Is modern medicine helping or hurting us?
In the wake of GMA host Robin Roberts being diagnosed with MDR, she now has to undergo a bone marrow transplant to save her life. How is it that with all the current medical technology, is it failing us?
Modern medicine is helping us hugely.
In 1912, the average life expectancy for an American man was 51.5 years; for a woman, 55.9 years. In 2012, that figure had risen to 75.6 and 80.8.
In 1912, 15% of all babies born in the United States died within a year of birth. In 2012, 0.8% of all babies born in the United States died in the same period.
These are just two of the striking advances that modern medicine has given us. Yes, some people do still get sick. Some diseases are still beyond our ability to cure.
However, going back to your example, consider this: Until recently, Robin Roberts wouldn't have had the ability to get a bone marrow transplant to save her life. She would simply have a death sentence. It is only with modern medicine that we've been able to do things like bone marrow transplants.
And while modern medicine has resulted in some deaths that would not have happened otherwise (see Vioxx), it has also saved vastly more lives than would have been saved otherwise (vaccines, antibiotics, surgery, chemotherapy, advanced imaging technologies...).
There will never be a cure for all the illnesses we suffer from despite the advances in modern medicine. Advances in this area have contributed to the increase in our longevity and quality of life as we age, but at the same time bacteria and many microscopic organisms are constantly evading the progress we have made by becoming more resistance to current medical treatments. This is evolution at work. It is very difficult to get around that completely.
Just as Volitans had said, Robins Robert would be heading to her death bed if wasn't for the bone marrow transplant she will be receiving pretty soon to hopefully save and prolong her life. However, this procedure does not comes without risk but this is the risk many people are willing to take to continue living.
Thanks to modern medical technology people like Barbara Walter, Dick Cheney, and many others would not be alive right now. Current medical technology is not failing us it is helping many more of us to live a long and productive life that only a handful of people enjoyed before the 20th century.
Is a bone marrow transplant Robin Roberts' only option? There are many legitimate reports of cancers put into remission by alternative therapies. I would certainly seek out the most promising if I had cancer.
I find chemo and various surgical techniques barbaric. If the poisonous chemo doesn't kill the patient, perhaps it knocks the cancer for a loop. I am more interested in preventing the conditions which causes a cancer to get started. I'm 63, a vegan, a fitness fan -- and no sign of trouble.
Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and multiple sclerosis are good examples of lifestyle diseases that have been reversed with changes in the patients' diet primarily. Modern medicine doesn't like to talk much about these successes because it would put lot of doctors out of business.
Antibiotics are a very effective way to breed stronger and stronger bacteria. We are starting to see new ones appear that we can't control. Wonderful, isn't it?
I will side with some of the more open-minded doctors, such as Russell Blaylock, MD, on the subject of the harm that vaccines are doing. To write off a "few" deaths that occur over very questionable vaccines given to children or young girls for HPV, which is, I am told, a miniscule threat, is criminal in my estimation.
My view is that too many people take their health for granted, thinking that when they might get sick, modern medicine will be able to make everything right again. I prefer to read the medical research and avoid the risk factors which are pretty clearly identified. With the poor quality nutrition most Americans get and the exposure to numerous environmental toxins, pesticides, stress, etc., our lifestyle needs to be corrected and modern medicine make little attempt to address these issues.
Good question. Thanks for asking it.
Hello Paul Kemp, I do agree with you that there needs to be a drastic change in our lifestyle in regards to diet, environmental toxins, pesticides, etc. Only then can we improve our lives without the risks associated with some modern medicine. Thanks
It is not failing us. It is what it is. What can we really expect from our healthcare providers? When we expect cure we will often be disappointed. We may sometimes experience "miracles". It is the hope of the miracle that keeps people fighting. Some win. There are always costs. Modern Western medicine is strong, sometimes too strong but it offers hope. And it's easy. We put ourselves into our healthcare provider's hands. They might even detail the side effects, complications and risk of failure but many patients still return to the old "whatever you say, doctor". It's easy (in some ways). And when things go wrong you can blame the doctor!
Alternative care and lifestyle is harder (in some ways). We have to have knowledge, learn for ourselves how to take care of our bodies. Give up our vices and white foods (that means refined carbs that our tasty and comforting sweets and snacks our made up of). Sometimes the urge to do that comes after disease has struck and, if only we had known we could have avoided this disease, but we probably did know and went our merry way in denial.
Neither mode of medicine offer a panacea. Neither mode always works. I would choose alternative therapies because I believe they are gentler and cause less damage than the heroics of western medicine. Having seen many an ugly death at the end-stage of allopathic/western care I would prefer to forgo most of what it has to offer me when I reach the end of my life. Will fear of death and the unknown cause me to grasp desperately at any straws that are offered me at the end of my life? Or even worse, what if it were my child? I don't really know but I tend to think not. Let me go without the heroics and the suffering.
I do think modern medicine is hurting us more than helping us because we have forgotten how to use natural and safer remedies to cure our health problems. There is a pill that we can take for every single medical issue we have and this cannot be healthy. How is taking over 100 pills a week safe. I just think we need to explore alternative methods. With all the medical progress that has happened over the last 100 years, we should not be having to deal with the cancer and ailments that plague our society today.
Melpor,Volitans and Hearwort I agree with you all. Had it not been for modern medicine, I would have died in childbirth 38 years ago, and I went on to have two more children later in life.
There will I think always be something to struggle with medically, always something to challenge us Not so long ago, cancer was the big death sentence, then Aids was the terror stalking in our midst, but both of these dreadful afflictions can at least be controlled now, and people suffering from them having longer and longer quality life expectancies. Heart disease too is no longer the big bogie it used to be not that long ago, thanks to modern medication.
No, we have a great deal to be very thankful for in this modern age - children growing up to healthy maturity with incredible aspirations, inventive pain control for the dying - oh all sorts of wonderful stuff. I think you've probably guessed which side I am on....
Modern medicines are helping us. Statins lower my cholesterol to a acceptable level. Some would say I could do it by diet. I control my Type II diabetes by diet, but if you are a diabetic, the medical field wants even lower cholesterol numbers.
I have high blood pressure, runs in the family. WIth medication is is 120/80.
My son was in a car accident and suffered brain damage. He could be an epithetic, but he has never had a seizure because of the medicine he was started on immediately after the accident.
I had a perforated colon in 2000, without antibiotics, I would have died.
Healthier life styles will help. Some alternative forms of treatment have value, but modern medicines have not only extended our lives, it has improved the lives of many. Finally, do not consider a transplant, if you do not want to take anti-rejection drugs.
Drugs can and are misused, but that is the fault of the people and not the drug manufacture.
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