An Ohio Doctor Demands New Immigrants Respect Western Medicine
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An Idaho Reader Says to End Hiring Teachers Abroad, End Immigration

From: Tim Mount, M.D. [e-mail him]

Re: Brenda Walker's Blog: Hmore Hmulticulturalism

I appreciate, but find ironic, Walker's blog item regarding Hmong efforts to have its history taught in Wisconsin public schools.

As a doctor I marvel at the government telling us to practice medicine as prescribed by the illiterate of the world as if these people were bring us learning and enlightenment. 

We will pay the price for not demanding that newly arrived immigrants respect and appreciate western medicine.

It does no one any good to prescribe expensive medicines to a recent arrival from an undeveloped country and have these medicines used for purposes other than recommended.

We should be respectfully teaching these newcomers how western medicine will prevent strokes and heart attacks, reduce hypertension, and childhood illnesses.

But the federal government, in its haste to gain the votes of the newly registered from Ethiopia or Somalia, mandates that western medicine is corrupt.

How far does this acculturation go?  Do we have to fly airplanes to the liking of the Hmong? Should we adjust the laws of physics or the principles of mathematics to fit into their animistic religions? 

As swing voters who strongly influence close elections, the newly arrived from countries with low literacy rates are treated as if they are the messiahs who will show us the way.

[ note: see here for a doctor who will let a Hmong patient go for months without heart medicine, risking death, rather than offend his traditional Hmong superstitions, here for the story of Lia Lee, a little girl in a persistent vegetative state because her parents believed that she needed a shaman more than her epilepsy medicine:

The cause of Lia's epilepsy was interpreted differently by her parents and her doctors. The belief of Foua and Nao Kao was that Lia's disorder is "qaug dab peg," an entity that owes its origin to the act of loosing one's soul and healed best with appeasement of the soul and restoration of the spiritual order. Lia's doctors, however, contend that epilepsy is a neurological abnormality that causes the neurons, brain cells, to fire uncontrollably . The doctors believe that such a condition is controlled best with antiepileptic medications. The conflicting paradigms that each member of these relations bring to their interactions are at the core of a great misunderstanding. Each culture holds its belief to be the truth. Foua and Nao Kao failed to give Lia the medications that she needed because they thought the medications harmed her more than they helped. Lia's parents also felt a special pride because, in the Hmong culture, epileptics often become txiv neeb (shamans or spiritual healers) when they grow up. Her doctors could hardly comprehend the concept of soul loss much less accept and understand the Lee's need to sacrifice chickens and pigs and acquire the help of a txiv neeb to negotiate for Lia's soul.

The term for what Western doctors do when they cooperate with this dangerous idiocy is "cultural competency." There are other words that could be used. ]

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