Manifesto In Latin America Analysis

Decent Essays
German physician Rudolf Virchow makes the claim that “medicine is a social science”. He asserts that there are social, political and economic factors that influence people’s perception of their bodies producing culturally unique forms of sickness. To determine whether this statement is true, one can easily look at sicknesses in different regions of the world. For example, Susto is a sickness found in Latin America that is characterized by chronic somatic suffering because of emotional trauma (Rubel 1964). The fact that this sickness is not found anywhere else in the world means that we can’t ignore the factors that might produce Susto in Latina America. Therefore, medicine can be argued to be a social science because it is influenced by social, political, and economic features. Social factors play an integral part in society’s perception of sickness. Every culture system has belief systems…show more content…
Lesley Doyal tackles this issue in her paper What Makes Women Sick. In the article, she dedicates a specific portion to talk about how governments limit the capacity of medicine to deal with women’s health problems. By promoting research conducted by white cis-males, it introduces a bias that ignores health issues that primarily affect women. Doyal goes further by stating, “Researchers working on coronary heart disease, for example, have continued to act as though it were only a ‘male’ problem, despite the fact that it is the single most important cause of death in post-menopausal women, killing half a million a year in the United States” (Doyal 1995:17). If it is mainly geared towards men, then women have a tough time conceptualizing which sickness applies to them and which do not. This is important to understand because it solidifies the idea that medicine is a social science that can be interpreted based upon who is conducting the research that influences health
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