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Technology does not equal good healthcare.

In the September 5 cover story, "The Best Healthcare in the World," Mr. Dennis Behreandt defends the American fee-for-service system, showing it to be far better than the socialized healthcare systems of other countries. With this I would agree. But what he and most Americans tail to recognize is that there is a tremendous difference between our "sophisticated diagnostic capabilities and treatments" and good healthcare. Yes, our system is the most technologically advanced in the world, but that technology is proving to be the nemesis of good healthcare for chronic degenerative diseases.

Technology and pharmacology can keep people alive, but know that there is a huge difference between being alive and having a quality life. Even so, in our attempt to keep people alive with our treatment of disease, more people in America die annually from iatrogenic causes (e.g. from the doctors, drugs, surgery, etc.) than all other causes of death combined. Plus, the jury is still out on the massive public health effort to eradicate diseases with vaccines. It seems that we are trading childhood illnesses for much more disabling conditions later in life (learning disabilities, adult onset asthma, diabetes, etc.).

In this country we have made healthcare big business, and treating disease is more important and more profitable than creating health. The definition of health is not just the absence of symptoms, but the state of complete and total well-being. Unfortunately, disease care is about the only health business we have left in this country.

Throughout antiquity, the care of one's spiritual and temporal bodies was interconnected and was under the purview of a physician/priest who mediated a two-way connection between the patient and his higher power for the benefit of the patient. Modern medicine in America has made technology and pharmacology the gods to whom the patient must submit his temporal and spiritual body for the benefit of the physician. Can this really be considered the best healthcare in the world?


Prescott Valley, Arizona
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Author:Fiscus, Wayne R.
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Oct 31, 2005
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