Organized Panel Session
This presentation focuses on three Christian Ambonese who were employed in the Netherlands Indies medical service: Johannes Tehupeiroy (1882-1908), his brother Willem (1883-1946) and their brother-in-law, Johan Latumeten (1888-1948). All three men crossed a significant cultural border, because they were educated in Dutch and trained as native doctors. Awarded scholarships, they then studied medicine in the Netherlands, with Latumeten becoming one of the pioneers of Indonesian psychiatry. In their medical careers in the Netherlands Indies each was faced with the cultural differences that divided them from their patients, and had to make decisions about the degree to which they would accept non-Western medical practices, especially in regard to childbirth and the role of midwives. Johannes Tehupeiroy died at a young age, but he recorded his encounters with the Dayaks of Borneo; Willem was assigned as a medical officer on the island of Bangka, where he worked among Chinese tin miners; and Jonas Latumeten was appointed head of a mental asylum in Aceh following an attack on a Dutch person. As these three Christian doctors sought to understand the beliefs of Animists, Chinese and Muslims, they were also grappled with fundamental issues regarding the degree to which their own religious beliefs and Dutch training were compatible with non-Western and indigenous medical practices.