TEDxNijmegen: “The race from 0-110”

In about two months time a TEDx event will be organised in my home town Nijmegen (8th of April)(1). My colleagues from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre are heavily involved – RUNMC is one of the sponsors. This got me thinking about the topic of intercultural and healthcare, about which you’ll find some posts on this blog the coming months.

The theme of TEDxNijmegen is “The race from 0-110” –Homebirth or hospital birth? and life starts with being born, in which already a great many differences between countries can be found. Probably one of the most well-known ways in which Dutch healthcare is different from other countries is the occurrence of home-births. Although the topic was again under discussion in 2012 (2), homebirths are considered quite normal here. I came to realise this when I was visiting a pregnant friend in Switzerland last year and asked “are you considering giving birth at home or in the hospital?” A perfectly normal question to ask in the Netherlands – somewhat stupid question to ask in many other countries…

At the other end of the scale – let’s hope we all get to 110! – is death. Another well-known aspect of the Netherlands is that euthanasia and physician aid-in-dying (PAD) are legal under strict circumstances. Although the Netherlands was the first to legalize, it is not the only country – Belgium legalized it in 2002 and physician aid-in-dying is also possible in some U.S. American states (Oregon, Washington and Montana) (3). It is not the aim of this blog to get into a discussion about euthanasia and physician aid-in-dying (there are plenty of other places to do so), but I wanted to mention it because it is clear that there are also differences between countries when it comes to dying.

As there are already many differences between countries at 0 and 110, there will be many more in between. Do you have experiences with cultural differences in healthcare or any other thoughts you’d like to share?

(1) http://tedxnijmegen.nl/
(2) A Dutch article about the importance of continuing homebirths.
(3) Euthanasia and/or physician aid-in-dying in the Netherlands, Belgium (in Dutch only), and the United States.


About Marian van Bakel

I graduated in International Business Communication at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. After my studies I was a Visiting Study Fellow at University of Oxford where I conducted a research on the adjustment of Dutch diplomats and their partners in London. In February 2012 I successfully defended my PhD thesis ‘In Touch with the Dutch’, in which I put expatriates in touch with a Dutch host to examine the effect of this contact on the success of the international assignment. During my PhD research I also worked as in house communication consultant at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. I am currently a postdoc at the Department of Leadership and Corporate Strategy at the University of Southern Denmark (www.sdu.dk/en). Since 2004 I have done extensive voluntary work in the intercultural field for the Young Society of Intercultural Education, Training and Research (Young SIETAR). One of my projects was to co-edit and co-author A Suitcase Full of Discoveries (2008), an intercultural storybook for children.
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5 Responses to TEDxNijmegen: “The race from 0-110”

  1. Lizette Engelen says:

    Good point made! Especially in the international TEDX environment. Looking forward to read more of your observations on this subject.

  2. Pingback: TEDxNijmegen – Accelerating from age 0 to 110

  3. DrieCulturen says:

    Hello Marian, welcome to the world of bloggers! If you are interested in healthcare differences in countries I suggest you check this website http://www.mummyinprovence.com/ Ameena has an interesting “Global Differences series: Having a Baby abroad”. She even has stories of expats who gave birth here in the Netherlands :). Janneke

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