A simple solution to some problems of modern medicine. Part I: the conceptual problem

The concept of modern medicine traces it’s origin from ancient times when alchemists were searching for an universal treatment from all medical conditions for all patients.

The first concept in medicine, known to us, was a concept of the panacea. The panacea was a remedy to cure all diseases and prolong life. In Greek mythology Panacea was the goddess of healing, or in modern terminology, the goddess of therapeutic drugs. Myths mention that Panacea had an elixir which was able to cure any human malady.

People of ancient world believed that before the Babel Tower incident, when all humans had a single language and were a single civilization, knowledge about Panacea's elixir was available to humans. After the Babel Tower incident, human were divided on groups, with each group having their own language and status. Those groups had started fighting among themselves. In those ancient wars the knowledge about Panacea's elixir was lost.

After those ancient wars, alchemists were the first who had started searching for Panacea's elixir, which they called the elixir of life. On the way to rediscover the lost knowledge for the Panacea's elixir of life, alchemists contributed greatly to development of modern sciences.

In the age of scientific discoveries, when such sciences as chemistry, physics, physiology, were established it become clear that it is not possible to find such universal elixir to cure all diseases for all people and the concept of the panacea was replaced with the concept of the miracle pills.

According to this concept, for each medical condition it is possible to find a medical treatment/pill, which is able to cure all patients having this particular medical condition. The concept of miracle pills survived up to our days.

The concept of the miracle pills was challenged only in the second half of the 20-th century, when discovery in genetics and human genome gave us understanding that all persons differently respond to the same medical treatments because each person has an unique genomics makeup. As a result of this challenge, a new concept was born the concept of personalized medicine.

According to this concept, for every person, a personalized medical treatment will be provided based on a structure of this person genome.

The problem with this new concept of a personalized medicine is that, today, it is not a practical concept. It is only a dream, a promise, a marketing trick. We only understand functions of about 1% of the human genome and to reach 100% understanding it would be required not less than 600 years of progress in science and technology (under the optimistic assumption that a speed of the progress will not decrease, but it does decreases from 1960 to 1990 it was highest speed of progress in science and technology, in the next 30 years (1990-2020) the speed decreased in two times).


As you can see, today we have a conceptual crisis in the modern medicine. The current concept of a personalized medicine is not a practical concept and can not be used today. The practical concept of miracle pills is based on a fallacy that all people respond in the same way to the same treatment, and as a result of this we have a problem of adverse side effects from legally prescribed drugs and medical treatments. This bring us to the second biggest problem in modern medicine: side effects problem.



In the next post (part II) we consider some other problems of modern medicine.



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I_g_o_r is an author of several books available on amazon.com

Simple solutions to complex problems
Simple solutions to complex problems

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