I chose the ethnomedical approach as the most useful for studying health. I like how it was described as examining one’s intellectual assumptions about how the world works. I believe that this is an increasingly important factor in world health, especially as medical technology and discovery improve. New questions are constantly arising and the right answers are becoming less obvious. A current-day example is that of tuberculosis vaccines. Throughout history the disease has been one of the most deadly, especially in undeveloped countries and therefore demands the greatest manufacture and distribution of vaccine. However, some are raising the point that the disease evolves and quickly becomes resistant to the treatment if only a few strands remain. This then makes the disease potentially more dangerous (untreatable) in the future. So should the vaccines be distributed as soon as possible? Or should that wait until treatment efforts can be better organized and thus more successful? On the pharmaceutical side, should companies be able to patent and over-charge for vaccines as their intellectual property, or should it be made available for the poor (and more afflicted) communities? Ethics is the best approach to such challenging questions as it requires objective, nonbiased answers built on logic and justice. In many scenarios this is needed supplement to the bare scientific advancement or political agenda.
Disease is the outwardly evident manifestation of altered physical function or infection while illness is the human experience or perception of such alterations based on social/cultural contexts; this difference was not immediately obvious to me because in everyday conversation many such medical terms are interchangable or not clearly defined.
Miner is talking about the American culture (an anagram). I suspected this when he described it as between Canadian and Mexican cultures and was certain when he said the original leader chopped down a cherry tree. The “shrine rooms” with magic boxes and holy-water-mouth-rites refers to bathrooms with medicine cabinets where people brush their teeth. The “ritual fasts” and “ceremonial feasts” refer to diets and holiday dinners such as Thanksgiving. The mouth hygiene practices show discipline and sanitation while the dichotomy of stuffing and fasting represents a binge-and-regret theme within American health ideology. When analyzed together, various American health practices form a less than logical and even ironic whole.