Are Medical Advances Really That Ideal?

How far do you support medical interference in human procreation?

As stated by Hippocrates – the Greek scientist who founded rational science, “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love for humanity.” Indeed, the application of medical knowledge can be seen as the salvation of human lives, as it provides people with the hopes of living another day in the face of serious injuries and life-threatening diseases. However, it is also germane to mention that as medicine gets increasingly ameliorated, it clashes with certain beliefs in religion, brings out complacency in treating their own bodies, and inequity in the providing of healthcare services to everyone who requires it. Ultimately, medical intervention in human corporeal existence may not be as applicable in every circumstance after all.

A handful of the population may believe that medical advances have generally brought about happiness and eventually economic growth in many countries. Medicine was created with the purpose of curing people of illnesses or coping with disabilities, in which they may not have survived healthily without the help of medication. A healthy population is a happy and economically stable one. This is according to the economic report on “Population Health and Economic Growth by David E. Bloom and David Canning for the Commission On Growth And Development, where it was established that there is a direct connection between the physical health of the population and their happiness and economic growth. When people are healthy, they are more able to feel happy, and more able to work efficiently in the economy, bringing about higher disposable income, and greater material welfare, which indirectly leads to even higher levels of happiness. It creates a healthy cycle of economic growth and happiness. Nonetheless, this is not always the case. In situations where families continue to sustain a physically suffering and dying family member through medical practices, the patients are likely to die in pain till their deaths instead of feel the expected happiness one obtains from medical practices. Writer – James Glickman was famous for his true story of how he witnessed his father – Eugene Glickman’s slow and agonising death because nurses and doctors were not willing to give in to his request of killing him. This drove Glickman to push for the Death With Dignity Act to be applied more regularly for patients suffering from injuries or diseases that eventually lead to painful deaths. In such an instance where medical services are continually forced on individuals suffering from terminal illnesses, both family members and the patient suffers; patients suffer excruciating and prolonged physical pain, and family members experience psychological traumas of witnessing their relatives pain in their last moments. As a result, patients in this category should be spared of medical practices. Therefore, medical practices can very often help people prolong their lives and keep them healthy, but it can also be a form of torment for those continually suffering physical pain.

Medical intervention in humanity does not go according to most of the rules set in religion. Meddling in human existence can be considered as going against God’s will for many religious persons. In Pakistan, the local Taliban had issued fatwas to boycott vaccinations by claiming that they are an American gambit to foil the will of Allah. They have assassinated vaccination officials, including the head of the government’s vaccination campaign in Bajaur Agency – Abdul Ghani Marwat, and were involved in several kidnappings and beatings of vaccinators. Religion has it that the will of God should be adhered to even in the death of individuals. In the eyes of religion, survival and expiration of lives should not be dictated by humans, but by natural occurrences like diseases and accidents that are created by God. Hence, since religion is said to exist to a higher and more abstract level as opposed to the world and science, medical practices should be kept to the minimum in preventing deaths of patients with such a religious belief.

To intervene medically in the existence of humanity is to bring out the issue of moral hazard in the medical industry. As people are increasingly assured of their prolonged survival because of continually advancing medical practices, they tend to engage more in risky behaviour that inflicts damages in their physical bodies. As reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), worldwide obesity rates increased more than two times from 1980 to 2014, with a staggering one third of global adults being in this unfavourable category currently. As people are more assured of their physical appearance and health with advancements in medical science, like liposuction, plastic surgery, and medication for related obesity diseases, they tend to live their lives to their notions of satisfaction. They may ingest large amounts of desirable but unhealthy foods. Now, obesity is the fifth leading cause for death worldwide. This shows the adverse effect of being overly dependent on medical science as a cure to all physical problems, as people start to forgo their healthy practices for risky but enticing ones. Thus, medical practices should not be excessively advertised as a cure for all, but as a solution for those who genuinely want to stay healthy and live long lives.

To have medical involvement in human lives is to bring about greater inequity in the world today. Due to hefty prices of medical services and medications, people in the lower income group may not be able to afford to live healthy and prolonged lives medically. From 1960 to 2010, U.S. healthcare expenditure has risen a stunning 800%. At the moment, healthcare spending per person per annum is set to be in the thousands of U.S. dollars in majority of the countries globally. At such a rate, those with lower income will not be able to pay and benefit from medical services, causing widespread health issues and higher mortality rates in lower income groups. Contrastingly, those with high income and savings are able to go for the higher-end medical services that enable them to become immune to many diseases and to live prolonged and healthier lives. However, despite differences in income levels, every human being has the rights to live healthily and die peacefully. Henceforth, the contrast of medical services availability to the rich and the destitute shows that medical intervention in humanity should be kept to a minimal, unless the affluent are willing to sponsor medical services at affordable prices for the poverty-stricken.

All in all, medical interference in humanity should be kept to a minimum and only done so when it improves people’s lives physically and psychologically, does not go against religious beliefs of patients, keeps people healthy in the long run with their intention of staying healthy, and equalises the rights of humanity in a world where a spectrum of income earners exists. Medical science should still be practiced in improving health and wellness of people, but only in justified events where individuals truly want and allow for it.

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