In 500 years, we have more than doubled (almost tripled) our life expectancy. The art that is medicine has allowed us to live past natural discrepancies. As a fact on its own, this is positive. In philosophical terms, we could debate whether it is a manipulation of nature and the cycles that feed our everchanging world. And when I think of where I am right now, stuck in my home because there is a virus that overwhelmed the world and pushed us down to our knees, I question what it is we have achieved with all these medical advancements. Ultimately, has it made us healthier?
The Health & Wellness industry has boomed; it is growing twice as fast as our global economic growth, and we are the reason for it. It seems like society has become hyper-focused on improving themselves, with anything from treatments and medication to yoga and acupuncture. We live in a time where everyone is taking some type of medicine, vitamin, or supplement.
We definitely avoid many infections with vaccines and better hygiene. With the technology now developing intertwined with medicine we can detect diseases much earlier than before which automatically jump starts the odds of beating said disease. Essentially medicine has allowed us to curb and avoid certain illnesses, but there are very little examples of our individual bodies becoming stronger with time.
On a completely different note…
The subsection of pharmaceutical drugs that brings the most money in, is diabetes. Which is interesting considering it is also kind of a man-made disease. I say this because genetics is not the only root problem, lifestyle and choice in food are actually much more responsible for causing Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type. In fact, some doctors have gone as far as saying there is a diabetes pandemic in our modern world. This is not shocking when you consider the problematic food industry that we blindly continue to consume.
Obesity and eating disorders are known to be storming society right now, and despite this common knowledge the numbers of diabetes continue to rise. So, is there any truth in saying that we may be using medicine to correct the unhealthy eating habits and the high-sugar foods that populate our plates? In other words; are we using medicine to continue being unhealthy without suffering the consequences of a failing body?
Now, that is only one example within the world of medicine, I am also not claiming that there aren’t plenty of services that are essential. What I am trying to highlight is the sort of hyperinflation of medicine that has led us to go into the extremes of treatments. We have become so hypnotised by how many things we can change and fix with medicine that the question of health isn’t part of the argument anymore. Instead, perfection has become a general obsession.
Whether it be drugs, procedures, or circuits, I think it would be false to claim that medicine is still pure at heart and only cares about creating healthier bodies. Otherwise why aren’t there consequences to antivaxxers propaganda and why is one of the most fruitful medical industry plastic surgery? These are two extreme examples and I am only using them to show one situation where scientific facts have disproven a belief, yet health measures aren’t imposed even on helpless babies, and the other is a multi-billion-dollar business that is completely legitimate but has next to no health benefits.
An article in Forbes explained how hospitals and medical personnel were affected and even sometimes overwhelmed, by this surge in need for medical attention. What I found interesting was that it pointed out that almost half of physicians were experiencing at least one symptom of burnout nowadays. This reminded me of what a friend had told me about therapists having therapists of their own to manage what they were experiencing at work. The irony is that the people that have dedicated their adult lives to caring for the sick have actually been made ill by the pressure that that represents. So, I wondered, if our doctors are getting sick because of the industry, how can we assure and claim it is safe for patients?
I guess I am disillusioned by the healthcare system because too many souls walk out of hospitals scarred and scared. There is so much funding and attention being funnelled into the world of medicine that we are inevitably going to turn it into a capitalist, money-and-conversion-rate hungry monster if we don’t guarantee that the industry remains equal to all. Losing more of the humanity that started and sprouted the angelic work of nurses is not the way to make this world succeed.
Consider the evolution of wearable technology in modern medicine; is this just a new way to micro-manage and prepare for the effects of our unhealthy behaviours? Why do we need all these new ways to report our health if we are indeed getting healthier with time? The medical industry is going deeper into its marriage with technology, and the reason it is worrisome is because it is inevitably pushing the pattern of replacing personnel with technology. I worry that we will have a goal to survive but end up bulldozing over our humanity to do so.
So, I want to ask; if there is a dramatic difference between how much money is being pumped into the pharmaceutical world instead of hospitals, are we still thriving for wellness and health or have we pinpointed the most lucrative aspect of this business?
I don’t have the answers to these questions, and I know these are vague comments considering the subject matter, but maybe this is just the beginning of a thought process…
I’d love to know what you think.
or if you want to read something else…
Respecting Anger: The Importance of Negativity
When I was growing up I remember being told off for being angry, easily triggered and quickly overwhelmed, and none of these comments were exaggerations. However, I can also say that it wasn’t wrong of me to be so angry, and it definitely wasn’t wrong of me to express it. I just needed to learn…
a Threat to my own People
In my last post, I explained how I felt isolated from the machine-like, normal, world outside of my illness, and so, I thought it would also be important to explain how I can feel isolated from my own community at the same time…
These are not rules; the intention is to prevent arguments as we must acknowledge that these are touchy subjects for most of the people affected. But we live in the 21st Century where free speech is a pain in the ass for some troublesome people. I suggest we keep on talking …
One thought on “21st Century Medical Takeover: are we health obsessed or overcompensating for toxic habits?”
La question de savoir si les dépenses de santé démesurées (la santé n’a pas de prix, dit-on dans les pays riches) servent à nous rendre plus sains ou seulement à compenser des habitudes de vie malsaines (toxic habits!) est intéressante. Surtout qu’elle s’inscrit dans un moment très particulier de l’histoire. Certains chiffres de la pandémie de covid-19 m’interrogent vraiment. On peut lire dans Le Monde du 29 juin, que “l’Afrique qui représente le 17% de la population mondiale, ne compte que 2% des morts de covid-19 … La jeunesse de la population, les modes de vie et le faible taux de pathologies aggravantes devraient protéger le continent d’une montée en flèche de la pandémie.”
Merci donc pour cette réflexion de Ballistic Mitosis, on ne peut plus pertinente… peut-on continuer à concentrer les resources de la médecine à soigner nos maux de civilisation ou peut-être saisir certains moments de l’histoire pour imaginer de nouvelles formes d’organisation sociale, économique, politique et culturelle?