Good health: we all care about it in different ways. Whether you go to a medicine man or a GP when you fall ill, whether you pray, hallucinate with the help of interesting toadstools, or take antibiotics: how you get well is up to you.
Well, not quite. Your doctor (or medicine man, or healer) has a say in it as well. So does your insurance company. If you’ve got one.
But still, so much is possible today. Every day, small revolutions happen, new cures are discovered and diseases people used to die of are a thing of the past. People rarely die of the plague these days. And that’s a great thing. Because all people deserve good healthcare and luckily the possibilities are expanding faster than you can say test tube.
But although health is all about people, healthcare seems to be all about money. Money talks, but it doesn’t think. It’s us people who should do the thinking; patients, nurses, managers and doctors alike. With every new medical discovery, several questions pop up.
• Do I, as a patient, get to decide what treatment I get, mainstream or alternative?
• Is my health my responsibility only, or is it totally fair that my insurance company charges me more if I don’t work out and smoke two packets a day?
• Do I get the treatment that is best for me, or the one that is cheapest in the long run?
And do we really think everyone deserves a chance to get medical care? After all, people in most European countries nowadays regard diarrhea as a mere nuisance, while children in Eritrea still die of it although it would be so easy to solve the problem. If cancer, or a simple cold can be cured in the future, should they always be cured? Should everyone always be cured? And has that future not already begun? And who decides what happens?
Keep thinking, and take care.