Books and Movies Reviews

The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down

In the book "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down"by Anne Fadiman, a child named Lia Lee is taken away from her parentsby Child Protective Services and placed in foster care. Because they aren't giving her medication for epilepsy. Although resulting in some medical benefits those benefits were lost because ofdestructive psychological and emotionaldamage to Lia.
Dr. Neil Ernst decided to call child protective services when Lia Lee's parents Nou Kou and Foua were reluctant to give her her medicine. Dr. Neil Ernst said: "I felt it was important for these Hmongs to understand that there were certain elements of medicine that we understood better than they did and that there were certain rules they had to follow with their kids' lives. I wanted the word to get out in the community that if they deviated from that, it was not acceptable behavior."(pg. 79 Fadiman). Dr. Ernst could have also been arrested for not reporting it. There were some alternatives to calling Child Protective Services such as my favorite one;having a nurse visit the Lees'three times daily to administer the medications, but this thought did not occur to Dr. Ernst and/or seemed unreasonable at the time. Although Fadiman does not mention what Dr. Ernst thought about this course of action, I can only suspect that it would have been too expensive to have a nurse visit three times a day.Also they shouldn't be rewarded for their noncompliance by having someone else administer their daughter's medication. It might have also provoked the Lees' to anger because they didn't like to give Lia the medicine because of how the medicine made her depressed and sullen. After Lia was taken away for a period of a few weeks, Nou Kou almost beat an interpreter named Sue Xiong who was interpreting for a CPS

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