Regular Medicine

18 January 2023


“The doctor’s oldest skill in trade was to place his hands on the patient.
Lewis Thomas

A newspaper article caught my attention several weeks ago. It told of the upcoming investment by South Dakota billionaire Denny Sanford into a $350 million Telemedicine Project. I had to respond in two editorials in the Sanborn Weekly Journal to the supposed advancement in South Dakota’s medical system.

My basic point therein was that telemedicine is actually another step away from the real healing that human beings need.

First, much of medical practice is already quite “distant.” Patients generally get brief – a few minutes – attention from doctors followed by lots of tests and then prescriptions. Patients are barely touched by their practitioners. When they are, the touch is generally in the prodding, poking manner – with gloved hands.

Second, the article gave clues that the telemedicine idea may be more about medical incomes than improved human health. A quote: “A 2022 report from Bloomberg Intelligence predicted that the telemedicine industry is becoming a ‘staple’ healthcare service in the U.S. that could generate $20 billion in annual revenue within the next five years.”
Third, it is important to mention the simple idea of health care which is really a misnomer. Medics never receive training in health. Medicine is “all about disease.” And, care has too often becomes a mechanized, cookbook, assembly-line affair. “Get ‘em in, get ‘em out”. True care takes time, patience and concern. And you guessed it: there are no CARE courses in medical school.

Caduceus Hands

What humans need is healing.

Anyone can medicate, cover or suppress symptoms. Over-the-counter remedies and the major part of medical interventions do just that.

To Heal - Make Whole and Holy calls for going beyond the outer, material dimension.

The lack of touch and direct contact, compassion and true care in medical practice can be met quite simply with almost no expense and much benefit. Time-proven means are available to bring better health and real healing back into our communities. The smaller the town the more feasible the healing operation. It is a wonder that such a thing has been so long in the coming.

Modern medicine and telemedicine are actually poor substitutes for means used in ages past. Incrementally over the centuries, the Church – yes, the Church –let go of its ordained place to HEAL. Jesus Christ sent out the twelve disciples and the seventy to Preach, Teach and Heal. Those who followed them were expected to carry on that work. But, the Church gradually let go, ignored, forgot the Healing part of its mission.

Churches in recent times continue with plenty of preaching, modest efforts at teaching, but practically no attention to healing. If healing occurs in a church these days, it is probably incidental and quite unexpected: A Miracle!

You might think, “Laypersons can’t do that. We haven’t been to medical school. We don’t have degrees,” and so on.

But, think for a moment.

Who is it that heals wherever it happens?

Remember Ben Franklin’s adage:
“God heals and the doctor takes the fee.”

The first followers of the Christ were relatively illiterate, hadn’t been schooled, and certainly weren’t university-trained doctors. But, they healed cripples, the blind, and the deaf. They also cast out demons, and even raised the dead. Just a quick review of the New Testament Gospels shows instances of healing on almost every page – often, many on a page.

All followers of the Christ were and are called to tend and feed, aid and heal their neighbors and brethren. Dare we attempt to fulfill a major part of the Works that all Christians have been called to do?

If you say, the church is meant to save people not heal them. Then, why did Jesus spend so much time in healing, even as the disciples did afterward? There is a little-spoken fact that the name Jeshua in Hebrew means both: God saves – God heals. They go together like peas and carrots.

Then, you might say, “Elders are supposed to do that work.”

Aren’t we all Elders in a sense. We are called to share and give to our neighbors – as we have received. If we can tithe dollar bills to our church – and Share our Wealth, we can also give of our love – and Share our Health with those in need. The process is quite simple, yet quite wonderful.

It must be repeated that humans do not heal on our own. The healing is done by the Christ – Holy Spirit working through us. We are told that, “All things are possible with God.”

Then, it is quite possible for  the Healing pillar of Christianity to be revived in the modern Church long after it withered away.

Someday, Healing will become commonplace again – as it was 2000 years ago.

Why not?

A Comment from Nic in Mexico City:

Spot on!
Glad you had a chance to respond to this idea through the newspaper and raise awareness of the folly of this new way to make money while denying people their right to care and security which are a basic State or Government responsibility. But, they decide to “save our money” by diminishing health care and allow private companies to make money out of delaying people their health. Truly amazing how they try to convince us that this use of technology is a better way.
Problem is this is not only the US but a world strategy. Right now in Spain, particularly in the Madrid Autonomous community, doctors and nurse continue to be on strike precise because this kind of tele-health is being implanted and imposed while closing clinics and health care office, cutting jobs for nurses, doctors, etc. etc. while the private hospitals and insurance companies keep growing and making hefty profits. Meanwhile waiting lists and quality of attention, human ”touch” diminishes and people suffer and die. All in the name of "a more efficient government and saving tax payers money” !!!!  Really?  France has similar issues and Germany is also considering going that way.
It will be professional ethical consciousness and sharing information that will help society take a stand against this form of neglecting life and health! 
Good and glad you have the capacity, knowledge and means to help in this important political and social issue.

Send comments to theportableschool at gmail dot com.


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