“Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” – Macbeth, Shakespeare
As I have read about diseases and medical cures, I have been fascinated by the approach to problem solving. I know that these are words you don’t normally hear in medical practice – ‘problem solving.’ It is typically about the disease, the cause, and the cure. It is also amazing to me to read research papers that will end with the statement about more needed research. I always ask the question; more research about what? Biological mechanisms for creating a new drug or the multiple factors that are the cause and cure of a disease?
Typically medicine has tried to identify a specific cause of malady with a specific cure. This makes it nice and neat for both patient and doctor. However, I do now believe after reading for several decades that there is no disease that has a single factor as a cause. The only exception to this is acute disease like infections or a broken leg. If the disease is chronic in nature or occurs over time, then multiple factors always come into play. Could it be possible that an acute disease has multiple factors? I do believe this the case with the common cold and other mild infections and perhaps that broken leg as well. This may also extend to significant infections where ninety percent of the victims die like the Ebola virus. The reason that I can say this is that ten percent of the infected lived, which means that other factors have come into play other than the Ebola virus. Has anyone really asked what these factors are? Could it just be that the survivors have better nutrition with stronger immune systems? What are the nutrients that have contributed to the better immune systems?
The claim in the last hundred years is that medicine has transformed into a science instead of an art. This is a flat out fabrication. Science has come into play in a limited fashion. Science has not been applied to medicine the way it has to say manufacturing or space travel. In both of these endeavors, all factors of significant importance are always considered. Unlike medicine, there are no laws preventing problem solving of significant factors. In medicine, the most significant factors of nutrition cannot be used to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent a disease. I find this most fascinating in the limiting or hand tying of our doctors and researchers. Of course there are some limitations of factors in manufacturing like environmental laws to protect future generations. What is being protected in medicine by limiting significant nutritional factors? I was startled at California’s attempt to make it a felony for a doctor to use nutrition to treat a disease. I guess the answer is to follow the money without empathy for the ill and dying.
Also medicine has not used all of the tools that are available to them. A great example of this is the statistical methods that are used for problem solving or troubleshooting an illness. Techniques of identifying multiple factor statistical probabilistic predications were developed for the military in the 1950’s. The techniques were them applied to manufacturing in the 1960’s. The techniques then matured in the 1970’s and 80’s. For example, are there control charts in hospitals tracking cases of MRSA to be sure that prevention methods have remained stable in hospital operations?
If it is not one disease, one cause, and one cure it seems that the solutions are too difficult to communicated to all of the decision makers. Decision makers in medicine are you the patient, the doctor, the institutional managers, the medical education community, the medical research community, the insurance institutions, and government institutions. This much complexity, prevents the swift solutions for common causes and special causes or assignable causes of illness. I am sure that W. Edward Deming and Walter A. Shewart are ‘rolling in the grave.’ The last couple of decades have seen the development of chaos theory. How long before this new science is applied to medicine with its repetitive predicative perception of nature? Or, will chaos as an artistic pursuit in medical decision making continue? – Pandemic Survivor