Saturday, September 11, 2010

Reconsider Healthcare

While on my bicycle ride across the country, I picked up a book by Patrick Lynch called Omega. This book was remarkably well written, and communicated in the clearest possible way the danger of antibiotic abuse. Using antibiotic measures can result in microorganisms developing genetic resistance, potentially making them more menacing. In fact there are known strains of such dangerous organisms, like MRSA aka Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is named for the fact that it is resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is found most frequently in hospitals and other medical care facilities, perhaps not coincidentally the places where the most extreme antibiotic measures are undertaken. There is no question regarding the effectiveness and necessity of a sterile environment for medical practice, but it seems very clear that the tradition of doing so in one large building is not the best way to achieve said sterile environment, and thus not the best way to conduct medical procedure. There is further evidence in the grim fact that babies born by Cesarean section are more likely to have their skin be populated by the hospital flora in the absence of vaginal flora, which in many cases means MRSA and other scary bugs; MRSA is known to live on human skin and in the nose without necessarily infecting the carrier. If you are sensitive to graphic medical imagery, I'd recommend not looking at pictures of the effects of MRSA.

The really unfortunate thing is that C-sections are still increasingly popular in the USAs medical-industrial complex despite growing activism (documentary: The Business of Being Born, available on Netflix), whereas the rest of the world has continued the ancient tradition of home birth with a midwife.

The most obvious solution is that healthcare be undertaken in a physically distributed fashion by way of house calls. What else might help?

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