A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog featured this little quote – “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” (Voltaire)
Medicine has evolved a lot since Voltaire’s time, but that aspect hasn’t changed. If Voltaire was alive to comment on modern medicine his quote might read – “The art of medicine consists of drugging the patient while nature cures the disease.” Modern medicine seems to be focused more upon relief of symptoms than actual healing. Whatever you have, there’s a pill for that, or at least a pill to make you feel better while it runs its course. Nature still takes care of that over time.
Admittedly, there have been dramatic improvements in the surgery aspect of modern medicine. Now when something wears out it can be replaced, either by a man-made option or a transplant from someone usually less fortunate than the receiver of the transplant. It is even possible today to print a new things to put into you, using recently developed 3d printing techniques.
One thing that remains a problem is that going to hospital can be the most dangerous option for many. Too many people still die in the hospital from diseases or infections that they get there that they would not have contracted at home. In the Civil War many more Union soldiers died in the field hospitals from infections than dies from the actual gun shots that put them there – the result of infections from reused and non-disinfected bandages. In the modern hospital it is most often the result of bad hygiene practices by the staff that allows bacteria and viruses to spread freely in the facilities.
I will also admit that the preventive medicine side of thing has gotten much better, with vaccines being responsible for just about wiping out certain diseases from Voltaire’s time. With all of that research and money spent on vaccines, the common cold virus still seems to have the upper hand. Bacteria and viruses also have evolved over time and we hear now about antibiotic resistant strains that may eventually win out in their war against humanity.
Perhaps we should all be content to amuse ourselves and let nature figure out a cure for what ails us. That certainly beats the opioid option that modern medicine has come up with as a solution. From time to time we see studies that indicate the power of prayer in “miraculous” recoveries from some disease or condition. Perhaps it is the power of that prayer to encourage us to persevere while nature works its cure. Just sayin’ that there’s nothing wrong with prayin’.
Have a wonderful and healthy weekend ahead.