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Health 101: Myth and Foreign Ideas

Health 101: Myth and Foreign Ideas

It’s been said repeatedly that the healthcare systems used in other nations to provide universal healthcare to all citizens are “too foreign” to work in the United States. In other words: America is unique and, some would argue, superior–in a word, exceptional. This is so, in the sense that every country is unique. And every country probably has some area in which it is (depending on your values) superior to other countries. Alas, in the area of taking care of our…

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Health 101: Myth and Bloated Bureaucracies

Health 101: Myth and Bloated Bureaucracies

Myth #3: other country’s universal healthcare systems require bloated bureaucracies.  This first of two related myths, as summed up by TR Reid, has it that the universal healthcare systems of other wealthy countries are run by bloated bureaucracies. This is simply not true. Every other system Reid cited is less wasteful than ours. This is true whether they are public or private systems. Our for-profit setup has the highest administrative costs in the world. This is a major reason we spend more on healthcare and…

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Materialism and Discontent

Materialism and Discontent

“Since we cannot get what we like, let us like what we get.” (Spanish proverb) Abdu’l-Missagh Ghadirian May 11, 2012. What is materialism? Or to be a bit more specific, what is moral materialism? Here is what the dictionary says: “moral materialism” is “a desire for wealth and material possessions with little interest in ethical or spiritual matters.” We can elaborate. Materialism is a state of mind and a lifestyle chosen by those who believe that acquiring and owning material…

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Science, Medicine, and Spirituality #1: Medicine and the Soul

Science, Medicine, and Spirituality #1: Medicine and the Soul

In recent years debate about the interrelationship between medical science and spirituality has been flourishing.  Modern medicine, despite its unprecedented discoveries and progress in identifying the cause and treatment of disease, has been viewed as overly “scientific”, and consequently “the healing bond between patient and physician” has been weakened (David Rosen, “Modern Medicine and the Healing Process”, Humane Medicine, 1989). The world-renowned Canadian physician William Osler, over a century ago wrote, “Nothing in life is more wonderful than faith –…

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