Waking Up from Our Complacency: Western medicine needs to focus more on preventable solutions and not treating symptoms, says Dr. Harlan Sparer.
Apr 30, 2016 12:00PM
● By Dr. Harlan Sparer
One of the worst problems the Western medical approach has is that preventative solutions are typically ignored until a problem becomes substantial and often dangerous. The effects of a patient’s nutrition, spiritual state, emotional state and environment are often ignored, as well.
Aristotle wrote, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” His philosophy gave birth to a “scientific” viewpoint that is quite the opposite. Reductionism has the goal of simplifying the solution to a problem, rather than observing at a distance. The search is for a satisfactory “fix” rather than a deep, complex analysis of the problem and considering any and all interactive parts.
There is a simple, reductionist reason why this philosophy is the current rationale in modern health care; it makes more money for everyone concerned. The patient is allotted less time per face-to-face visit, leading to more visits of brief duration over time. If a problem improved swiftly with a careful, inexpensive minimalist solution, there would be a substantially decreased profit margin for the provider and the entire healthcare apparatus.
All Western health care models are based on profit; none are wellness-based. As a result, well-being is not coveted by the provider. There simply is no financial reward to it. Ultimately, this creates failure on many levels. Time and resources are wasted for extra visits to review negative findings face-to-face; analysis is stretched over time, netting greater profit, but leading to increasing neglect of treatment; and unnecessary tests are performed to prevent litigation. Inferior providers, often employed by larger financial entities, thrive by charging cheaper prices to compete. Hospitals need to create business for themselves and advertise competitively, so some impose treatment on noncompliant patients utilizing the law to medically kidnap them, often tearing apart families for profit.
We need to get away from the cookbook approach to health care to find the causes of disease and prevent them before they manifest. We need to be conscious of what we eat and eliminate noxious foods from our lives. We need to recognize the effect of our lifestyle on our well-being and the planet’s wellness. We need to wake up from our snooze.