Chapter 19 and Book Overview

Chapter 19 takes us through the step-by-step events that unfolded during Lia’s healing ceremony. A txiv neebĀ by the name of Cha Koua Lee came to call Lia’s soul back to her body. The Lees were not hoping for a spiritual healing, but more so a way to make Lia happier in her current condition. The ceremony was a big one with Lia being surrounded by her entire family and more than twenty relatives. The chapter ends with the cousin who acted as the “soul caller” calling to Lia’s soul. I think the author’s decision to end the story in this way is very beautiful, yet tragic. The Lees have come to terms with Lia being stuck in this form forever, but still have the ceremonies for the hope of Lia coming back to them.

This book was laid out in a way that provoked emotions and sympathy from the reader. The Lees story is but one of many that reflects how our healthcare system can sometimes fail to appropriately understand and respect people from different cultures. Instead of treating the Lees as capable parents who just want to best for their daughter the doctors attacked them for not obeying their instructions. I think that if the doctors would have tried to meet the Lees where they were and build an equal relationship built on trust and respect, Lia’s circumstances may have been very different. This story brings to question how health professionals are treating immigrant groups and how that treatment (depending on the quality) can impact health outcomes in the patients. This story is just evidence as to why it is important to provide training to health professionals so they can give quality treatment to patients that come from minority groups and/or underprivileged communities. However, we can see from this book that sometimes even with training difficulties can arise. But it is essential that health professionals come to terms with their lack of understanding of every single culture and just work to treat others as they would want to be treated.

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