I’m working on a health & medical discussion question and need the explanation and answer to help me learn.
Resource: Ch. 15 to 17 of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.
Respond to the following in a minimum of 175 words:
Is it immoral or insensitive to set evidence-based medical practice over other cultural medical beliefs?
Fadiman compares the Hmong to a visual perception puzzle (p. 237). Do you agree or disagree with her metaphor? Explain your reasoning.
How to solve
Evidence- based medical practice vs cultural medical beliefs
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The question at hand explores the ethical implications of prioritizing evidence-based medical practice over cultural medical beliefs. It also addresses whether the author’s comparison of the Hmong to a visual perception puzzle is valid. As a medical professor, it is essential to approach these topics with sensitivity and an open mind, considering the diverse perspectives and cultural beliefs that exist in the field of medicine.
Answer to the first question:
Determining whether it is immoral or insensitive to prioritize evidence-based medical practice over other cultural medical beliefs requires a nuanced understanding. In an ideal world, medical decisions should be based on a combination of scientific evidence, patient values, and cultural considerations. However, when faced with conflicting beliefs, prioritizing evidence-based medicine can be ethically justifiable.
Evidence-based medicine is grounded in empirical research, clinical studies, and scientific evidence. It aims to provide the best possible care based on the available knowledge. Ignoring evidence-based practice in favor of cultural beliefs can be potentially harmful, as it may lead to ineffective treatments or unnecessary harm to patients.
However, it is crucial to approach these situations with cultural sensitivity and respect. Cultural beliefs and practices should be acknowledged and incorporated into the healthcare decision-making process. Open dialogue, cultural understanding, and shared decision-making between healthcare professionals and patients can ensure that individual cultural values are considered while still upholding the principles of evidence-based practice.
Answer to the second question:
Fadiman’s comparison of the Hmong to a visual perception puzzle is thought-provoking and has some validity. Visual perception puzzles require the viewer to shift their perspective and consider alternative interpretations in order to understand the entire picture. Similarly, understanding and interacting with the Hmong culture and beliefs may require a willingness to explore different perspectives and abandon preconceived notions.
The Hmong people have a unique worldview and traditional medical practices that may appear puzzling or difficult to comprehend for outsiders. This comparison emphasizes the need to approach their cultural beliefs with an open mind, curiosity, and empathy. By taking the time to understand their cultural framework, healthcare professionals can bridge the gap and establish mutually beneficial relationships that promote holistic care.
However, it is important to note that the metaphor should not undermine the importance of cultural competence and sensitivity. Viewing the Hmong culture only as a puzzle to be solved risks objectifying or dehumanizing them. It is essential to approach cross-cultural interactions with respect, empathy, and a commitment to understanding, rather than a mere intellectual challenge.