On American Medicine: A Case for Care
Today, we face a connundrum regarding American health care, particularly where it intersects with the world of government and politics. Many of us are aware that this is neither a recession era nor our nation's past, but rather that our American economy has become prosperous beyond imagination... that, virtually speaking: no corporate fad, domestic spying programme, nor excess new line of fighter jets is ever denied funding, for the rational reason that there is no actual scarcity of resources. Our nation's wealth is vast beyond description... not to imply that it should be squandered, as scarcity is a constant friend.
Any way, this is not a temporary boom, but something that can be safely predicted to last a century at the least(speculative markets waxing and waning,) It being the logical result of the continued advancement of our industrialized and inherently industrious society combined with the new prosperity of the information economy and the revolution of robotics... not to speak of the natural prosperity of the Earth.
Everywhere, it is the same story. Africa, by far the poorest of the nine continents, has of its own resources and production 9 times the wealth required to feed and clothe every one of its inhabitants! Yet there is constant 'guarding' and concentration of the wealth, so that unspeakable numbers go naked and malnourished even unto death.
In America, our number of unfortunates is not nearly so high(though still quite high,) yet we face the same inexplicable quagmire. The propertied classes, many of whom worship Christ, have not yet decided to manifest their humanity(or belief in his clear teachings) in such a way as to actually relieve the condition of the unfortunate and the sick... as Christ did, not in the big picture.
As is usually the case, there is some rationale for all of this... conservatism must be respected and compromise is required, but I move that we find compromises that includes mercy and benevolence: that we don't leave human souls young and old to die of their wounds and ailments on the glass-strewn public streets, dreading the patrols of the police due to the crime of illness.
Where there is a perceived lack of funding for elaborate medical equipment and computer systems, let us not forget the great restorative power of simple shelter, nursing, care and advice... as well as therapies like meditation, gentle music and the ingestion of herbs
If necessary, we can find cost-effective innovations. Where doctors are considered too expensive, we can re-tool and upgrade nurses and nurse practicioners. Where medicine seems to be making no headway against the factors of illness and dysfunction, let us remember that it is such a problematic science that the mantra of its founder, the Hippocratic oath, goes: 'First, do no harm...'
Like all human arts and sciences, medicine has advanced significantly from past centuries and the medicine of the next century will leave what is practiced today far behind, looking relatively primitive. Undoubtedly future medicine will have made significant advancements in regard to health optimization for healthy populations, in regard to psychiatric care and counseling for those unduly effected by the stresses and anxieties of this hyper-modern world, and in regard to the life-saving medicine that is, often though not often enough, given at hospitals.
Too often what happens in the hospital environment is an attempt at intimidating the patient into changing future choices... which is a logical piece of the puzzle, but it is too often taken to excess, putting amounts of fear in patients that really aren't conducive to recovery, while at the same time (despite the enormous bills,) often neglecting to truly provide adequate medical care... which is mostly why patients often circulate through the hospitals at great public expense.
The parties most to blame are the hospitals themselves, and the responsible institutions that don't decide to put the hospitals under the microscope... Patients obviously could improve, but these are already subjected to massive pressure in keeping with this reality. Furthermore, the process doesn't typically leave patients feeling that their situations have really been evaluated with proper insight, or that their own voices have truly been consulted or heard: reasons that would instill them with a deep belief that compliance is in their better interest.
In hospitals, as in other therapeutic environments, innovations like a greater receptivity to reasonable patient perspectives etc. would not only show compassion by saving and enhancing many millions of lives from the cradle to the grave... but they would also create a more civilized and effective brand of medicine, which would ultimately have a positive impact on cost control.
Anyway, putting aside the complexities and controversies, let us sincerely resolve that bringing the merciful art of medicine to rich and poor alike is a worthy cause... Let us resolve to include all of our citizens, all along the human journey from the cradle to the grave. The rest will follow.