Essay in Cultural Turmoil: Understanding versus Belief

Ethnic Conflict: Understanding vs Opinion

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Jiesen Systems

Dec six, 2013

Conventional paper 3 Last Draft

Ethnical Conflict: Understanding vs Belief

As Anton Chekhov, an eastern european physician and writer, said: " When you are thirsty and it

appears that you could drink the entire marine — that's faith; when you begin to drink and handle only a glass or maybe more —that's science”. What if the patients' morals contradict their particular doctors'? The conflict may result in ineffectiveness in treatment and both patients' and doctors' frustration. In The Spirit Attracts You and You Fall Down, Bea Fadiman tells a story regarding the Lees, a Hmong family, and their clinical experience with doctors in MCMC located in Encanto, California. The storyline finally ended with a tragedy: the Lees' young child Lia's brain death. Due to the different cultural backgrounds, the contradictions on the conversation and the understanding of diseases involving the Hmong and western physicians result from the disparity with their beliefs and therefore cause the failure in the treatment. Also, western physicians are not as empathetic as they should be after they could do better.

A story often starts with a fascinating precondition. The Lees had been refugees, which means they did not come towards the U. T. for a travel. They stayed in Encanto because that they wanted to endure, but they didn't want to get accustomed to european medical system. Also, the Hmong's thoughts about the specialist are different from those of Americans. When Americans unwell, they will consider going to the medical center and talking to the doctors. For the Hmong, they can prefer to seek advice from the Hmong leader before they made the decision, such as whether to accept the doctors'

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solutions. In addition , these were so irrational that the " good medicines” given by txiv neeb can do more and more than what doctors in medical center did to Lia's seizures. The socio-historical situation of the Lees was your main reason for the ethnic disparity through this story. Relating to Dan Murphy, the physician in MCMC, the clinical come across case is only a microcosm of the contradictions: " I actually don't remember having a feeling of anger, but I remember having a little bit of a feeling of awe at how differently all of us looked at the world”(Fadiman 53). Apparently, equally Hmong and western medical doctors had known this difference. However , they will still could not solve the situation, even though they will knew the fact that was going wrong and already described their comprehensions through vocabulary. In this case, interpreters played a significant role, building a bridge between the Hmong and their european physicians. Nevertheless, interpreters can simply ensure that both equally sides have sold their advice about the diseases; they will merely stopped working the " language barrier”. The more being concerned thing was that Nao Kao, Lia's father, " organized a ‘stone wall' and was occasionally deliberately deceitful”(Fadiman 47). It had been " deceitful” because it seemed that the language barrier was the cause of the conflicts, but basically, the real cause hided lurking behind the language obstacle, which obstructed the line in the sight. The " natural stone wall” was exactly the " cultural barrier”, which obstructed between the Lees' faith and western physicians' belief — science. Because Dave Schneider, a physician in Merced, stated: " The chinese language barrier was your most obvious issue, but not the main. The biggest problem was the cultural barrier. We have a tremendous big difference between dealing with the Hmong and dealing with anyone else. An infinite difference”(Fadiman 68). The " social barrier” may be the inherent section of the contradiction. American physicians believed in science, that has been like Anton Chekhov said, that they recognized people can " end only a glass or two” of water after they

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are thirsty. They can be it through experiments. The Lees, nevertheless , did not have confidence in science mainly because their own beliefs made even more sense to them, which was like that that they thought they will could " drink the whole ocean”. Traditional western physicians thought about the conditions dialectically, yet...

Cited: Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures. 1997. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux,


London: H. K. Lewis, 1906. 3-11.