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This report illustrates how the condition of infertility and its remedy in Korean Medicine is likened to the art of sowing, and how Korean medical professionals and their patients navigate their way against a backdrop of a dominantly biomedical scene. In South Korea, where both biomedicine and Korean Medicine are recognised as legitimate medical systems, a medically defined condition creates a crossroads where different epistemologies conflict and intermingle. While biomedicine perceives infertility as an absence or impairment of fertility, where the ability to become pregnant is immutable, Korean Medicine views it as something that could change according to conditions of bodily elements, and thus can be improved through shifting the bodily state. Factors involved in pregnancy are described metaphorically in the medical texts as the man as seed and the woman as earth. The doctor is described as playing the role of the farmer. This way of metaphorical thinking of infertility leads to a different assessment of what the problem is, and to different approaches in treatment. These differences can be seen in the interviews of Korean medical professionals that are the foundation of this practice report. The illustrations in this report show how practice can differ according to epistemology in the case of infertility, where on the one hand, the state of the art biomedical techniques for treatment remove the pregnancy process from the body by replacing its roles in the lab, while on the other hand, Korean medical practitioners consider fertility to be reflexive to the individual’s bodily state and deal with it on the more elementary level of the patient’s body.
UnschuldP. U.TessenowH.Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: An Annotated Translation of Huang Di’s Inner Classic―Basic Questions2011BerkeleyUniversity of California Press2 volsin collaboration with J. Zheng
Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: An Annotated Translation of Huang Di’s Inner Classic―Basic Questions
2011BerkeleyUniversity of California Press2 volsin collaboration with J. Zheng)| false
Zegers-HochschildF.‘International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technology (icmart) and the World Health Organization (who) revised glossary of art terminology’Fertility and Sterility200992515211523
Zegers-HochschildF.‘International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technology (icmart) and the World Health Organization (who) revised glossary of art terminology’
Fertility and Sterility