As mentioned in this weeks lectures, Biomedicine is universal and objective. Since its studies revolve around factual evidence, physiology, and anatomy of the human body, it is always subject to change. In other words, as we continue to advance in technology and increase our knowledge of the science and the human body, biomedicine will progress as well. This is exactly what is meant by the “culture of biomedicine,” where the surrounding culture is the basis of biomedicine, and that biomedicine directly correlates with it. This is an extremely important concept seeing as how culture is such an immensely large influencing factor in all of our lives. It is inevitable to be affected by it, and it makes us the people we are today. However biomedicine also has an inversely large affect on culture as well. As mentioned in lecture, “sometimes its hard to see where culture ends and medicine begins.” For example, in the post war era, the use of mass media helped to incorporate new biomedical advances in medicine into the lives of people such as the use of penicillin or other newly produced medications. In this case, culture helped promote medicine, while medicine improved and advanced aspects of culture.
The dichotomy I chose to investigate was that of life/death simply because I think it is such a complex idea and one that is argued a lot in our society today. Pro life arguments, abortions, and DNR arguments are just a few of the many arguments that revolve around this particular dichotomy. I believe these complementary yet opposing ideologies and terms came from people arguing ideas and presenting their own opinions of things. Yet again, I believe it is something that is highly influenced by culture and dependent on the ideals of that particular society.
In Western society in particular, the dichotomy of life and death is one that I believe is frequently argued and somewhat of a sensitive subject as well. For one thing life and death are both very natural things, and in Western society we do not particularly shy away from death, but rather accept it as an inevitable fate for all. Some cultures see death as fearful and it is almost a taboo subject to them. As for life, it is something that is celebrated no matter what the circumstances may be. Even if the pregnancy is out of wedlock, or perhaps a forbidden birth, the actual life of the child once it comes into this world is very rarely looked down upon and most always celebrated. Since our culture is accepting of both these ideals, then it is no surprise that the dichotomy of life and death is one that is natural and normal.