Posts Tagged ‘medicine’

Interesting piece on personal health and western medicine…

December 3, 2011

I really liked how this guy so completely identifies how modern western medicine has a very reactive “wait until they get sick” mentality over an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of tests and pharmaceutical products”:

http://www.aquatic-ape-diet.com/blog/2011/12/02/critiquing-the-lesswrong-mineral-supplementation-5000-contest/

Here’s a copy of the comment I left on his blog  just now (third from the top):

Tyvm for writing about your experiments and observations with a skeptical and critical tone of science and medicine status-quo. I appreciate your candor and assertiveness, although they have a slight ring of defensive superiority (which I don’t entirely understand).

That said, ultimately there are very few who are trained effectively in the scientific method, much less deeply understand it. Secondly, and to your point, you cannot really use those methods effectively when researching specific causes and causal chains in dynamic complex systems (i.e. chaotic systems) such as human biology (which is an attempted “subset” of the much larger organisms picture).

And since people have to make decisions today with limited information (not evidence…most people never get close to evidence…they read other peoples supposed interactions and observations and second hand elevate those via the labels “facts” and “evidence”), they want to do so with confidence and with deferred responsibility. That sets up the general mentality of avoiding self-experimentation and replying on “science” and “medical” experts to give them the confidence while the experts also take on implicitly the responsibility for all negative outcomes.

This simple psychological self-referential loop is what has caused so much of the “wait until they get sick” mentality of most of western medicine. And given the profit motive is so strong in the scientists and medical researchers and practicianers, and given the government force of the major agencies combined with the government encouraged and enforced monopolies of patent, copyright and trademarks, it’s a self sustaining self-deluding self-denial cycle that has no foreseeable resolution.

I feel very grateful that I have been able to see this and step away from it. And then re-enter on my own terms and with my taking complete and total responsibility for my health. My doctor does not prescribe, he consults with me. I make the choice to submit to the tests, to fill and take the prescription, to return if/when I decide. I don’t know of very many people who choose this balance. Most either completely submit to the “expert system” of scientists and physicians, or completely avoid the system all together. For me, both are extreme and result in avoidable undesirable outcomes.

Again, thank you for sharing from your own N=1 experimental perspective. I value your sharing very deeply.