5.17.2009

let nature do its thing

Is it too cruel to sometimes wonder why we have hospitals at all, or why there's such a large R&D industry flourishing at the moment in various races against time to come up with the latest medical breakthroughs and drugs? Would it be better to let nature take its course and let the weakened and sick go on their own time, rather than prolong their misery both physically and mentally? Sure, we could come up with measures to make the process more comfortable.

In such a world, palliative care would be the end all and be all of medicine as we know it. ICUs wouldn't be filled with a geriatric population averaging 80 years old. Drunks who get into punch-ups and break their wrists wouldn't be allowed into the hospital. They would be able to smoke and drink as they like, with lots of painkillers prescribed until their fracture healed. They would be given advice on how to take care of their injury but their lives are their own to ruin if they refuse compliance. None of this would be the fault of their doctor and better yet, none of this would be known to their doctor if they were never allowed onto a hospital bed in the first place.

Blood banks would be non-existent because there wouldn't be a need to transfuse people. If they're anemic from disease, we would let the disease take its course. If they're anemic from huge blood loss from trauma, well then we let the survival of the fittest.. or luckiest continue. There would be no subspecialties. No cardiologists to put in pacemakers, no respiratory physicians to manage those who chose to smokebliterate their lungs, no gastroenterologists to worry over those whose first instinct is to reach for the booze nor surgeons to cut out tumors, let alone perform tummy tucks and facelifts. Wait, I take that back. I guess there should be cosmetic surgeons around. Those who choose to take that risk and encounter complications would just fall into the survival of the fittest category, seeing that there would be no resuscitative measures available in their world to save them from their own folly.

Is such a world really too cruel, or would it take us back to a simpler, less complicated world. Why is there such a drive in the first place to prolong our lives, to survive.. for what? The world as we know it has limited resources that can't keep up with the careless reckless nature of our existence, yet we strive to stay here for as long as we can with any means possible so we can continue with blatant disregard and misguided good-will to unbalance the cycle of life. Why do we bother, why does medicine even exist? Surely, we would all be better off letting nature take its course for no path would likely be worse than the one we've paved for ourselves already, no? Sometimes, I wonder..

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