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10.15.09 - MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY BIOMEDICINE if you take the...

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MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 15/10/2009 BIOMEDICINE: if you take the role of a doctor into everyday life, the oddness of their day-to-day tasks becomes apparent: “I’ll find myself in conversation... I’ll all of a sudden start to think about, you know, if i took the scalpel and made a cut right here, what would that look like... very often that happens. And that’s a frightening thing.” (Good, 1994: 73) DISENCHANTMENT: As a theme in biomedicine IT’S CALLED PRAYER: “i think i’m lucky, because i get to talk about things like feelings adn faith. And prayer. And all tehose questions that are hard like, “what’s the meaning of life?” and “why is this terrible thing happening?” I remember one neurologist said, “that mother was talking to spirits! Can you believe that?” and i said “so? I do that everyday. Its called prayer.” Division of labor, Chaplains discuss feelings, meaning vs. Doctors are paid for something else What is religion’s place in a biomedical based hospital Prayer is the same as talking to spirits? What does it mean to be an other? Are these differences merely a difference in language, or do these changes resist translation? FRANZ BOA: (father of anthropology) KLEINMAN: notion of translation: cultural competency within hospitals, culture becomes a “corset of beliefs about illness because of a fixed list of traits” Reductionist DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCES: Cultural differences need to be represented as a religious belief to be accepted by western biomedicine. I.e. Alternative medical systems, CULTURE OF RELIGIOSITY: RELIGION WITHIN HOSPITAL BEUROCRACY: the making of one religion equivellent to another adn intserting them into hospital beurocracy RELIGION VS. SPIRITUALITY: Psychosocial need that is never defined, acts as a placebo effect.
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