Penn State

Marianne M. Hillemeier - associate professor of health policy and administration, and demography, Penn State University Park

Book Title: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Author: Anne Fadiman

Book Description:

This book tells the true story of Lia Lee, a Hmong child with severe epilepsy. Although her parents, who are refugees from Laos and speak no English, and her American doctors work hard to help Lia, miscommunication and differing views about the best way to care for her ultimately lead to tragedy. Lia's story is a poignant reminder that the provision of high-quality health care and the elimination of disparities in health outcomes depend on understanding and accommodating the cultural perspective of patients and their families.


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