The Hippocratic Oath is thought to have been established by Hippocrates some 2,500 years ago. It is an oath that was taken by doctors for centuries until it was abandoned by many medical schools in the 1870s.
At least a portion of this oath is relevant today: "I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.
It is interesting that as early as 500 B.C., "doctors" felt compelled to swear that they would not cause harm or prescribe lethal drugs. This apparently antiquated thinking has obviously been abandoned.
If you watch even a modest amount of television, you can't help seeing the many advertisements by law firms asking, "If you or a loved one have ever taken the drug (fill in the blank) and have suffered death or serious injury..." These ads seem to be appearing in greater number of late, probably due to our society's increasing reliance on prescription and OTC drugs.
When I see these commercials, I have to wonder if any of the medical doctors who took and/or believe in the Hippocratic Oath take the time to review their patient records to see how many times they've prescribed one of these drugs responsible for death or serious injury. How do they feel when a patient dies due to a "side effect" of the drugs they prescribed, having known in advance that the drug carried with it the risk of these potential side effects?
I believe we can understand how we were intended to live just by studying the body as it is created. I believe we were created with an intended optimal lifestyle and that we bear the consequences in our bodies and souls when we violate that optimal lifestyle.
A funny thing happened to me on the way to a local gym while on vacation with my family. The gym was on the second floor, with an escalator leading to the front door. The people who ran the gym had apparently come to the conclusion that utilizing an escalator to reduce physical exertion ran counter to their exercise philosophy, so they had turned the escalator off, leaving us to climb the motionless stairs.
As we walked up, my wife questioned why they hadn't reversed the escalator so that people would have to climb faster in order to ascend the downward moving steps. This would certainly have shown a greater commitment to their fitness philosophy.
Our modern world offers us many luxuries. We can drive instead of walk, watch sports rather than play them, eat processed foods rather than something we don't like the taste of, and get takeout rather than cook at all. But if we are paying attention, our muscles can teach us a lot about what our Creator intended.
Oddly enough, we don't get stronger when we sit on the couch watching TV. Our muscles only develop when we use them, especially when we challenge them with greater weight or repetitions. If we don't, they atrophy and we actually lose the muscle we had.
Our nutritional needs teach us some of the same lessons. We need a wide variety of foods in their raw form in order to get the nutrients we need in the forms we need them. Not doing so over time leaves us nutritionally bankrupt and subject to all sorts of ailments.
In both cases, the hard way (exercising regularly and eating foods that don't always taste good to us) is the way that promotes health. The easy way (a sedentary lifestyle and consuming lots of processed sugars and fats) is the way to destruction.
As consumers, we have choices. We can eat a healthy diet and exercise or we can take drugs and get the "lap band." As a chiropractic profession, we also have choices. We can lead our patients and our communities toward healthy lifestyles, fitness and wellness or we can take the easy way and seek to join medical providers by prescribing drugs that will eventually lead to more death and disability.
I thank God that I grew up in a chiropractic family. I was taught health and wellness from the beginning of my life and I have never seen a reason to waver from that path.
Embracing drugs as a health choice is dishonest to who we are as a profession. It is a violation of what we believe and completely opposed to what our Creator intended.
Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.