Heroism and Health Care

Posted August 1, 2011 @ 10:11am | by Kori Mortenson

Heroism and Health Care

The mainstay of many television dramas is the heroic, lifesaving that takes place in hospitals.  Whether the main character is a crusty, ill-tempered doctor, over-confident emergency room intern or a compassionate surgeon, the underlying message is the same: medicine saves lives.

And it does.  But it isn't health care.

True, the fragility of life creates the theater necessary to hold the attention of viewers, so it can be sold to advertisers - the primary purpose of television.  But what's missing from these fantasies is the fact that our so-called health care system is burdened by expensive, heroic measures delivered in the last six months or so of life.  These procedures are often used to treat disease states caused by neglect or poor lifestyle choices.

I mention this because true health care isn't heroic.  Unless you consider getting adjusted on a regular basis heroic!  Or eating a salad instead of a burger.  Or climbing the stairs rather than taking the elevator.  But if you do, you're a hero in my book!

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