Medical Anthropology Honors
Medical Anthropology Honors ANHH 371
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This 20 page Class Notes was uploaded by Santino Farrell III on Monday October 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ANHH 371 at Ferris State University taught by Krishnakali Majumdar in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see /class/221608/anhh-371-ferris-state-university in Child Development at Ferris State University.
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Date Created: 10/12/15
Care and Curing The Medical System quotThe dominant medical system is an expression of and to some extent a miniature model of the values and social structure of the society from which it arises Different types of society therefore produce different types of medical systems and different attitudes for health and illness depending on their dominant ideology whether capitalist socialist welfare state or communistwhatever the type of society the medical system not only reflects these basic values and ideologies but in turn also helps shape and maintain them Page 96 Medical Pluralism Coexistence of a variety of medical systems each offering the patient their own particular way of explaining diagnosing and treating ill health 0 Every health care system has a cultural aspect and a social aspect Heath care sub cultures Medical anthropologists Identify the range of therapeutic options available in different societies How and why choices are made between the various options Definition of healers and the therapeutic encounter Kleinman three sectors of Health Care The popular sector The folk sector The professional sector The popular sector Lay non professional non specialist Where ill health is first recognized and defined and therapeutic options negotiated Where 70 90 of health care takes place Follow a hierarchy of resort Mostly women are guardians of lay knowledge Includes a set of beliefs about health maintenance Therapeutic encounter in the lay sector Both patient and healer share similar assumptions about health and illness misunderstandings are rare Informal and unpaid Without any fixed rules that govern the encounter Credentials are mainly their own experience May either facilitate or impede health care The Folk Sector Specialized forms of healing that are either secular or sacred Very little formal training skills acquired through apprenticeship Approach is holistic dealing with all aspects of the patient s life naturalsocialsupernatural Wide variation in the types of folk healers form a heterogenous group Balance and disturbancedeficiency Therapeutic encounter in the folk sector Patients and healers share the basic cultural values and world view beliefs about origin diagnosis and treatment May employ a ritual of divination Low fee Private or public setting May take place in the presence of patient s family friends or other social contacts Significance of the Folk sector similar WV assumptions and expectation use of everyday language during a therapeutic session Familiar setting Healers have tremendous social influence Articulate and reinforce the cultural values of the community simultaneously deal with social psychological moral and spiritual dimension of ill health Similarities with the Biomedical approach to healing 0 Both have dualistic view ofthe patient doctors use a mind and body approach and the healers use a spirit and body approach Both attempt to look inside the body ofthe patient in order to diagnose ill health the doctor with the help of modern day technology and the healers by the means of the spirits that possess them Disadvantages of the Folk Sector Traditional medicine is too diffuse a group that comprises a range of traditional and still evolving practices based on diverse beliefs and theories to be effectively standardized May ignore misdiagnose or mistreat signs of serious illness Use treatments that can cause serious physical and psychological damage May exploit financially emotionally or even sexually more vulnerable patients Need to not overromanticize traditional healers Professionalization of Folk healers As a response to unequal competition from the medical profession Create an association that will advance the interest of the folk healers similar to AMA NIH has created National Center for complementary and alternative medicine in 1998 formerly 0AM and funds evidence base research for Complementary and Alternative Medicine httpnccamnihgovaboutataglance Evidence of successful collaborations between traditional healers and the official medical system Traditional Medicine in China and India Ayurveda and Unani in India and TCM moxibustion acupuncture and herbal remedies in China coexist with western medicine To some extent quotprofessionalizedquot Enjoys the same legitimacy and popularity as western medicine 0 Enjoys government support The Professional Sector This sector clearly defined with minor regional variations in its underlying philosophy and clinical methods In modern medicine knowledge expansion is achieved through scientific research which can involve global collaboration and commitment Research is well supported financially by industry governments and philanthropic organizations This is in sharp contrast to the situation with TCAM The Medical Profession 0 Is arranged in hierarchies of knowledge and power Doctors themselves are divided into specialized sub professions which vary in status Those who cure has more status than who can only care and on the parts ofthe body that they heal Assumptions and premises Physician centered Specialist oriented Credential oriented Memory based Single case centered Process oriented Diagnostic Technology rather than clinical evaluations Hospital is the main institutional structure Emphasis on physical disease Depersonalization Removed from the continuous emotional support of family and community Support and care provided by the medical system quotMedical gaze of medical technology to the secret depths of the body Western Medicine Dominant form of healing Provides only a small portion of health care Only group that is upheld by law High status greater income more clearly defined rights and obligations Perspective very different and distinct and may conflict with the patient s perspective Critique of Western Medicine The internal organization of the professional sector reflects some of the basic inequalities in those societies Reduces autonomy and makes patients dependent on medical professions who damage health by long term side effects of drugs and surgical interventions Illich Medical system is in a symbiotic relationship with manufacturers of pharmaceutical and medical equipment Critique of Western Medicine cont Seeks to control the behavior of population not just microorganisms quotmedicalizingquot deviant behavior or normal stages of the human cycle Social origin of ill health is often ignored by this medical system Despite claim of universality studies show significant differences in the type of diagnosis given and the treatment prescribed between different western countries with similar level of economic development page 97