“If delivery systems can be transformed around the principle of value, the promise of health and productivity for those now facing both poverty and disease will not be squandered.” This is the core take-away message of a new paper out today in The Lancet by Dr. Jim Kim, Dr. Paul Farmer, and Prof. Michael Porter.
Read more at: The Lancet
One of the most crazy making yet widespread and potentially dangerous notions is:
“Oh, that behavior is genetic.”
Now what does that mean?
It means all sorts of subtle stuff if you know modern biology, but for most people out there what it winds up meaning is: a deterministic view of life, one rooted in biology and genetics.
Genes equal things that can’t be changed. Genes equal things that are inevitable and that you might as well not waste resources trying to fix, might as well not put societal energies into trying to improve because it’s inevitable and it’s unchangeable. And that is sheer nonsense.
It is widely thought that conditions like ADHD are genetically programmed, conditions like schizophrenia are genetically programmed. The truth is the opposite. Nothing is genetically programmed.
There are very rare diseases, a small handful, extremely sparsely represented in the population, that are truly genetically determined. Most complex conditions might have a predisposition that has a genetic component, but a predisposition is not the same as a predetermination.
The whole search for the source of diseases in the genome was doomed to failure before anybody even thought of it, because most diseases are not genetically predetermined. Heart disease, cancer, strokes, rheumatoid conditions, addictions — none of them are genetically determined. For example, let’s take a look at breast cancer — out of 100 women with breast cancer, only 7 women will carry the breast cancer genes, 93 do not. And out of 100 women who do have the genes not all of them will get cancer. So..
For all of the mind-boggling achievements of modern medicine, only one — one! — disease has ever been completely eradicated: smallpox.
But now guinea worm — the preventable disease that forces people to live with worms up to three-feet long inside them — is teetering on the brink of joining that very, very short list of diseases that disappear, never to return again.