The lure of technology: Yemenis' international medical travel in a global era
AuthorKangas, Beth E.
Park, Thomas K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractUsing Yemen as a case study, this medical anthropological dissertation examines experiences of serious illnesses and injuries in developing countries that lack the financial and medical capabilities to treat them. Yemeni patients suffering from cancer and other complicated conditions must currently go abroad to pursue advanced medical care. Despite the great cost, medical travellers are from all social classes. The dissertation draws on multi-sited and multi-locale research to explore hardships that result when medical possibilities, and awareness of them, surpass financial abilities. I situate the international medical travel of Yemeni patients and family members in a global context. This highlights both worldwide commonalities surrounding sophisticated medical technology, and specifics related to Yemen as a developing country with its particular historical and cultural context. In this study, I employed an array of methods: interviews with Yemeni medical travellers in India and Jordan, participant observation in Yemen's central hospital, scourings of Yemen's Arabic newspapers from the first half of the 20th century, and open-ended surveys with doctors, religious scholars, and members of the Yemeni Parliament. Data sources are interwoven throughout the dissertation. Chapters parallel the various steps that patients and family members take throughout their medical journeys. In the conclusion, I argue that medicine should not be viewed as a consumer good for the market to regulate. In pursuing and providing high-tech medicine, patients and their families fulfill moral, social, and familial obligations.
Degree ProgramGraduate College