There is an urgent need to go back and start thinking in terms of least intervention and good health. The doyens of modern medicine are not upstarts like Jenner and Pasteur but giants like Hippocrates and William Osler. Their observations still hold. As consumers, we expect good health and cheer from the medical profession and hope for a way for new pathways. Nevertheless, what we get is a barrage of progressive diseases. It is not difficult to know why. The profession is not health oriented but disease oriented.
The only way a person can remain healthy is by avoiding the system altogether and taking care of his own health, a way for new pathways. But that too is easier said than done because pregnancy, childbirth, and childhood have been medicalised. Once this happens, a lifetime of sickness is a must.
It is wrong to say modern medicine saves lives. If we go back to medical archives, research articles show longevity increased with better sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, better housing, improved working conditions, and better salaries. Such articles have been published by JAMA and Pediatrics.
In 2011 a study by Gary Null et al highlighted how 783,936 patients die every year in the US hospitals alone due to wrong treatment. The figure climbs to 999,936 if other reports are taken into consideration. If deaths from right treatment is taken into consideration (JAMA had taken a look at it) the figures go up several fold. It is time to take an honest look at why this is happening.
If we consider Covid, we get some answers;
We cannot entirely depend upon protocols. We have to search way for new pathways. In today’s world of conflicted interest such protocols floated by organisations that owe their existence to Big Pharma can be downright dangerous as we have witnessed.
Every case is different though the disease name may be the same. As far as possible individualisation must be resorted to under a doctor’s keen gaze. The General Practitioners were famous for this. With their observation and experience, they understood acutes far better than today’s specialists did. Their motto was “Do as much nothing as possible”. A concept very dear to Dr William Osler.
The General Practitioners (GP) also understood that it is the body that heals. They respected the ability of the body and gave it time to recoup
The GPs understood that acutes are elimination diseases. They respected the elimination (what the body is trying to throw out) and concentrated on restoration of health once symptoms subsided
Health is based on natural laws. The body is not a machine but a dynamic biological entity. There is a principle called vital force. This force is intelligent and takes care of the body’s needs. It is not really apart from the body but is an important part of every living organism. It is a dynamic plan that every organism inherits at birth. This force is the body’s doctor. If this force is depleted, good health flies out of the window.
(Dr Naresh Purohit is advisor to the National Communicable Disease Control Programme. He is also Advisor to six other National Health Programmes. He is visiting Professor in five Medical Universities of Southern India including Thrissur based Kerala University of Health Sciences. (The views and opinion expressed in this article are those of the author)