As I slave away sacrificing my life to medicine I would like to think that I am actually doing something good at the expense of my own personal loss, though I have have always had this nagging question in the back of my head.....Am I actually helping society?
There are a few reasons I question if it is actually so. The first is from an evolutionary perspective. If evolution is so efficient, which it is as you marvel at the perfection of the human body and nature in general, who am I to interfere with its own "weeding out" process of those that are sick as representative of a genetically inferior class? How can we do better than nature running its course with "survival of the fittest"? (This only applies to those of reproductive age as those that don't procreate anymore i.e.those post menopause and ill will not contribute genetically inferior offspring, and keeping these sick people alive may actually represent the altruism "gene" which is advantageous to the species in general.)
Secondly I question if medical treatment is actually beneficial to those sick in general. There has been much research in general about iatrogenic (phyician induced) morbidity and moratlity. If taken as a separate disease it would rank as the leading killer. I have seen firsthand that these numbers are certainly underreported. I would say that at least half of the people in the hospital are admitted for reactions to medications such as rebound hypertension (the blood pressure shooting up after somone forgets to take his medication) or hypo/hyperglycemia (too much or too little sugar in the blood almost always induced by either taking too much insulin or by stopping abruptly their diabetes medications.)
I personally am a big believer of evolution and believe (with many others of course) that the route cause of illness is the rapid progress society has made without the ability of the body to adapt genetically. Therefore we have too much food and we still have the appetite "genes" that remain from when food was scarce (see Time magazine dated this week)hence the rampant obesity. This imbalance has contributed to the greatest cause of not only mobidity but certainly mortality as well. Every one of the leading killers can directly be linked to obesity. WE NEED TO FOCUS ON CEASING TO TAKE THE SHORT TERM APPROACH OF MEDICATING OUR PROBLEMS AWAY. We need to eat less and exercise more if we really want to improve our health.