Though homeless, patients can retain ownership of their health. Though nurses do not have adequate funding to change the financial status of a homeless person, they can ensure they do not give up on their health. …
What are the chief problems your sickness has caused for you?
The question chosen is following: “What are the chief problems your sickness has caused for you?” The subject was a 55 – year – old, homeless Hispanic man with no knowledge of English language. At the time of the interview, the subject was living underneath the overpass of the Florida Turnpike and Kendall Drive. The subject agreed to an anonymous interview. As a result, the subject visited the West Kendall Hospital a few days ago, where he was given an intravenous therapy and a medication prescription. The subject’s illness has eliminated his ability to work every day. Due to his irregular and small income, the subject could not afford the medication. Moreover, the subject drinks on a daily basis. The subject relies on God for healing, and has decided not to get another prescription. The subject’s response to modern medicine is similar to the one of the Lee family. The subject refused to return to the hospital because of religious beliefs and lack of money for prescription arising from his sickness. Lia’s parents refused to treat her because of their cultural beliefs. However, the medical community too failed as unprejudiced healers, who did not provide a Hmong cultural mediator, and failed to remove themselves from moral hegemony. Effects of culture on our daily lives have been of concern to anthropologists for decades. According to Geertz, culture is “a set of control mechanisms –plans, recipes, rules … for the governing of behavior”....
t the Merced Community Medical Center (MCMC): I don’t think the mom and dad ever truly understood the connection between a seizure and what it did to the brain … My general impression was that they really felt we were all an intrusion and that if they could just do what they thought best for their child, that child would be fine. (Fadiman, 1997, p. 48) As can be seen from the above statement, Fadiman presented the medical case of Lia alongside cultural relativism. In her book, Fadiman treats cultural relativism from an epistemiological viewpoint. According to Barnard (2000), cultural relativists argue that “culture regulates the way human beings perceive the world” (p. 99). Moreover, epistemological relativism dictates that generalizable cultural patterns do not exist (Barnard, 2000, p. 100). Dan Murphy, a resident at MCMC, stated the latter fact eloquently: And the other thing that was different between them and me was that they seemed to accept things that to me were major catastrophes as part of the normal flow of life. For them, the crisis was the treatment, not the epilepsy. (Fadiman, 1997, p. 53). Similarly, the subject was not assisted properly at the hospital. His religious beliefs were not addressed. Instead, the prescription was handed to him with no regard for what he would do next, regardless of his financial status. Secondly, the subject was not aware of the name of his illness, meaning that nobody provided a mediator to explain his condition to him in words he would understand. Thirdly, just as in case of the Lee family, it can be assumed doctors felt morally superior to the patient, who drinks on a daily basis. Thus, Fadiman’s insight into what to do to as cultural mediators when seeking to bridge differences is the key aspect when ...
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