Sunday, January 27, 2019

Physician, heal thyself

Last September, an article in Collective Evolution entitled "Renowned Doctor Slams Medical Education & Says We Have 'An Epidemic of Misinformed Doctors'" begins:
Dr. Asseem Malhotra is known as one of the most influential cardiologists in Britain and a world-leading expert in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Currently, he is leading a huge campaign against excess sugar consumption. What also makes him unique is something he recently admitted took him decades to figure out: that our entire medical system, one of the main ‘protectors’ of the human race, is completely corrupt. He now believes that medical education is a state of “complete system failure,” causing “an epidemic of misinformed doctors.”  He also stated that honest doctors can no longer practice honest medicine, and that there is also a growing epidemic of patients who are being harmed.
This calls to mind a note from a friend (whom I originally met in a 17th century literature class) after his first semester in medical school: "We really know very little about medicine, disease, the human body. Burton was right!" He was referring to Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. Most of what for-profit science (i.e. bad science) is treating physically is rather rooted in our emotions, how we live... John Locke, who was first of all a physician, and who "wrote the book" on real modern science, basically says the same thing. And Rabelais, too, says the same thing, and so on.

Burton writes:

Melancholy, the subject of our present discourse, is either in disposition or in habit. In disposition, is that transitory Melancholy which goes and comes upon every small occasion of sorrow, need, sickness, trouble, fear, grief, passion, or perturbation of the mind, any manner of care, discontent, or thought, which causes anguish, dulness, heaviness and vexation of spirit, any ways opposite to pleasure, mirth, joy, delight, causing forwardness in us, or a dislike. In which equivocal and improper sense, we call him melancholy, that is dull, sad, sour, lumpish, ill-disposed, solitary, any way moved, or displeased. And from these melancholy dispositions no man living is free, no Stoic, none so wise, none so happy, none so patient, so generous, so godly, so divine, that can vindicate himself; so well-composed, but more or less, some time or other, he feels the smart of it. Melancholy in this sense is the character of Mortality... This Melancholy of which we are to treat, is a habit, a serious ailment, a settled humour, as Aurelianus and others call it, not errant, but fixed: and as it was long increasing, so, now being (pleasant or painful) grown to a habit, it will hardly be removed.
Have a look at the book, HERE.

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