Biomedicine is an important way of approaching illness, especially in the west where biomedicine is the main form of medical practice. There are three important aspects of biomedicine that anthropologists particularly focus on. These include, the institutional history of biomedicine which is how certain biological facts change over time. The next is the language of biomedicine which is how certain ideologies and social values are changed and manipulated over time. The last is the ritual of biomedicine where anthropologists investigate the daily lives of patients and medical professionals in order to reveal the rituals and customs of biomedicine. These are the underlying concepts that are considered when one brings up the culture of biomedicine. This is an important concept because through biomedicine and the utilization of the three facets described above, an illness can be diagnosed through looking at an individuals personal values and cultures, in addition to the socially accepted values that surround both the patient and the doctor and the patients biologic make up, also important in order to decide on a treatment of how to approach curing or curtailing the illness.
In my opinion I think that dichotomy is a very useful way to ponder or evaluate two seemingly different concepts in order to really discern whether these two seemingly different or straight forward concepts instead have more underlying complications when it comes to their categorization. I believe that dichotomy simply sprouted from the nature of opposing view points. For example, what one culture might categorize as healthy, another culture might categorize as unhealthy. Therefore, dichotomy was created through the different view points of a population stemming from a populations differences in how they live based on qualities such as culture, religion, and social status.
The dichotomy that I choose to consider is that of life and death. This dichotomy is very controversial in western culture. This is because life can be defined in a multitude of ways. For example someone in the hospital who has been pronounced brain dead and is only living through a respirator may still be considered by some to be alive. Others might say that because the patient is brain dead, they may be breathing but are not living. This idea gets even more complicated when put into the perspective of pro-choice, or pro-life. Is one considered to be alive when conception occurs, or is it birth that defines life. I think this dichotomy is one of the biggest controversies experienced in western society, because how one defines life or death can change depending on a particular situation, political association, or religion.