The public healthcare that we have today is informed by ideas about medicine that are falling away as we realize how interconnected we are. It once seemed self-evident that one-size-fits-all solutions would be most economical and therefore most beneficial to implement across populations. Nowadays, the cutting edge is looking to the principles of sustainability for the best answers. Here, I cover three voices articulating what sustainable medicine is and why we need it now.
British naturopathic physician Sarah Myhill believes we could create a more sustainable healthcare system by focussing on the root cause of disease, as opposed to shuffling symptoms, the modus operandi of pharmacological medicine. Her book, Sustainable Medicine: Whistle-blowing on 21st Century Medicine, pulls no punches.
Daniel Callahan, MD, a professor at Harvard and Yale medical schools, argued for medicine to reorient towards sustainability by refocussing research away from for-profit drugs towards better delivery of workaday medicine to more people. What Price Better Health? Hazards of the Research Imperative.
Didi Pershouse, L.Ac, started the Center for Sustainable Medicine in 2006. Her book, The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities, dives deeply into what’s wrong with mainstream medicine and how we can look to the soil to provide a path towards wellness. Her Manifesto for Sustainable Medicine is worth memorizing!
Stella Osorojos Eisenstein, DAOM, IMT, is a writer and healthcare professional. Her book, Star Sister: How I Changed My Name, Grew Wings, and Learned to Trust Intuition was published in 2012 by North Atlantic Books.