Health is a cultural construct, arising from beliefs about the nature of disease and the human body, cultural issues are actually central in the delivery of health services treatment and preventive interventions. This book presents cultural differences of healing practices. In the Western culture of the United States, there tends to be a dualism of mind and body in healing practices, while in the Hmong culture the mind and body are often viewed as one. This true story involves the life of Lia Lee, a Hmong child who is epileptic. The key point of the book is the cultural barriers. The proper treatment, by Western standards, becomes the basis of a tug-of-war for Lia’s life between her doctors and her parents. The author uses this battle as a way of discussing Western and Eastern medicine and how each group views the patient in such different ways.
Using the concepts and theories related to culturally competent care, identify the dynamics of difference that created the barriers between the Lee family and the doctors. What were the underlying issues? What went wrong? Who was to blame? Did this clash of cultures impact the final outcome?