W5 Reflection: Healthy/Sick

To me, the “culture of biomedicine” is basically how western society describes healthcare, illness, and different techniques for healing. Biomedicine is the process of observing the human body through anatomical and physiological scopes. It is focused on biology and scientific-based experiments. We explain health in terms of biology and we treat diseases and maintain health by learning about the different body structures and systems. When thinking about different aspects of medicine, we must not forget about cultural differences. Where one culture might view the mind and body separately, another culture might view the mind, body, and soul as one big picture.

One of the cultural concepts present in western biomedicine is dichotomies. This is the social separation of two groups seen as opposites; contradicting ideas. It is unclear where the concept of dichotomies originated from, but I believe that absolutes help simplify hard to explain concepts. When dealing with culture and society especially, the many variations that exist in ideas and behaviors can be opposed to another set in order to explain a particular role or idea in the greater scheme.

I chose to examine the dichotomy of healthy versus sick. This very clear dichotomy is established in order to determine if an individual either needs treatment or is living an adequately health positive lifestyle. Western society places a heavy burden on both the individual and the system in regards to health and illness. If you are healthy then perhaps positive food choices, exercise, genetics, etc. are to play and a person who is healthy is seen a normal. The abnormal comes into play when a person suffers from something which removes them from the normal. They are to seek out treatment and using a biomedical approach, they are to correct that which is causing the sickness. This basic logic allows people to not only care for themselves, but protects the herd by ensuring that sickness is remedied and brought to light.

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