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Healthcare and Freedom

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Uploaded on Jan 17, 2009

Healthcare and Freedom
http://unitedartisanists.blogspot.com...
Everyone sees the need for health, in response to this need most nations have created some kind of healthcare system, some are public, some are private, some are a combination of the two, but no matter what they all have problems.
Some of these problems are minor, such as waiting in line, some are major such as iatrogenesis (medical problems resulting from medical treatment), and some are simply absurd such as the actions of the massive modern pharmaceutical industry whos wrong doings range from the encouragement of over diagnosis by doctors to outright criminal drug experimentation in Africa.
The medical institution is one of the most powerful in the modern world, most people are born into a doctors arms, and chances are good they will die in them as well, throughout life you are expected to get regular check ups, at any injury or disease youll be heading to the pharmacy for pills or in serious cases youll be making an actual trip to the hospital, you will probably be put on courses of drugs to deal with your maladies, you will consume thousands of manufactured chemicals which you will of course eventually dump into the environment. And what is the upshot? You will live slightly longer, you will get a few more moments of breath lets hope those moments collectively are longer than all the time you spent getting treated.
Constant treatment and prolongation of life are not health. Health means being healthy not being sick, when we take courses of medication we often see them as treatments allowing us to act healthy while we are in fact sick. Thats not health; the goal of healthcare should be the creation of health not merely the treatment of sickness and injury.
So how do we do that? First we decentralize, and we become self reliant in many ways. Perhaps taking the time to learn about our bodies and what would be healthy for them, instead of allowing an unhealthy lifestyle to lead to bad health. Even then most common diseases, sicknesses and injuries can be self treated or treated by anyone with even limited medical knowledge. Keep a first aid kit around, know how to use it, this shouldnt be hard in fact maybe we should reconsider school courses to include first aid, I mean whats more important in life: knowing how to calculate the 87th number in a geometric progression, knowing every Russian ruler since 1800 in chronological order, knowing how to identify iambic pentameter in Shakespearean sonnets OR knowing how to administer CPR, knowing how to diagnose common diseases, and how to make a splint. That is the first step to fixing healthcare, it is to stop relying so much on the system, do it yourself, and have the knowledge to say when to let someone help.
In workplaces and schools there should be those who can be relied on to have some more advanced medical knowledge, without being necessarily being dedicated as school nurses or staff doctors, simply members of the group who may leave their station to help their fellows.
Beyond that we must look at reform in the medical industry, looking towards holistic medicine that doesnt simply attempt to treat disease but actually heal it. The elitist idea that only western medicine is valid must be abandoned. Hospitals themselves should be re-evaluated they shouldnt be a place that literally scares children, I know Im not alone when I say hospitals scared me when I was little. And the system must be funded intelligently; by those who are in it. Money should be drawn from a social pool, and its direction should be chosen by doctors, nurses, and patients on the ground, not by government bureaucrats, and not by insurances companies.
Healthcare should become about health and caring.

medical practice expropriates the potential of
people to deal with their human condition in an
autonomous way and becomes the source of a
new kind of un-health.
Ivan Illich

Therein the patient

Must minister to himself.
William Shakespeare

Images: Norbert Kaiser, Jacob Windham, Justin Taylor, Ragesoss, Chaval Brasil, Abinoam Jr., Taneli Rajala, Mark knobil, Arnold C, Leigh Blackall, Rama, Mjalbornoz,
http://www.tomdispatch.com/

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