Life/Death

The culture of biomedicine is advancement in our society and in humans in general. This can be done through medications or by the use of new materials as shown in the first lecture. This can range from a diet pill through the use of titanium to make new limbs. Biomedicine is an important concept because it helps us as a society to further ourselves and to become better. It also allows for technological advancements. As shown in the pill poppers video, today there seems to be a pill for absolutely everything. Without human advancement, we could not keep up with our ever-changing environment. Without our research and ideals of improvement, we could end up with another plague and no way of treating people. Eventually cancer will be cured and so will AIDS, but we can only do so through improvement of drugs and technologies through biomedicalization.

Dichotomies in general seem to stem from culture. How one views life or death will depend on how they were raised along with how their peers view them. For example, some individuals believe that life begins at conception, whereas others of different cultures will believe that life begins at birth. For death, some say that when you can no longer perform involuntary movements such as breathing. Others say that death occurs when there is no longer any brain function. A scientific culture will have different ideas of life and death than non-scientific cultures.

This dichotomy is accepted as logical in western society today because that is what our culture tells us is true. Everyone knows that there is a difference between life and death, but where life ends and death begins is hazy. You could ask a second grader to point at an object that is living and one that is dead and they will know the difference, but how one makes this assessment can be different.

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  1. Breanna Block says:

    I think it is important for clinicians to understand this particular dichotomy for a number of reasons.It is important in the health care field not to make assumptions. Like you said, everyone identifies themselves with a different culture, and each of those cultures have different ideas about life/death. Clinicians should never assume that what they believe is the “almighty truth”, because their patients are likely to disagree. This can offend them, and cause many problems for the clinician and the patient. They must also have sensitivity for the beliefs of their patients. This makes for a much more effective system of health care, giving the patient a much more positive experience. A good thing to have if you want to keep your patients coming back.

    The topic of when someone is defined to be alive, is a very controversial one.Yet, one way to conceptualize this dichotomy would be to say that someone is alive at conception. There are some benefits and disadvantages to drawing the line there. There would be less abortions, so they experience higher birth rates. I also think there would be an increase in the number of parents giving their children up for adoption. I wonder if this would also decrease the number of pregnancies a year. Birth contraceptives may go up in price as well. Whether or not these things are considered benefits or disadvantages depends on the type of person.

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