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Midterm #3 Essay

679 words - 3 pages

Medical anthropology addresses the symbolic, narrative, and ethical dimension of healing, medicine and medical technology in many different ways. One way they address these dimensions is by exploring how local and international communities view wellness, illness, disease and healing through different perspectives. Their goal is to examine how communities are able to function individually as well as look for themes within the structure and systems of different communities between various cultures. Anthropologists spend a lot of time exploring and discussing the theme of treatment within various communities. The traditional model to exploring this treatment is to look towards the biomedical system, which “employ different explanatory models and idioms to make sense of disease and give meaning to the individual and social experience of illness” (Kleinman 1973: 86), and often leaves out the social, economical and cultural factors that influence the concept of treatment.
The concept of treatment is different within each and every culture. Some cultures view treatment as praying over an ailment while others view treatment in a biomedical way with includes medical technologies such as IVF fertility treatments or organ transplantation. When examining and offering opinions on different treatment options, it is important for doctors and those in the medical field to pay attention to their person’s cultural and religious background. A good example of this would be the introduction and use of the medical technology of in vitro fertilization, or IVF in Egypt. IVF is a relatively new and expensive medical technology and allows women who are having trouble conceiving, a procedure to consider. IVF treatments hold a lot of mystery to those who have not been exposed to them or lack background knowledge of the female reproductive system, which proved to be true in Egyptian society. Due to this lack of knowledge, the long process is often misunderstood, which leads to prejudice against those who use it to have their children.
In Quest for Conception, Inhorn discusses the evolution of IVF treatments in Egypt and how Egyptian society, culture and...

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