(Aug 28, 2015) Good Medicine: Do As Much Nothing As Possible
"The delivery of good medical care is to do as much nothing as possible" -- Samuel Shem, The House of God
Medicine is undergoing an existential crisis today. Its core value proposition – to help and not hurt -- is failing to manifest. Patients are suffering. Doctors are suffering. The only exuberant party on the battlefield against disease is the pharmaceutical industry. An industry whose annual causalities far exceed the death total from our two decade long involvement in the Vietnam war.
The entire system is on the precipice of a collapse, if not for economic reasons alone, then certainly for ethical and intellectual ones. The irony is that the system has become so ineffective and dangerous that avoiding medical treatment (excluding perhaps emergency care) has become one of if not the best healthcare strategy you can implement to protect your health and well-being.
Nowhere is this clearer than in the realm of cancer.