The dichotomy that I am choosing to analyze as part of the “culture of biomedicine” is the concept of life and death. In most Western ideas of ethno medicine, we want to believe that medical practices are universal and across the board, but we know that this is not the case. The dichotomy between life and death is an interesting one to examine because even though there are descriptions of these exact definitions in some medical texts, the actual “idea” of when a person is alive or dead varies in individuals. This can be because of their faith or their upbringing, or even events in their life that have given them an objective view on the subject. As explained in the lecture, there is a lot of controversy around when exactly a “life” begins. Is it at conception, the first heartbeat, or after a child has been born and left its mother’s womb? Much of the determination of this is based upon an individual’s religious beliefs. Personally, I view this from more of a biological perspective because of the many classes in biological sciences I have taken and believe that all cells are alive to begin with, but an individual does not become their own human being until conscious thought is possible with the development of neurons. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are different definitions of death depending on what aspect you are looking at and if medical intervention has been involved, depending on the patient and their family’s wishes. If a person does not wish to be placed on life support machinery to help them breathe while they are clinically determined to be “brain dead”, then it can be accepted that that individual probably believes that death begins once the brain cannot properly control breathing or other communication functions on its own. I believe that these many definitions of life and death are accepted in society because we can understand that each individual has their own perspective on the matter, and they are given the freedom to believe how they want.