Reflecting on The Spirit Catches You – Chapter 7

26 Nov

At the end of Chapter 6 (76), the author identifies a doctor that the Hmong community really liked: Roger Fife. Dr. Fife was popular because he didn’t force his Hmong patients to comply with conventional American medical practices. His colleagues at MCMC, however, believed that he offered substandard care. Given that context, Neil Ernst faced a difficult question (78). Should he have lowered his standard of care in hopes that Lia’s family would comply with her treatment?


10 Responses to “Reflecting on The Spirit Catches You – Chapter 7”

  1. Adam Vajdak November 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Yes because in this way they would have treated Lia and not refused the treatment and she would have gotten taken care off not had to be taken away so i believe he should have lowered his standard of care to comply to the lees

  2. smw8884 November 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Martha Willey
    I do not think he should of lowered his standards because everyone deserves good care in order to be healthy. No one deserves to be treated differently because they might have different cultural views.
    I also agree with the fact that children don’t have a choice and the adults do have a choice. When you are an adult you know the risks and hopefully are educated enough to make a good decision on their medical care. As for a child they don’t know what is right and wrong and haven’t formed their opinions and ideas yet enough. Since they haven’t the doctors must make those decisions in order for them to live to be healthy adults.
    I also think it was good they took Lia away from her family. Even though they loved her unconditionally they were hurting her by not giving her the medicines that their daughter needed. That is why it was good she went to live in a foster home to get the proper home care.

  3. nicksulis November 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    No, because Lia needs and deserves the care required to keep her alive. Although it may be against a culture or preference of the parents, I believe it is the most logical choice regarding the health of Lia. Yes it may seem like it is an unjust thing to take Lia from her parents forcefully, in the long run it is a better choice for her because if she had lowered her standard of care, there was a very good chance she would have died.

  4. musamatiwane November 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    I believe that a patients culture should always be respected. I believe that this varies from case to case. If a patient is in a mandatory state of intense medical help I think that the doctors view should change. I believe that this is when a doctor should ignore a patients culture and should save them at all costs.

  5. fishsimmons November 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    I think he should’ve lowered his standards a little because it’s somebody’s kid, and he should understand the Lee’s side and belief so they would comply.

  6. luthfab November 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    I think Neil Ernst should’ve lowered his standard of care in hopes that Lia’s family would comply with her treatment because if theres something that Lia’s family doesn’t understand and feels that the medication the doctor is giving isn’t helpful. They should make a compromise on where the parents and Doctor can come to agreement that would be best for Lia.

  7. karenmejiaworldlit November 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I think that Niel should lower his standards because he should compromise with the Lee family. Her mother is already refusing to give Lia the other medication that was prescribed, so if Niel was to compromise with the Lee family that would not go against there religious belief. The reason why most of the community would choose Dr. Fife was because he understands the Hmong religion and he does not want to disrespect their beliefs and culture. If Niel was as comprehensive as Dr. Fife, the Lee family would become more comfortable with the treatment given to their child, without the drastic change frequently.

  8. Athena November 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I think that they should alter there plan of care for the patient to make the family comfortable. I don’t take this as lowering the patients care because they are making it easier for the family and that if they give the family a bunch of medicine and they do not know how to use it then the medicine will go to waste. I think if they give fewer medications and then help the family to know how to use it and they help the patient little by little better then not helping at all. I think that they are actually helping the person little by little even though it is not the same as a different person care plan.

  9. Jonathan Neroulias November 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    I think that he should have lowered his standard of care. He wasn’t dealing with a middle class American family, he was dealing with an illiterate, mistrustful family that couldn’t speak English. You can’t expect the same standard of responsiveness and family compliance from this family. I agree with Dr. Fife’s practices.

  10. margauxgrowsup December 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    If my experience working in a medical clinic taught me anything, it’s that patients tend to do less than whatever is recommended (unless the recommendation has to do caloric intake, drinking, and smoking; which patients, of course do MORE of). In fact, it seems to be general human behavior to deviate from recommendations, erring on the side of habit and comfort. But people still do, to varying extents, use rules, regulations, and recommendations to determine norms from which to stray.

    In short, I think that prescribing fewer medications, less frequent or less potent dosing than is ideal, will only be setting the normative bar lower, which the patients are still likely to stray from, leaving them yet further away from the ideal treatment.

    And, it’s also best not to assume. Maybe this family wasn’t as adaptable, but does that mean that the next Hmong family to come along, who may very well be more adaptable, should receive substandard care?

    I’m all for cultural flexibility, in cases where the cultural differences are inconsequential, or benign. But in the case of medical treatment, the outcome is certainly dire.

    The goal here, I believe, is not changing the standard of care, but rather, finding trusted cultural liaisons who can lucidly and firmly communicate the need for compliance.

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