Chapter 17 and 18

In Chapter 17, we learn the fates of some of the main characters.  Lia hadn’t died yet, but also would never recover. My absolute favorite character, Lee’s social worker, Jeanine received the same fate of Lia.  Lia’s siblings went on to live their lives and some of them went to Fresno State. Dr. Neil and Peggy’s son developed leukemia which gave the Lees a point of tragedy to bond over.  I think the most interesting thing about this chapter was the distinct shift in opinion about the Lee’s care of Lia turned out to be. Now, they were good parents, Now, they took excellent care of her.  Now, when the Lees decided to wait until the last minute to go to the doctor, it wasn’t with a tone of judgment but admiration. In fact, the Lee’s care of Lia actually exceeded the care of many American families in the same situation.  Finally, we found out that Lia’s parents’ refusal to comply fully, actually didn’t cause Lia to be the way she is. Finally, I thought it was a really great choice to include the eight questions in the end. Although they seem so obvious, it’s important to note that they weren’t always obvious, and sometimes weren’t even asked-especially without a competent interpreter.  The key part of every question I think was the emphasis of the “you”. So much of the Lee’s experience with the healthcare system didn’t even center them at all.


In Chapter 18, I thought it was really important that they offered solutions ot improve Hmong healthcare. For instance, since same-gender interactions are integral to their culture, female doctors need to treat female patients.  Establish relationships between family remembers of patients, and community leaders so people are more likely to consent to surgery. Additionally, it’s important to allow both traditionally religious activities and the male of the household to remain in charge. In fact, not only should these things be allowed, but that their practices could actually be beneficial.  Finally, it was nice to see how many changes have been implemented both in Merced and nationally.


This chapter fit perfectly with the chapters on cultural competency.  The ending definitely points to how cultural competency has since been implemented as a much more widespread goal for which healthcare professionals should strive. Also, it was sort of irritating at the end how they finally came around to being at least a bit culturally humble.  For the majority of the book, the healthcare professionals just had so much arrogance and interacting with the Lees and other Hmongs with such condescension. It’s unfortunate that all of that had to happen for the healthcare professionals to finally show the Lees the respect and credit that they deserved.

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