Berghahn Books turns 25! Get 25% off all books!
Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
The Patient Multiple: An Ethnography of Healthcare and Decision-Making in Bhutan

View Table of Contents

Volume 4

WYSE Series in Social Anthropology

See Related
Anthropology Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

The Patient Multiple

An Ethnography of Healthcare and Decision-Making in Bhutan

Jonathan Taee

25th Anniversary Sale, 25% off all books! Add coupon code BB25

242 pages, 30 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-394-1 25% OFF! $110.00/£78.00 $82.50/£58.50 Hb Published (January 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78533-395-8 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! 25% off $34.95 $26.21 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“…the book is clearly structured and includes several photographs that visually underline the ethnographic accounts…[It] offers a welcome contribution to the medical anthropological literature on ‘patient-hood’ and the multiplicity this involves on the ground. With its accessibility and detailed ethnographic examples, it makes a good read for undergraduate courses in medical anthropology and anybody working in or concerned with public health in Asia.” • Anthropos

“This book is a welcome pioneering ethnography based on case studies that demonstrate a clear understanding of the way in which public health care services in Bhutan integrate both biomedical and ’traditional’ medicine.” • Mona Schrempf, Free University, Berlin

“This is a timely and much needed study on the relationship between traditional and modern medicine in Bhutan that is grounded in a rich, nuanced ethnographic study.” • Richard Whitecross, Edinburgh Napier University


In the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, medical patients engage a variety of healing practices to seek cures for their ailments. Patients use the expanding biomedical network and a growing number of traditional healthcare units, while also seeking alternative practices, such as shamanism and other religious healing, or even more provocative practices. The Patient Multiple delves into this healthcare complexity in the context of patients’ daily lives and decision-making processes, showing how these unique mountain cultures are finding new paths to good health among a changing and multifaceted medical topography.

Jonathan Taee holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. He has conducted ethnographic research and worked in Tibet, Peru, Nepal, India, the USA and Bhutan.

Related Link: Visit the author's website:
Subject: General Anthropology Medical Anthropology Religion
Area: Asia


List of Figures
Notes on Language
Dzongkha Reference Guide


Chapter 1. The Patient Multiple: Cures, Healths and Bodies
Chapter 2. Modernising Traditional Medicine: A Two-Option Healthcare Service
Chapter 3. An Ethnography of Decision-Making
Chapter 4. Alternative Practices and the Removal of Ja Né
Chapter 5. Patients and Healing Materials: Relations and Dependency

Conclusion: Assembling Patient Multiples and Complementary Logics of Care


Back to Top