By Roberta E. Bivins (auth.)
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Additional resources for Acupuncture, Expertise and Cross-Cultural Medicine
Expectations and Expertise 25 They considered the pulse as a general interpreter of animal life . . 35 While the impression given in Staunton's text is that the Colao's case was in fact handled in this way, Gillan was actually discussing the typical claims made by Chinese healers, rather than the behaviour of the physicians in any particular case ± his narrative speaks more of bedside arrogance than ignorance. '36 Gillan himself (as Staunton noted) made considerable efforts to make his prestigious patient feel at ease: After the first ceremonies were over .
However, Staunton reported this remark to the British public with a small alteration; it is this alteration which reveals the different stances of these two elite western observers: The Colao desired the Doctor's explanation of the nature of his ailments together with the methods of relief and cure which he proposed to be put down in writing; He . . 70 Staunton replaced the original statement's tone of puzzlement with a humble admission of superior western rationality. Ideas, and especially ideas about technology, science and medicine, were to be exported from 38 Acupuncture, Expertise and Cross-Cultural Medicine Europe; their appreciation abroad was a mark of potential.
The three narrators, professional and lay members of the medical community, reject or challenge the same parts of Chinese medicine. Specifically, they resist the idea that the patient can be divorced from the illness, and that the patient's unique perceptions of his or her own body can be safely discarded from the diagnostic repertoire. In relation to the pulse, the only physical sign which the professionals of both cultures accept unanimously, all three western narrators reject the wide-ranging diagnostic authority given it by the Chinese, and strip the pulse of its more subtle nuances.