Response Paper : Mother And The Medical Staff At Merced Community Medical Center ( Mcmc )

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Lesly Marroquin ANTH 230 Response Paper 3 “It felt as if there was this layer of Saran Wrap or something between us….So we couldn’t really accomplish what we were trying to do, which was to take care of Lia” (47-48). The cultural barrier between Lia Lee’s parents and the medical staff at Merced Community Medical Center (MCMC) was recognized equally by both parties throughout the many interactions they had. From Lia’s birth to her final release from MCMC a recurring theme has been reproduction, specifically its difference between Hmong and American traditions. The several occurrences between pregnant Hmong women and the medical staff at MCMC are demonstrative of the language and custom barriers between the two cultural groups. Standards of parental care are also different within the two cultures and both Hmong and American standards affected Lia’s health. Emotions and understandings towards children born or obtaining disability had both parties treat Lia differently throughout her varying stages of being medically treated. The different cultures pertaining specifically to reproduction are main factors that shaped Lia’s overall medical treatment through miscommunication, varying standards of parenthood, and viewpoints towards disability. Reproduction was an overarching theme throughout the book and Anne Fadiman focused on this by highlighting the reproductive practices of the Hmong. Fuoa Lee had seventeen pregnancies and this was baffling to the medical staff at MCMC.

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