On Contemporary Medicine
With the first decade of the post-genome era coming to an end, it is still difficult to define what the contemporary Medicine is? Advanced? Mighty? Or Technical? Probably the most accurate answer would be “civilized”. It is like Our civilization is. That is, the contemporary medicine is the result of the Culture of Technique and Consumerism. And that means that it’s natural vector has been diverged toward the technological development… bearing all consequences of the fact! If a reader finds these thoughts not related to his Way of life, I am afraid he is wrong. As I have done elsewhere, I will give an example with a man suffering from common kidney colic. He is complaining of Pain in the sub costal area, which sends him almost immediately to a nephrologists. Meanwhile, the pain jumps to the testicle and the man might need to see an urologist. If he coincidentally mentions that he once had a painful ejaculation, he might consult an andrologist or a sexologist to reveal this phenomena. This way, from the primary extraction of the urine in the kidney to its excretion from the body, there are already four specialists involved. That is without counting the many—o-o, so many! —imaging specialists there are: CT, MRI, contrast imaging and, of course, ultrasonic imaging. Much ultrasound! The machine has to see, the machine has to tell, the machine… organizes (pays!) symposia and congresses for each and every specializations. Or the new test, laboratory analyst, new medicine, or a newer instrument, which will create a newer specialty, defined as medical, for a narrower circle of enlightened ones (illuminati!), which will develop a greater science, so that the newer technology can rule over the older one around the world! This drives the contemporary medicine. Its financial and enduring force is so enormous, that the poor man is becoming ever so insignificant with his problem, separated into so many pieces as well. This I call “a divergence from the natural direction”, where the man feels his pain until some “old doctor” type starts to solve his problem, at best…
Of course, I am not thinking I discovered America. The differentiation of the Medicine into specialties in a way that the problems are always falling “in Between” is well known. There are even some heterodox thoughts, that the limits of these specialties are formed so that they never face unknown problems. Otherwise we were not be talking about holistic medicine. That is, to find a reverse approach, which integrates the man and his body into his natural Wholeness. Alas, holism is not a priority and it is not at all at the center of the “scientific medical attention”. Doctors of different countries are making intellectual efforts to diverge the attention to the reality, but are hardly finding their way to the international tribune of anti hair-loss or anti-hemorrhoids cream ads. There is no specialty known as “human medicine” (except may be the common medicine) and in the conventional “science” the holists are not having meetings or a tribune. Maybe because there is no industry to endorse them? It is not even certain that “human” is a scientific category, is it?! Quitting being moralistic, I would like to ask: “Is the medicine itself a Science?” No, strictly speaking it is not, because it has no underlying natural law. A law like the law of Mendeleyev, which predicted today’s discoveries hundreds of years ago. By the way, it is not being heavily discussed these days? But let us not divagate. The contemporary medicine is an attempt at an eclectic system of empirical knowledge. It is sometimes a plain description of facts and nothing more. The speed of gaining the facts matches the speed of expansion of the universe and the only way not to lose ourselves into them is to group them into nebulae and galaxies around some principle. As a clear principle is accepted the anatomical principle – every internal human organ being a center of a galaxy of facts! From a scientific point of view, this is systematic as well after all. This choice, being itself very close to the technical understanding of the world, has been imposing its mark on the medical investigations for centuries. But it is first, condemned to be morphologic, and second, this expansion is causing the vacuum of the “specialties galaxies” to break the gravitational connections between them… That is, we have returned to the example of the man with his kidney colic. Let us be clear about it then: the morphological way is not revealing the functioning of the human organism. On the contrary! Countless interrelations of the organs are continuing to be functionally unknown. Aren’t we beginning to look like a savage, who is looking at the circuit boards of a computer, trying to figure out the software in it? It is a fact that in the 20th century the human life expectancy has increased by decades, especially in the “civilized world”. Besides to the revolutionary improvement of the conditions of life, this is also due to two discoveries in the medicine: the antibiotics and the substitutive therapies. These include the insulin, other hormones, vessel and cardiac implants, blood and organ transplantations. Indisputable achievements, but are they physiological? We are not mastering the processes of functioning of the human organism. We are trying to find how to replace the parts of it, which don’t function with something new and healthier.
The gap between the urgent, invasive medicine and the other, which chronically heals life, is obvious. That is exactly because we cannot see the organism’s functioning at the same time, as one. The only contemporary specialists, who can do that, are the anesthesiologists resuscitators. It is not coincidental that our only equipment are the monitors, which do not dismember man into parts, but see it as one – breathing, pulse, blood pressure, circulation, urine, temperature, brain activity and muscles tonus – together! At the same time. When they heard these words on a forum in the central hall of the Bulgarian academy of sciences, my colleagues were shocked with surprise. And later they felt jealous toward the anesthesiologists – when they realized that this is the simple truth. But there is no place for jealousy here, there are no greater or lesser specialties. The medicine is uniform and for everyone – a science of man’s health and its preservation. And the specialties are mere conditional divisions. In my opinion there are two types of specialties: in the natural direction and back towards ones. The word “allergy” means “another effect” and implies some depraved reaction of the organism. I cannot imagine a medical specialty which, unable to fix the problem, sets to bring the whole world of the individual—dust, food, etc.—in sync with this “another effect”. What philosophy exactly does this “specialty” follow, being opposite of the biological direction? There are many examples of concept ional absurd in the contemporary medicine. The question is, to what extend does this conditional division of the post-graduation training influence the progress of Medicine? You will find in many places on this website, that the wonders of the contemporary surgery have appeared mainly because 60 years ago some surgeons have created the… anesthesiology. It is difficult to fully comprehend the effect from this new specialization of doctors! It is enough to say that any scientific hospital anywhere without anesthesiologist resuscitator is not an active treatment hospital at all! Such an orientation of the doctors’ attention and training, I think, is advancing in the treatment of chronic pain, and the treatment of the chronic diseases in general. The “life-individual organism” approach of the technological civilization is slowly faltering. Another civilization—the Eastern—has a better understanding of it as “living-individual-organism”. Surprisingly it offers conceptions about the “organs, systems and functional circles” in the whole, and not simply in the body. And this kind of Medicine will continue having stronger influence on the Western. Because it is one thing to read, and another, to understand your genome.