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Adaptive frameworks of chronic pain: daily remakings of pain and care at a Somali refugee women’s health centre
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    On intersectionality and pain: a response to Kari Campeau

    As a 5th year medical student of Somali origin with a longstanding interest in the intersection of culture and illness, I particularly enjoyed the Editor’s Choice article entitled ‘Adaptive frameworks of chronic pain: daily remakings of pain and care at a Somali refugee women’s health centre’ by Kari Campeau. I was especially impressed by the way in which Campeau captured how one’s distinct racial and religious character can impact the way chronic pain is understood and responded to by one’s self and by others.

    Particularly disheartening was Campeau’s analysis of how these women often suffer exclusionary sentiment within medical spaces and are consequently less inclined to seek medical treatment for their pain. Understandably, for the women in question, visiting the doctor confers an emotional and communicative labour on top of a pre-existing medical complaint, and ultimately may not be ‘worth it’. The philosopher Miranda Fricker describes a ‘testimonial injustice’, which is a form of epistemic prejudice whereby for marginalised people, there is a diminished level of credibility applied to their word. From Campeau’s research, it appears this type of prejudice may have been at play when her participants had interacted with clinicians.

    As to Campeau’s exploration of the intersection between religion and pain, I would disagree that pain is understood through a wholly fatalistic lens among this cohort. Somalis, who are largely Muslim, believe not only in pre-orda...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.