Different places around the world hold different perceptions on health and what constitutes medicine. People work within their respective culture to make sense of different kinds of illnesses and different ways of tending to them. In some ways, technology, too, varies from place to place. When we think of technological advancements in the medical field, those thoughts dance with images of delicate machinery, high tech computer systems, and powerful, ever-evolving, vaccines. Of course, knowing or finding a medicinal treatment or cure for a particular ailment is a kind of technology as well (and plant material often becomes the root of medicines worldwide).
Different cultures understand their ecosystems differently and place emphasis according to values. Our culture tends to value the secular machine route of aiding to heal and perpetuating life, whereas some others may place spiritual or religious value in their ways of healing. One thing that’s often absent in most medical systems is communication between different parts. Here, there are so many specialists that the body can be treated as independent parts, leaving out the ways in which those parts are interconnected and form a whole. Other places may hold different gaps in their processes. One thing international shipping of medical supplies– whether in the form of equipment or anatomical donations– opens is dialogue between medical systems and worldviews. In other words, we can help one another internationally in ways that both contribute to other systems and allow us to learn more about our own.
International shipping widens the human community and offers ways of sharing knowledge and materials. We have a lot to offer places with less resources, and those places can also provide our culture with new ways to incorporate and practice medicine. International shipping makes the ocean a channel rather than a deterrent to human connection.