Sunday, November 20, 2005

Taking your chances without medical science...

` ...Not a very good idea.
` I've been thinking about something to do with my last post. In order to set it up, it would help you to read an excerpt which I had edited out (for length, of course!) which demonstrates one of my reservations:

` That's the way of science - it is generally trustworthy (yes, even medical science). On top of that, medical science is something everyone needs to be up to speed on how to stay healthy and to be treated for severe or threatening illnesses. Normally, this is how the 'gullible public' comes into direct (often uncomfortably intimate) contact with it.
` Unfortunately, people who are familiarizing the public with real medicine are generally confused with those who are promoting quackery when in the mass media.
` And, when you think about it, individual doctors are the ones who talk to your face - they know they could potentially sell you anything they wanted to sell you, especially if they are very warm and pleasant. On the other hand, you may have a doctor who doesn't seem to have much respect for you, and yet will not pull that kind of crud on you because they know it's wrong and they think you're too dumb to know that.
` Though I don't think most doctors easily fall for quackery, it's hard to tell who will try that stuff on you - you cannot judge a doctor's trustworthiness by their personality or charisma.

` In fact, some of the more weasely doctors may try to talk you into things which may be known to work, but that they know are probably not neccesary for you: They may also try to sell you something which just doesn't work at all. It may even harm you! Why? Selfishness, I guess: Usually it's something along the lines of making more money and all that stupidity.
` The truth is; medical science is something everyone needs some of, gullible or not, so no matter who you are, you could actually face very real deception. In other words, it tends to be part of life, and it is important to be able to deal with it.
` The easiest way is knowing what is a myth and what is not.

` Unfortunately, I know some people who are so paranoid about doctors-in-general that they said they wouldn't even consider seeing one for themselves or even their children if they knew they had cancer! I said; "You'd probably just die."
` The response? 'No you wouldn't, because Nature is the way. If you die, you die. What's more, eating organic foods and seeing a naturopath - even though they do charge an arm and a leg - are all one really needs to be healthy.'
` Sorry. Naturopathy is not medicine - though a little bit of it is based on medicine. Not the same thing. I don't care if someone they knew didn't go to a doctor for cancer treatment and got over it anyway. It is a known medical fact that people occasionally get over these things on their own, though it is also a known medical fact that in general, no matter what someone does, the cancer will eventually sap them until they die.
` Doctors will tell you that the body is capable of healing itself on many accounts, though dressing wounds and administering antibiotics are still beneficial in these cases to ensure that everything heals properly and more quickly. They will also tell you that your body has limits, and that you may suffer and die or else live in constant pain if you refuse treatment for brain cancer, ruptured organs, or liver parasites.
` On the other hand, naturopaths say that the body can heal practically anything in the world on its own, and they use this excuse to give their characteristically superficial care. The main forte of a naturopath is to be warmer and fuzzier than a lot of doctors in order to gain the trust of patients and drain their wallets.

` Similarly, if one of them had Alzheimer's - and they know what it does to people - they said that reversing the symptoms by injecting brain cells into their head to fill in the gaping holes already in their brain would be unethical.
Yes, even if it means you will lose your memories, your personality, your ability to communicate with words, develop the crying, pooping mentality of a baby, and eventually starve to death when you're a vegetable and 'forget' how to swallow.
` Well, that's their idealism - as long as they keep their 'ethics' to themselves. I know that medical science is often quite unethical, and many studies are pointless. Every time I see something like;

Nicotine Normalizes Increased Prefrontal Cortical Dopamine D1 Receptor Binding and Decreased Working Memory Performance Produced by Repeated Pretreatment with MK-801: A PET Study in Conscious Monkeys

` I think; "Those poor monkeys! Do they really need to do these studies?" Okay, so they found that 'acute nicotine normalizes MK-801-induced PFC abnormality of D1R in PFC'... so what, it could mean that PFC abnormality in humans could be treated with nicotine? Is that it? What is that, anyway?
` Stupid or not, I agree that many animal experiments are pointless and/or cruel. Luckily, our society is slowly improving animal welfare. In fact, the most intelligent lab animals such as apes and dolphins may one day have rights - in about a hundred years.
` As far as preventing superfluous experiments from taking place, I know that a robot has been invented that may help with this problem for some. Who knows what kinds of efficiency techniques they'll use in the future?

` Really, if scientists are sickening, vivisecting, neglecting and otherwise making animals miserable, just for our benefit, I don't think that's right. On the other hand, I also don't think that the billions of people (and their pets!) who would benefit now and for millenia in the future need to suffer from illnesses and injuries we are now struggling with.
` Could you imagine if no one knew how to curb Polio and smallpox, or if there was no way to help someone who's had a severe heart attack? Not only would there be more suffering from illnesses (when we know now there does not have to be), but we would also be much less enlightened about the way our bodies work.
` I know that in developed countries, a great deal of people are able to get medical treatment when they need it - even homeless people who don't have government insurance are not turned down in an emergency. In developing nations, the only treatments for most people may be folk medicine, which is often not even helpful at all. However, it is not unusual for charitable medical teams to give vaccines or even simple cataract surgery for people in isolated villages.
` Someday, though, those nations may be as developed as this one is now and the people in them will have more chances for life and well-being. This would probably also help most of nature have more chances for life and well-being:
` The populations of developing countries are increasing exponentially through reproduction, partly because of the scarcity of birth control, and partly because the only way one can hope to have a living family is to have twenty children. In developed nations, population increase through reproduction is actually stabilized and in some cases, reversed.
` Also, by that time, we probably won't have so many problems with pollution, so even though these people will have access to transportation and electricity, they probably will not be contributing to global warming. And, if less people are crowded into oversized jungle villages, they will no longer need more firewood than nature can provide (which causes deforestation), plus, there will be fewer people who would shoot endangered species for a profit.
` So, introducing technology and medical science to those places could be, in the end, good for the planet. We just have to handle everything we can properly, because industrialization can be a real bloodbath. The truth is, we humans are in the middle of this now, and I think that the only way to improve our future - and even the planet's - is to go through, rather than back to the beginning.

` But, instead of accepting the possibility of working with the situation in the world, my friends would rather believe that the future is literally going to be like Nineteen Eight-Four and reject medicine in favor of apathy. This is known as 'the hippie way'.

` In addition, these hippies stated that if their beloved offspring were mentally challenged and a doctor demonstrated to them that some kind of injection would clear up this disadvantage in a week, they wouldn't do it. They'd rather choose to have a retarded child.
` Yes, they would rather that someone else be mentally handicapped, even if it could easily be changed by a treatment that has already been developed!
` You know, it's not fun to be mentally retarded: You would be denied a higher quality of life and may not learn many wonderful things or have a love life, etc. It can really suck, yes, and many people do have to accept it as reality, but I think that if it can be avoided, I don't think that one should deny their child opportunities in life to realize all their potentials.
` To do otherwise is considered child neglect and is therefore illegal. I'd say, rightly so. To sacrifice someone else's health for your own ideals isn't exactly 'noble' in my book. But perhaps if it actually happened to them, they would change their tune.
` Really, a lot of things have pressed them to seek genuine medical treatment. In fact, Mrs. Hippie is considering getting her tubes tied so she doesn't have to take birth control when she doesn't want any more children. It seems that they only go to a real doctor when it's most convenient for them.
` I think being inconsistent is also a hippie thing.

` Anyway, I think that if people want to get better, putting their faith into non-medicine isn't the way. A lot of it probably has to do with the fact that quacks often treat the person as if they are an individual and not just a body. Yes, I know that it is wrong to disregard people's feelings - that is what the medical science of psychology can tell anyone.
` That is why hospitals employ people who specifically make rounds to cheer everyone up, bringing with them encouragement and entertainment and even animals. The world of medicine is slowly changing in order to embrace the fact that treating people in a 'mechanical' way can really compound a person's suffering, and can even cause mistakes.
` We know this. Suffering is bad, and painkillers are not enough. But 'alternative medicine' that doesn't help runs rampant nevertheless. Especially around here. It is therefore unsurprising that a friend of mine is learning about how to be an acupuncturist.
` Though acupuncture has some interesting implications for pain treatment, and therefore may be considered medicinal, most acupuncture treatments don't seem to do anything when scientifically studied.
` In the future, don't be surprised if I continue writing about the topic of quackery and 'alternative medicine'. If my posts reach no one, fine, but I like putting this information out there anyway.

1 comment:

Galtron said...

So what you're saying...

Knowledge = Power.

Medical knowledge = More Power over Your Health!

Yeah, makes sense!