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Conversions and Erasures: Colonial Ontologies in Canadian and International Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Integration Policies

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Abstract

In this chapter, we suggest that the process of integrating traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine (TCAM) into Canadian public healthcare, including biomedical education, can be seen as a continuation of the struggle between what is considered ‘rational’ Western biomedicine, and traditional medicine and of approaches to health that began during the colonial era. More specifically, we propose that there are ontological parallels to the colonial era conversion of traditional/indigenous medicine elicited through the call for increased surveillance, standardisation, and regulation of TCAM. Furthermore, the call for regulation, standardisation, and surveillance is obscured by hegemonic biomedical discourses related to public health and safety by international institutions such as the World Bank and WHO.

Keywords

  • Integrative Medicine
  • Traditional, Complementary And Alternative Medicine (TCAM)
  • Biomedical Education
  • Health Canada 2011a
  • Biomedical Hegemony

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The terms CAM and TCAM are used interchangeably at times. The WHO and World Bank use TCAM or T&CM while in medical education the term CAM is more common.

  2. 2.

    We use the Constitutional language with the ‘s’ at the end of the word. Adding the ‘s’ to the word was fought for to resist assimilating the concept of a singular ‘Aboriginal people’ in Canada and to recognise diversity.

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Fournier, C., Oakley, R. (2018). Conversions and Erasures: Colonial Ontologies in Canadian and International Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Integration Policies. In: Brosnan, C., Vuolanto, P., Danell, JA. (eds) Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Health, Technology and Society. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73939-7_9

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