The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down Essay

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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

In the book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman explores the cultural collision between the Hmong Lee family and their American doctors. Along with the culture clash, the social stigma against the Hmong family brings to light a lot of the systematic, moral, and ethical issues that can arise in our healthcare. Ultimately, the combination of the cultural clash in medical perspectives, the underlying social stigma, the inadequate treatment, and the miscommunication hindered the proper diagnosis and recovery of led to the demise of the Hmong child. However, many of the problems could have been easily avoided or resolved with more patience, objectivity, and most importantly, cultural competence. Cross-cultural methods and approaches should be taken to accommodate for the diverse patient population in our communities.

I will introduce the culture clash by first describing the Hmong point of view on health and illness. Then, I will proceed my analysis by comparing it with the Western perspectives and practices on healing. Social stigma will also be emphasized as another negative factor
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Also, because they are believed to be the chosen ones by spiritual calling, the Hmong are less likely to question or blame them. On the other hand, given their long years of education, residency, and training, western medicine doctors are expected to successfully treat most of their patients. Because of this expectation, if something were to go wrong, it often results in the blame of the doctor, personal attacks, or even legal action. The typical biological causes of health problems, according to western medicine, make illnesses seem more controllable, in comparison to the abstract spiritual causes of the Hmong. This is what gives rise to the difference in patient reaction to failed medical
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