The Spirit catches you and you fall down

The Spirit catches you and you fall down - "The True Power...

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“The True Power of Western Medicine” In the book “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” Anne Fadiman reveals the cultural aspects of western medicine. She does this by showing how doctors at Merced Community Medical Center (MCMC) respond to Lia Lees’ (a Hmong patient whose parents are unaccustomed to Western Medicine) epileptic seizures. And in doing this Fadiman reveals the biases, interests, and emotions of western doctors through their behavior. The behavior of the doctors is a mixture of feelings that hinder Lia’s chances of getting better. Anne Fadiman uses the doctors at MCMC to illustrate the important cultural aspects of western medication. The key thing that Fadiman tells through this culture is the fact that doctors make decisions solely based upon their own confidence in their own doctrines of western medicine. The culture of western medicine is revealed through the behavior of the doctors at MCMC. This culture shows the biases doctors have against people they assume are less intelligent than they are. In the case with Lia, her parents didn’t always give her proper medications for her seizures; as a result, her doctors Neil and Peggy felt that Lia she was being abused by ignorant parents. As a result Dr. Neil called Child Protective Services. The way the doctors behaved in this situation shows the amount of understanding they had for the Hmong culture. They couldn’t see that it was already hard enough for the Hmong parents to even seek help from western doctors because of all the myths told to them at Thailand. Lia’s family was struggling trying to understand how this medicine could help their child. But an example of this attitude is a note Dr. Neil wrote to Child Protection Services “…because of poor parental compliance regarding the medication this case obviously would come under the realm of child abuse, specifically child 1
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neglect.” (Fadiman 58). Neil and Peggy, as doctors, dictated the final healthcare solution for Lia without fully considering the Lees’ situation. Truthfully Lia’s parents, Foua and
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course R 1A taught by Professor Mascuch during the Fall '07 term at Berkeley.

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The Spirit catches you and you fall down - "The True Power...

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