Re: Is Medicine Healthy?

Ross A. Finlayson (
Fri, 02 Apr 1999 21:21:04 -0500

The physiological and psychological effects of placebos has in many cases been proven to be almost as effective as physioactive or psychoactive drugs in the treatment of many disorders. Many drugs have a very large placebo effect compared to their actual effects.

Of course, most drugs do have physioactive or psychoactive effects, and I am not disclaiming or disproving statistically proven effects.

Laughter as a coping mechanism is shown to have positive health effects. The power of the body to heal itself is a wonderful thing. The power of the body to fool itself is a thing.

Antibiotics are great things, anaesthetics and analgesics are good for the blocking of pain, and wine is good for conversation.

I am not a doctor and make no medical claims. Remember to brush your teeth, modern diets have large amounts of sugars and other cavity causing contents. Read the labels on food and be aware of what exactly one is ingesting.

Meditation and other forms of self-enlightenment are powerful tools to attain good health.

Modern medicine is incredible and I am in awe of it. Examples are microvascular surgery, cancer cures, and anti-viral treatments, among many other wonderful things. There are surgeries to correct poor vision.

We might envision a time in the not so far future where all physical ailments are successfully treatable. This leads to further impetus towards space exploration and colonization, and general research and development, as well as ecological and environmental conservation, preservation, and rejuvenation. It also makes real estate that much more valuable, and the need for population controls sadly necessary, but not interminably so, as humanity spreads throughout the solar system and beyond.

Ross F.

Robin Hanson wrote:

> Someone privately asked me for references re my last message.
> Supporting cites:
> Antibiotics little mortality effect AER 84(3)369-95 Jun94
> Randomized health insure experiment AER 77(3):251-77 Jun87
> Regional variations in spend at end
> Regional variations in spend NEJM 328(9):621-8 4Mar93
> We can see other effects JAMA 279(21):1703-8 3Jun98
> "Why are some people healthy and others not?" Evans et al 94
> Contrary cites I'm not impressed by (I could explain why):
> AER 88(2)132-6.
> (now QJE 113(4):991-4 Nov98)
> JAMA 277(7):535-42 19Feb97 (see critique JAMA 227(24):1931-4 25Jun97)
> AER = American Economic Review, NEJM = New England Journal of Med.
> JAMA = Journal of American Medical Association
> Robin Hanson
> RWJF Health Policy Scholar FAX: 510-643-8614
> 140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 510-643-1884
> after 8/99: Assist. Prof. Economics, George Mason Univ.

Ross Andrew Finlayson
"C is the speed of light."