Cuba's Attempt To Redefine Medical Ethics: Can Elam Be Considered A Success Or Failure?

1019 words - 4 pages

"In nothing do men more nearly approach the gods than in giving health to men," this quote by Cicero perfectly describes what the Cuban medical system is attempting to create, a place in which doctors have a desire and drive to not only help people of wealth and stature but also to help those in vulnerable, poor, communities where payment may not be an option. The time in which doctors are compelled by greed and fiscal selfishness needs to end; Cuba is attempting to do this by instilling a new code of ethics to the doctors that graduate from Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM).
Robert Huish, a geographer with a PhD in Geography from Simon Fraser University, has undergone research into the methods of how ELAM is attempting to overturn the common ethics of the medical field. Huish is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Montreal and specializes in the geographies of equity in Latin America. More specifically, he studies intensively on health care services. Much of his current focus is on Cuba and its revolutionary medical school. His article, "Going where no doctor has gone before: The role of Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine in meeting the needs of some of the world's most vulnerable populations" focuses on how ELAM is attempting to instill a new code of ethics into its students. His research was conducted through interviews that occurred during 2005 and 2006 in Havana and Cienfuegos. Graduates of ELAM were contacted in various regions of Ecuador and administrators were interviewed during a delegation organized by the non-governmental organization, MEDICC (Huish). ELAM is a very unique organization in many aspects; it is a free education for medical students, it focuses on community oriented primary care (COPC), and the most unique aspect is that all this is occurring in Cuba, a relatively poor, developing country.
Huish's writing style is very fragmented and sectionalized but for this type of research his style makes the article easy to read and comprehend. There is a good number of statistics that are scattered throughout the paper to give a sense of magnitude but not so much that it is overwhelming and filled with numbers and medical jargon. Huish has applied the correct mixture of medical information with common knowledge to create an article that anyone can understand and appreciate. There are no tables or maps throughout the paper but Huish does use footnotes throughout the article to clarify points that may possibly be misunderstood. Huish does a great job of identifying concepts and evens that happened in the past and connecting that to how it relates to his research. Even though this is a research paper, Huish has specifically broken down several aspects of his paper into different topics and questions and although some may prefer this differentiation, in my opinion this disrupts the flow of the article. The fragmentation leads to an article that may appear to be...

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