Culture is a combination of many different factors, such as our origins, traditions and religious beliefs. Local culture influences our perception of what it means to be “healthy,” and also the apprehensions we may have about medical treatments. In this respect, our culture is not necessarily a sign of national unity.

A huge diversity of opinions may exist within any given country. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses categorically refuse blood transfusions, even if their life depends on it. According to their beliefs, mixing their blood with someone else’s leads to spiritual death.

Culture has an impact on many different aspects of healthcare, whether it be how news is communicated, the doctor-patient relationship, or the desired results of treatment. Both the patient and the physician have their own unique cultural backgrounds, and both must search for common ground in order for treatment to be as effective as possible.