Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We Need Laws and Not Just Rules

An image of Hippocrates on the floor of the As...
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This post is another step in my efforts to state my opinion on how should medicine evolve.
Recently, I started learning about medical nutrition from a naturopathic perspective. Before falling into preconceptions, you must realise that naturopathy as a philosophy started with
Hippocrates, as he states:
It is only nature that heals and wherever and whenever possible nature should be given the opportunity to do so.
A modest way to address the naturopathic philosophy is to trust our body's innate capability to heal itself and only intervene when it is deemed necessary.
Having said this, my intention in this post is not to advocate for or defend the naturopathic medicine philosophy. But, there is an intriguing point of view that naturopathy offers that we should seriously consider:
Naturopathy has a law called the Law of Cure that collects dispersed facts into one simple law that once well understood can be applied in treating most if not all conditions. This law is stated by Lindlahr (1913) as
‘Every acute disease is the result of a cleansing and healing effort of nature. ‘

You may not agree with this law. However, the endeavor of  deciphering nature’s laws is to be respected. In the medicine we practice we do not have a superseding law, all what we have are dispersed rules. Rules such as - appendicitis is treated by surgery and those with suspected MI need to chew an aspirin pill. Having rules and not laws is a sign of immaturity in the science of medicine. All mature sciences, such as astronomy, physics and chemistry have laws.  We should not come up with laws just for the sake of it, however, we should think critically about what laws ought to influence our work. I think one of the main hindrances to the advancement of medicine is that we do not seek the discovery of laws.

For the advancement of medicine I am proposing to:
1. Focus research on finding nature’s laws, the laws that govern health and disease.
2. Train physicians in the proper application of these laws to real life situations.
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