupan will require normal visits from psychologists, neurologists, physical therapists, as well as occupational therapists.

Counseling Goals

The aims of counseling will mainly involve assisting the victim as well as his family in learning different activities that can allow the maintenance of a simple daily routine. Furthermore, counseling goals will involve endorsing caregiving in areas such as skin care, bladder function, personal hygiene as well as bowel movements.  

Vocational Goals

In this case, vocational aims may focus on extra support for the victim. The respective character is capable of performing a range of normal functions. In addition, the victim possesses support actors such as his girlfriend and his mother that assist in daily tasks.


Mandel, J. V. (Producer) & Rubin, H. A. (Director). (2005). Murderball [Motion picture]. United States: ThinkFilm.

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