Cultural Views on Health

Topics: Medicine, Health care, Illness Pages: 4 (1038 words) Published: June 6, 2010
Cultural Views on Health

Jamie Schrantz


March 14, 2010
Karen Flaherty

Cultural Views on Healthcare

People from different cultures have their own outlooks on health care and diseases. Some cultures believe in using traditional medicine, and some believe in the healing power of prayer and herbal healing. People are affected by their own cultural beliefs when it comes to overcoming diseases and how they find the right treatments and cures. Religion and cultural beliefs can affect the way they receive proper medical treatment and care. I will be exploring the cultural views between the Muslim and Chinese cultures and their view on healthcare.

The Arabic culture have several beliefs that impact healthcare like they prefer to be treated by a medical provider of the same sex, mainly female patients, which also applies when interpreting services are needed. With orthodox Muslims, they follow a halal (Muslim diet), which prohibits certain types of meats like pork, and medications or foods that contain alcohol. For example, a Muslim who is diabetic may refuse to take insulin or prepared hospital foods that contain pork products. (Ahmad, 2004).

Mental illness is stigmatized in Arab communities, a person with mental distress is forbidden to seek advice from professionals or even family members. Many Arab Americans have language barriers which can also limit the ability to seek medical care. Also in the Arabic culture they believe death as “the will of God” in which cannot be stopped or delayed. They believe that diseases are punishment from God and only God can cure it. (Ahmad, 2004).

The Muslims believe that the Qur’an and sunnah encourage healthy eating, and forbid substances that cause harm to the body, for example, intoxicants and drugs. Fruits, vegetables, dates, yogurt, camel milk, honey, and black seeds are helpful for nutrition and health. They refer to the Qur’an as the book of healing, in which states “There is no disease that...

References: Ahmad, Najeh, M. (2004). Arab-American Culture and Health Care. Retrieved March 14, 2010 from
Yousif, Ahmad F. (2003). Islamic Medicine and Healthcare. Retrieved March 15, 2010 from
Wong, Maurice. (2007). How Traditional Chinese Health Beliefs and Chinese Culture Influences Health and Illness? Retrieved March 14, 2010 from
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