Analyzing Life/Death

While listening to the lecture posted I found that the meaning behind the term “culture of biomedicine” is that one’s environment and surroundings, as well as their traditions and practices influence how they deal with, interpret, and overcome illnesses. As mentioned in the lecture, culture is an influential part of medicine. It is from one’s cultural beliefs that they move forward with their illness. In the U.S. for example, the way we treat a large portion of our society is to give them a prescribed drug until their problem is no longer prevalent. The way one handles that in an impoverished area may differ. This is because their culture is to focus on saving the money for food and shelter opposed to in the U.S. where they may have excess amounts of money that they are willing to spend on something with no guaranteed results.

Personally, I believe my cultural surroundings have definitely influenced the way I dichotomize the world. I think that my parents explaining to me their views has shaped me in ways. For instance, when I ask them their view on something like life and death and how they would define those terms, after they would tell me what they thought I would ask why. Depending on their reasoning, and if I found it to be convincing, I would then make my decision. Friends also have the same effect. School systems or the media may also be huge influences. I believe that there is a fine balance between defining life and death. Also, I think it is more an individual belief than an universal definition. I think it is based case by case.

I think the reason why life and death is accepted in Western culture is because there is a general consensus that one leads to another. It is viewed as the natural cycle that all forms of life go through. Beyond that, we are unsure of what else could be next so we stick with what we know and attempt to find ways of defining these two terms.

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