The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down Essay

1614 Words May 20th, 2016 null Page
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is the story by author Anne Fadiman, which explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Lia’s parents and her doctors both wanted what was best for Lia, but the lack of communication between them led to tragedy.1The lack of communication due to cultural misunderstanding, mistrust, lack empathy, and poor health literacy led to care being compromised for Lia, which also affected both her parents and healthcare providers.
In a perfect world, race, ethnicity and culture would have no negative effect on the medical care we receive, yet problems do arise from those and impact quality of care, in addition to language barrier, poor socioeconomic status, and poor health literacy. For Lia, it was more than her skin color, it was all of the above. Lia’s parents did not speak or read English, had trouble understanding the American healthcare system, had trouble or little interest in adjusting or understanding the American culture, and they didn’t work, which apart from culture helped contribute to animosity between the Hmong and the host community, because some in the Merced area did not like or appreciate the fact that some Hmong people were on welfare. All these contributed to the poor quality of care Lia at times received and maybe to the majority of the Hmong community in the area.
Leaving your home country…

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