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Summary Of The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down By Fadiman

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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman, explores cultural competence, ethics in medicine, and the provision of culturally competent health care in the United States by following a family of Hmong culture in their struggles with mainstream U.S. society and healthcare. Fadiman has implemented her studies to highlight the differences between Hmong and Western practices and perspectives on health care, illness, spirituality, and the body.
Through her extensive research, Fadiman is able to express cultural differences and the impact ignoring this crucial piece can have. Healthcare in the U.S. is described as the best in the world, but Fadiman is able to highlight the weaknesses this healthcare system has in regards to culturally …show more content…

They did not know english and were used to using herbal remedies and traditional healers to treat their health concerns and ailments. Lia Lee is one of their 7 children, and starts displaying symptoms of a seizure disorder a 3 months old. This is where the cultural clashes begin as her parents struggle to find meaning and answers to their daughters strange behaviors. We learn briefly of the Hmong culture and spiritual beliefs that are essential to comprehend when trying to understand the differences between cultures. To the Lees, Lia’s seizures are very frightening, but are also a sign of a connection to the spiritual world. “The noise of the door had been so profoundly frightening that her soul had fled her body and become lost. They recognized the resulting symptoms as qaug dab peg, which means ‘the spirit catches you and you fall down (Fadiman, 2007 p.20).” In the belief of the Lee family, Lia’s condition was as revered as it was scary. A person with qaug dab peg was traditionally held in high esteem in the Hmong culture and were believed to have a future of an honored healer and shaman. This is where the conflict begins as the Lee’s are clearly frightened for their daughter, they have a belief that her seizures will provide her with a life of …show more content…

Kleinman for any retroactive suggestions for Lia’s pediatricians. He said he had three: “Get rid of the term compliance; second, instead of looking at a model of coercion, look at a model of mediation; and three, understand that as powerful as the culture of the Hmong patient and her family is on this case, the culture of biomedicine has its own set of interests, emotions, biases, so how can you expect to deal successfully with someone else’s culture? (Fadiman, 2007, p. 261).” This resonated with me and really emphasized the need for proper education and understanding of cross-cultural issues and

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