Recipe for Survival. Medicine kills. Medicine saves. Everyone has their own views on the subject

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1 El-Dassouki 1 Noor El-Dassouki Mr. Skubiski ENG 4U March 18, 2013 Recipe for Survival Medicine kills. Medicine saves. Everyone has their own views on the subject matter, but like many other things in life, medicine does both. In the 1950 s, a drug called thalidomide was created. This miracle drug had no side effects and was one of the best-selling sedatives used for treating almost everything, from respiratory infections and asthma to the flu and anxiety. In August, 1960, a woman who was two months pregnant suffered from such severe morning sickness that the effort of vomiting threatened to cause a miscarriage. Dr. William McBride, an Australian obstetrician, treated this woman using thalidomide, and after receiving positive results, began using it on others with similar sicknesses. In the spring of 1961, the first babies of these treated women were born. The first baby was born healthy, but others did not experience the same fortune. On May 4 th, 1961, Baby Wilson was born. With missing bones in his arms and a bowel blockage, he was unable to develop properly. After enduring a week of suffering, Baby Wilson was laid to rest, devastating a family he never got to know. In the next month, two more babies were born with similar malformations and died shortly after birth. The reason for these deaths

2 El-Dassouki 2 and suffering was thalidomide, a drug that was safe, and meant to cure (Stephens 16, 17, 22, 28). In the 21 st century, medicine is the recipe for survival. However, it is so highly viewed that our vision is obscured, and people forget to consider the possible negative effects that medicine has on the human species. As the environment changes, our bodies adapt to allow us to survive. The process of natural selection is one by which a species that gains the more favourable traits survive, and the species with the least favourable traits eventually die out ( Natural Selection ). As humans evolve in such a manner, the species becomes stronger. Medicine, however, interferes with internal biochemistry, ultimately making humans progress as unnatural products of technology (Davis). Medicine opposes the natural processes that create humans and keep them alive. Natural selection works to wipe out the weaker species. Modern medicine works to perfect the human system. By perfecting the system, we halt the opportunity for the human species to adapt to their environment and acquire beneficial characteristics in the process of natural selection. It follows that modern medicine impedes the evolution of the human species, and that we must lessen the dependence on modern medicine and shift to more natural approaches to eliminate the possibility of causing human extinction. Evolution, by definition, is the process of biological and organic change in organisms by which descendants come to differ from their ancestors ( Evolution ). The process of natural selection is a simple one, where a species contains genetic variations

3 El-Dassouki 3 among its members due to external factors (Chandrasekaran). These genetic variations either produce traits that are beneficial to the survival of the species or do not allow it to thrive in its environment, likewise allowing the genetic variation to reproduce in the offspring or causing the species to die out (Moalem xiii). These mutations in DNA are a result of biological processes affected by external factors such as gender, drugs, chemicals, temperature, light, and the general environment in which the species lives (Lobo). If a mutation is not beneficial to the survival of the species, the species will eventually die out, ending the chain of non-beneficially-mutated-dna reproduction. Working conversely, a mutation that benefits the survival of the species will allow the species to survive and continue passing on the stream of DNA that gave it an advantage (Moalem xiii). The species that survives is stronger, but the species that dies is weaker. Natural selection works to eliminate the weaker species by the acquiring of a disadvantageous trait, or by not acquiring the advantageous trait which gave the stronger species an upper hand in the road to survival. In terms of animals, natural selection plays a strong hand in who survives and who does not. In the world of humans, however, it is medicine that plays the cards. Dr. Aaron Freedman says, The practice of medicine is devoted to maintaining good health [which] involves detection and prevention of disease, curing of those disorders for which treatment exists, and amelioration of pain and minimizing of disabilities (Freedman). Medicine is used to make us feel better, be it the alleviation of pain from a common cold or a cure for a fatal illness. Being sick is considered bad in society and using drugs to quickly cure us from sickness is a norm. A body which is immune from

4 El-Dassouki 4 sickness and illness is perfect, but naturally unattainable. People, however, still strive for a state of perfection, and use medicine to attain it. In his book Survival of the Sickest, Dr. Sharon Moalem discusses how many illnesses, such as hemochromatosis and diabetes, have all evolved over time. Each disease has an origin which once aided the survival of the human species- a natural origin (Moalem). Thus, diseases once were, and still can be, beneficial to our survival. Dr. Karim Dhanani, a biological medicine practitioner in the Greater Toronto Area, believes that, it is extremely beneficial for individuals to get sick with [the] flu on an occasional basis (Dhanani). The human body has the natural capacity to heal itself. When getting the flu, the immune system kicks in and activates natural responses, or symptoms, such as the fever and chills. However, suppressing these symptoms by taking medicine interrupts the body s natural responses, and ultimately limits [the] natural capacity to heal (Dhanani). Modern medicine relies on drugs to maintain good health, which are chemicals that alter the body s natural chemical reactions (Davis). Drugs interact with the body to either produce unnatural responses or to block natural responses from occurring (Stone 4). By creating either of these two situations, we are halting the opportunity for natural reactions to occur. With the use of medicine, our bodies cannot fight off illnesses naturally (Dhanani). The use of medicine hinders the ability of the human body to adapt to the environment for survival, in the same way that the body would adapt to the flu. The entire process of evolution involves Charles Darwin s notion of Survival of the Fittest, where only the strong survive and the weak do not. The opposing survival

5 El-Dassouki 5 mechanism comes in the form of conventional medicine, which ultimately turns off all natural responses and creates an unnatural process of healing. With natural selection and modern medicine working against each other, problems arise, and all natural processes of adaptation are put to a standstill. As a result of medicine, the human species cannot adapt to its ever-changing environment, putting a halt to evolution and endangering the longevity of the species. Medicine is clearly causing problems in society, ranging from the unprecedented side effects of drugs to the obstruction of human evolution. The use of antibiotics is a superficial way of healing, killing organisms associated with disease and ultimately harming humans and their ability to adapt to the environment (Ullman 9). However, it is also clear that many humans are not willing to give up their dependence on medicine, and need to be exposed to alternative approaches of healing. Homeopathy, an ancient and re-emerging natural healing approach, works with the body rather than against it. Using natural medicine to heal and cure, homeopathy strengthens the body s ability to fight of illnesses naturally and helps to maintain internal balance (Ullman 10). Homeopathy is one of the safest medicine approaches, and can be used to treat virtually anything, ranging from colds to cancer to mental illnesses (Ullman 25-35). As with all medicine, a cure can never be guaranteed, but wouldn t it be better to try to cure with medicine that does not harm the human body? Homeopathy is an approach that is safer for everyone, and would not at all interfere with evolution due to its natural nature. As informed citizens, we should lessen our dependence on conventional, harmful medicine, and make the switch from everyday antibiotics to homeopathic medicine.

6 El-Dassouki 6 It is clear that the problems that conventional medicine causes in evolution are serious. The signs of danger are being shown on a daily basis, through cases like that of Baby Wilson and millions of other humans who have suffered the consequences of modern medicine. This crisis is one that many people are unaware of, but in light of the information provided, it will become less of a risk to society and the future of the human species once the solution is put into action. With the use of homeopathic medicine, the evolutionary problem can be solved, and the human species can be saved. Although conventional medicine may seem to be the recipe for survival, at the end of the day, it is knowledge that will save us all.

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