So often in western culture, I feel like we fall into the problem of treating our customs and rituals as what should be “normal” and that anything outside of that is taboo or odd. Biomedicine is no different. Biomedicine is treated as the best way to solve illness and western culture is so quick to prescribe pharmaceuticals for issues instead of looking at alternatives. This can be seen clearly in how many M.D.s that we have in our country compared to D.O.s. Osteopathic medicine is still science based but it looks at the body more as a holistic unit, and works to make the body as a whole work, not just to fix problems in individual units. We as a culture very much buy into the culture of biomedicine. This can be seen with how many prescriptions drugs are available for so many things, and so many over the counter drugs for colds and coughs, when little things like that can honestly be taken care of with chicken noodle soup. Understanding this culture is important because it can help us not only understand some issues in our society, like drug abuse and hypochondria, but also help us understand how other cultures view us and our customs.


I think that the life/death dichotomy is very interesting. Mostly because I had never thought of it until now. I had always thought of the lines between life and death pretty clear, but the points brought up in the lectures made me think. I personally believe that human life begins when a fetus is to the point in development that they can live without the mother, but I respect that people may disagree. Death is a bit harder for me to define, and I think that’s a pretty normal thing. I think that humans are reluctant to declare something as dead because we don’t want to let go. That’s why we have people kept in vegetative states. I understand why people would want to keep their loved ones alive, but also there needs to be a point where it’s healthiest to let go.

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