Why Cannot Today’s Medicine Tolerate Man?

Professor, Faculty Instructor, Energy Medicine University, California, USA AND Danesh-e Tandorosti Institute, Isfahan, Iran


Today, anyone who has travelled a little through history or reflected on social systems knows that although social systems are established and designed to satisfy our needs and demands, they have needs of their own which guarantee their life and may precede our needs. Hence, these systems, which were supposed to serve us indisputably like the genie, make us serve them in different ways. Medicine is one of such social systems which were undoubtedly established to satisfy our vital need to care and cure. To exist and develop, medicine needs to know and control personal and social conditions, and to actualize this need, it needs knowledge, money, and, perhaps prior to all of these, it needs to be trusted. To know man, he should be completely uncovered, observable, and dissected into his parts and the relationship between his parts should be explained in simple models. And to direct the condition toward maximum health, men should be converted into statistical entities and their individual differences, conditions, and narratives have to be ignored so that they become predictable and, consequently, controllable creatures. The story of relative, and almost necessary, conflict between man and medicine is as simple as it is explained. Before we go any further into the discussion, we should remember that a real man, with his whole phenomenological world and new-emergent and unique properties of autonomy and consciousness, may suddenly behave like a joker and disturb all the rules of medicine's play. It is natural that such subtleties cannot be tolerated by a materialistic model which is relying on knowledge of mechanistic organization of parts. The aim of this theoretical essay was to increase the readers’ awareness of biomedical model restrictions and organized cruelties it imposes on man in practice and theory. The discussion of alternate models which we are turning to recently has been undertaken in other essays.

Full Text


Ahn, A. C., Tewari, M., Poon, C. S., & Phillips, R. S. (2006). The limits of reductionism in medicine: could systems biology offer an alternative? PLoS Med, 3(6), e208. doi:05-PLME-ES-0675R1 [pii];10.1371/journal.pmed.0030208 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:16681415

Ainsworth-Vaughn N. (2001). The Discourse of Medical Encounters. In The Handbook of Discourse Analysis (pp. 453-469). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Barry, C. A., Stevenson, F. A., Britten, N., Barber, N., & Bradley, C. P. (2001). Giving voice to the lifeworld. More humane, more effective medical care? A qualitative study of doctor-patient communication in general practice. Soc Sci Med, 53(4), 487-505. doi:S0277953600003518 [pii]. Retrieved from PM:11459399

Buchanan, A., Brock, D. W., Daniels, N., & Wikler, D. (2001). From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Callahan, D. (2009). Taming the Beloved Beast: How Medical Technology Costs Are Destroying Our Health Care System. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Campbell, J. (1991). The Power of Myth. New York, NY: Anchor Books.

Carlson, N. R. (2012). Physiology of Behavior (11th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

Darmesteter, J. (1880). Sacred Books of the East Volume 4: The Zend-Avesta Part 1: The Vendidad. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press.

Doyal, L. (1983). The Political Economy of Health. London, UK: Pluto Press.

Epstein M. (1995). Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Fleischman, S. (2005). Language and Medicine. In The Handbook of Discourse Analysis (pp. 470-502). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Foucault, M. (2003). The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception. London, UK: Routledge.

Frisch, M. B. (2006). Quality of Life Therapy: Applying a Life Satisfaction Approach to Positive Psychology and Cognitive Therapy. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Fuery, P. (1995). Theories of Desire. Melbourne, Australia: Melbourne University Press.

Gilbert RB. (2001). Health care and spirituality: Listening, assessing, caring (Death, value and meaning). New York, NY: Baywood.

Gould, K. L., Ornish, D., Scherwitz, L., Brown, S., Edens, R. P., Hess, M. J. et al. (1995). Changes in myocardial perfusion abnormalities by positron emission tomography after long-term, intense risk factor modification. JAMA., 274(11), 894-901. Retrieved from PM:7674504

Helman CG. (2000). Culture, Health and Illness (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Helman C. (2006). Suburban Shaman. London, UK: Hammersmith Press.

Huxley A. (1998). Brave new world. New York, NY: Harper Perennial Modern Classics.

Illich I. (1976). Medical Nemesis: The expropriation of health. New York, NY: Pantheon.

Kennedy P, & Kennedy C. (2010). Using theory to explore health, medicine and society. Bristol, UK: Policy Press.

Kiser, L. J., Lefkovitz, P. M., & Kennedy, L. L. (2001). The integrated behavioral health continuum: Theory and practice. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Kradin, R. (2008). The placebo response and the power of unconscious healing. New York, NY: Routledge.

Leddy, S. K. (2005). Integrative health promotion: Conceptual bases for nursing practice. Boston, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological review, 50(4), 370-396.

National Institute of Mental Health (2010). Depression. 22-50.

Ornish, D., Brown, S. E., Scherwitz, L. W., Billings, J. H., Armstrong, W. T., Ports, T. A. et al. (1990). Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial. Lancet., 336(8708), 129-133. doi:0140-6736(90)91656-U [pii]. Retrieved from PM:1973470

Santrock, J. W. (2007). A topical approach to life-span development. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Schuler, G., Hambrecht, R., Schlierf, G., Grunze, M., Methfessel, S., Hauer, K. et al. (1992). Myocardial perfusion and regression of coronary artery disease in patients on a regimen of intensive physical exercise and low fat diet. J Am.Coll.Cardiol., 19(1), 34-42. doi:0735-1097(92)90048-R [pii]. Retrieved from PM:1729343

Schwartz, W. B. (2000). Life without disease: The pursuit of medical utopia. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.

Schweitzer, J., & Schlippe, A. (1743). Lehrbuch der systemischen Therapie und Beratung II. Gottingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Sharpe, V. A., & Faden, A. I. (1998). Medical harm: Historical, conceptual and ethical dimensions of iatrogenic illness. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Shawver, L. Notes on Reading Foucault's: The Birth of the Clinic. Available from: URL: http://postmoderntherapies.com/foucbc.htm. Accessed 16 May 1998

Sherwood, L. (2003). Human physiology: From cells to systems (5th ed.). New York, NY: Thomson Brooks Cole.

Smith, R. (2007). Reed-Elsevier's hypocrisy in selling arms and health. J R.Soc Med, 100(3), 114-115. doi:100/3/114 [pii];10.1177/014107680710000302 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:17339299

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Epiphenomenalism. Available from: https://plato. stanford.edu/entries/epiphenomenalism. Accessed 2015.

Straus, E. S., Trimble, E. L. (2001). Federal initiatives and recourses in complementary medicine: Programs of the national center for complementary and alternative medicine and national cancer institute, National Institute of Health (NIH). In Nancy Fass (Ed.), Integrating complementary medicine into health systems (pp. 162-166). Gaithersburg, MD: An Aspen Publications.

Turner, B. S. (1990). The interdisciplinary curriculum: from social medicine to postmodernism. Sociology of Health & Illness, 12(1), 1-23. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9566.1990.tb00063.x. Retrieved from Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Van Regenmortel, M. H. V., & Hull, D. L. (2002). Promises and limits of reductionism in the biomedical sciences. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Varnauskas, E. (1988). Twelve-year follow-up of survival in the randomized European Coronary Surgery Study. N.Engl.J Med, 319(6), 332-337. doi:10.1056/NEJM198808113190603 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:3260659

World Health Organization (1948). Constitution of the World Health Organization. Availablable from: http://www.who.int/about/mission/en/. Accessed 2017.

World Health Organization. (2004). The world health report 2004 - changing history. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO.

Wulff, H. R., Pederson, S. A., Rosenberg, R. (1990). Philosophy of medicine: An introduction. (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science Inc.