But Doc, it’s Natural.

03/21/2009 at 6:20 AM Leave a comment

I get this all the time. Someone is either taking something that is touted as natural ( whatever that means) or may actually be natural ( as in real Garlic, or some such). The implication is two fold. Not only its being natural is de facto good for you, but it could not hurt you. In stark contrast to the poisons I was about to suggest they take. OMG Doc, not a pill, can’t you give me something natural, something that won’t work but will not scare me? And give me the illusion that I am still young and vital and do not need anything effective?

I have wondered where this ‘natural’ fixation comes from, it is absolutely illogical, irrational, and does not stand up to even the mildest of scrutiny. Someone suggested that it is a leftover from the sixties and flower power, return to nature–and that is probably some of it, but that was a long time ago and this ‘meme’ is very persistent across generations, genders, and socio-economic class.

When I mention that Polio, Heart attacks, stroke, early death and disability, and  infection are all natural and all have been either vanquished totally or impacted significantly by our evil drugs and non-natural modern medicine, I get a shrug, indicating something. Not sure what that something is: so far I take it to be, stop kidding doc, you know what I mean ( NO I DONT- not a clue, dumbfounded I am). 

The average lifespan up to a hundred and fifty years ago was very low. Probably most of the non pediatric patients I see would be dead or disabled in those days. The success of public health, miracle drugs and procedures is so obvious and evident. People’s willingness to pay outrageous fees for  procedures and medicine also is an indication of its worth ( or perhaps its perceived worth).

If someone could explain this to me I would be grateful, and so would my patients, who must bear the brunt of my attempting to induce a reality check.

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Entry filed under: Doctor's Rants. Tags: , .

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