Sunday, May 13, 2012

GREEN MEDICAL PASTURES (3)

Professionalism also engenders and legitimize the dominance of medical specialization. Specialists are legally protected by the well-defined parameters of their scopes of practice, which virtually guarantees that they do not attempt to connect the dots in any manner of holistic thinking. The primary difference between a generalist (GP) and specialist (SP) is that one is supposedly trained to be mindful of the bigger picture while the other maintains a narrowly defined by their mechanistic orientation toward the physical body. More important, contemporary internists and general practitioners are the only ones who demonstrate even a semblance of philosophical consideration for the way in which symptoms and events are connected, whereas, a true green generalist should be defined by his or her profound understanding of the inextricable interconnections between body, mind, soul, family, community, culture, and environment. 

No consciously chosen discernible philosophy that unifies conventional medicine in its pursuit of health and healing exists, and therein lies its greater weakness. Without guiding principles, medicine has become a  dangerous and haphazard smattering of toxic drugs, redundant tests, fleeting fads, and invasive procedures administered and performed by technocrats who have little reason to communicate or cooperate with each other and whose livelihood is largely determined by insurance bureaucrats whose bottom line is profit. The patient's welfare barely factors into the equation. While most medical professionals have the best of intentions, the nation health care system as a whole doe not  constitute a vocation of service to the sick. It is a market-based economy that places profit before patients. The most accurate way to describe the ideology of modern medical practice is as a corporate industry that markets goods and services to medically uneducated consumers. These consumers are deliberately kept in dark and naively accept the grossly simplistic notion that all symptoms are bad and must therefore be stopped, removed, without regard for the fallout and long-term consequences. As long as the profit motive takes precedence over patients the results will be mediocre at best. And those who would equate socialized medicine with communism are just poorly informed. We seem to forget that public schools, public parks, libraries Medicare, and highway/expressway repair, to name just a few, are government funded socialized services that we capitalists have come to cherish.

A medicalized  culture depends upon the docility, compliance, and ignorance of the masses. The culture, rather than seeing symptoms as the messengers of disharmony that they are, elevates them to the status of foes to be vanquished. Our current overemphasis upon diagnosis serves as a form of medical trickery, designed with the unconscious ulterior motive of distracting and appeasing the public. Technological medicine focuses on diagnosis precisely because its therapeutic options are lacking in imagination and limited to the standard drugs and surgeries. Contemporary medicine is bereft of any coherent philosophical orientation, let alone holistic understanding. The inherently shortsighted nature of medical interventions that generate more illness than they are designed to alleviate creates a revolving door of sick individuals in constant need of medical services. The medical economy thrives on the iatrogenic disease that it generates. While this works especially well for the perpetuation of established medicine, it is oftentimes harmful to the suffering individual. 

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