The Basic Questions

  • What if ‘explaining’ an illness is one thing, but understanding it is quite another?
  • What if illnesses have life meanings and not just scientific ‘explanations’ and biological ‘causes’?
  • What if the biology of the human body cannot be separated from the biography of the human being?
  • What if the life of the human body cannot in any way be separated from the life of the human being in all its existential dimensions – personal, social and economic?
  • What if body symptoms are like dream symbols – there to be understood and to tell us something?
  • What if ‘the illness is the cure’ – offering patients an opportunity to gain important insights into themselves to bring about healing transformations in their lives and not just their bodies?
  • What if conventional biomedical tests and treatments aimed at finding ways to fight and ‘cure’ a person’s illness can prevent them from learning vital lessons from their illness?
  • What if official medical statistics show that conventional forms of biomedical treatment are themselves a leading cause of death?
  • What if many prescription drugs worsen or prolong the very symptoms they are prescribed for?
  • What if so-called ‘scientific’ medicine is really money-driven medicine – relying on illness as a cash cow for the corporate health industry?
  • What if every bodily state is at the same time a state of consciousness – and vice versa – thus making nonsense of the separation between ‘body’ and ‘mind’, medical treatments on the one hand and psychological therapies on the other?

Then we would need a new understanding of illness and a new model of medicine – one that not only questions but goes ‘beyond the biomedical model’.

  • This in turn could spare both individuals and private and public health services the huge costs of pharmaceutical drugs and hi-tech biomedical equipment.
  • It would also mean that psychological counsellors and therapists could no longer leave ‘medical’ problems and symptoms to the medical profession.
  • Indeed it would allow a new foundation for medical training to be created – not biological medicine but ‘Life Medicine’.
  • Out of this could come very different ways of treating patients – not through conventional doctoring but through ‘Life Doctoring’. For the aim of Life Medicine and the Life Doctor is to help patients discover in what ways their illness is the cure – there to help them heal their lives.
  • In this way the individual patient would no longer be reduced to ‘a case’ of some generic ‘disease’. Instead every such ‘case’ and every such ‘disease’ would be understood in terms of the individual life circumstances behind it.
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