Sunday, February 21, 2010

Culture of Medicine

Last night I went to my GP with a terrible sore throat.

looked at me scrutinizing and he said Hmmm.
Well I have heard that sound so many times , on so many occasions with so many emotions and feelings and wisdom
implied into that sound that I refused to be terrified by that
noise. He pulled up his writing pad and with random emphatic scratches wrote down five medicines ! Five medicines with some valuable adv. at the end "X ray, Blood test ,uric cid test, and blood sugar test.
So for A simple sore throat a hassle of spending nearly 1000 rs.
Of course the doctor needed the fees from me and the commission from the chemists and pathologist. That's how it goes.
This is what the culture of medical ethics and the profession in our city. \
Now if I suffered from this same symptom, Sore throat, would a doctor in uganda, or lima , or a an isolated village in Cambodia suggest the same remedy , curative or therapeutic ?Would the villagers firstly bother to visit a doctor for a sore throat ? Would the medicine that works for a Delhi boy ,work for a Tasmania village boy? The answer to al the above questions are an Emphatic NO.
We all have different cultures ,our faith , our values, our sense of valid knowledge , our logic and reasoning are our culture based.
We grow up with our culture and what we believe will be good for us changes according to our cultural context. In a village
of Mongolia a simple shaman , or village medicine man takes care of all the illnesses of the community. It is believed in most part of the agrarian culture tha Dis-ease is a community illness
( surprisingly, Medical science of most advanced countries now have started to subscribe to this view )
Many stress related illness, madness,heart diseases , etc originate from the dysfunction of the society at large.An ancient Shaman used to believe that cure of an illness of an individual depends squarely on the cure of the society at large.
So in order to cure the patient questions must be asked why does one suffer from a particular illness . Who or what is to be blamed and what can we do about it.
Shall we require our doctors to prescribe toxic cughsyrup to our children or shall we see that the air my child breathes is pure which obviously needs attention of our culture. Medicine is linked to our anthropology.

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