The FDA & The Blind Men

This is about the institutional blindness of the FDA drug approval protocol, which is a very reductionist concept that focuses on improving the symptoms of a disease, with a secondary interest in avoiding possible side effects that are worse than the norm. In short, it stays firmly focused on treating illness, not on achieving health. It is entirely a reductionist concept. This is like the blind men and the elephant and what the protocol does is merely to ensure that the observations of the blind men are faithfully interpreted and not distorted, but it never focuses on seeing the elephant. In fact because of it’s myopic focus on improving symptoms, it guarantees it will never see the elephant.

The Classic Tale of the Blind Men and the Elephant

It has been in particular Dr. T. Colin Campbell, in his books The China Study and Whole, who has put a lot of emphasis on this issue of reductionism versus holism, and he advocates for a shift in the medical paradigm. This idea is given further meaning by what Dr. Dean Ornish calls the unified theory of disease – that all of the major chronic diseases share a common origin: inflammation and our horrific food habits. Again, it will require a complete rethinking of the medical paradigm, as I have argued recently in an article that was published on the website of Bernardo Kastrup, The metaphysical rubber meets the road in healthcare reform.

Paradigm change, not conspiracy

Conspiracy theories are proliferating in the land but in most cases, simpler explanations will do. In the medical world the necessary shift could be seen as a shift from a materialist (Newtonian) view of our living experience towards a idealist view, a shift from reductionism to holism, from the germ theory of disease towards a new holistic paradigm, along the lines of Dr. Dean Ornish’s unified theory of disease. The old paradigm is still firmly in charge in most of the medical world.

On a practical level the compelling change means the standard of care for most non-contagious, chronic diseases will have to change. All non-contagious diseases should have lifestyle change, beginning with a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet, as their first line of defense, and only in acute situations should medical treatment receive priority. An overwhelming majority of our healthcare spending would simply go away and medical procedures/treatments should only be pursued if the lifestyle changes are not enough, as a support but not the primary process, which should always be about the body healing itself.