The expression “culture biomedicine” describes the ways that medicine has influenced the West and have branched off into it’s own culture. In the West, biomedicine is based on facts and nature. These facts have shaped the beliefs and ideas regarding health in Western societies. Biomedicine has played a very important role in influencing the medicine and healing treatments that patients in the West seek out. The biomedicine has created a culture through all of the new technologies that are being used to communicate, diagnose, and treat patients in the Western culture. It has been embedded into the West through commercials, pharmaceutical companies, magazines and other forms of advertisements. For example, as mentioned in the lecture the rise of penicillin became very popular due to advertisements, not the actual illnesses the pills were able to cure. Biomedicine has created a culture of new advances over the years such as pills, machines, cosmetic surgery etc.
It may be quite difficult to determine the relationship between life and death, which is why this is a very popular dichotomy. I personally believe that the difference is not that difficult to pinpoint. Based on my personal experiences, I would have to say that an individual is dead once the brain stops functioning. If an individual is placed on a ventilator and are non responsive, can not hear, eat, breath and there is no brain activity then that person is not alive. However, I consider someone to be alive when the person does not need life support and their organs, especially the brain and heart, are still active. These beliefs have came from both my culture and personal experiences. When my grandmother passed, she was on a ventilator and she was a vegetable non-responsive, no movements, eating, vowel movements etc., and the same thing happened to my father. So these are the things that have influenced my views on the relationship between life and death.
This dichotomy is accepted as true in western society for several reasons. We are taught that individual can become brain dead, isn’t that a form of death? Also, society and personal experiences have shaped this dichotomy by creating a clear and precise distinction between death and life. The two are not mutually exclusive, one can not be both alive and dead.