Health-Related Effects, Consequences, and Results of Social Change in the Pacific

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  • Bernice P. Bishop Museum, P. O. Box 6037, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

When I was approximately 7 years of age I had my first experience with organized medicine. It was traumatic. It had been determined in higher echelons that if I were to prosper and amount to anything at all it was essential that I should part with a portion of my anatomy. Tonsils weren't functional anyway. Over my protest I was, therefore, brutally “childhandled” to the hospital where, I can still recall with some terror, I had what appeared to be a rubber plumber's aid clamped over my nose and mouth by some masked individual wearing a hat with no brim. Miraculously I awoke some time later to find I was allowed unlimited pieces of ice to suck. The novelty of this wore off about the time they let me go home.

There is a connection between these events and my subject tonight although it might seem unlikely.