Bioethics Paper 6 - Analysis of the Clash of Two Cultures...

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Analysis of the Clash of Two Cultures in The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down In the story The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman, a Hmong child named Lia is diagnosed with epilepsy and becomes terminally ill. The culture of the Hmong perceives this disease more spiritually than the western medicine, which focuses on biomedicine. Thus, a huge conflict between these two cultures leads to an inconsistent and inadequate treatment of Lia, and ultimately leads to her demise. From examining this case, the most likely factor that resulted in this sorrowful ending was the medicine that Lia received. Had she been treated with Depakene correctly, it would have been possible for Lia to recover and live a normal life. Yet the clashes between the Hmong culture and western medicine hindered the treatment process. There are several main solutions that should have taken place in order to prevent such inefficient and ineffective treatment procedures. There should have been better forms of communication between the Hmong and the American doctors. According to Fadiman, this case was
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