Politics, Medicine and War

written by
Elson Haas, MD

Aug 15, 2016

One of the maxims of being a doctor is “First Do No Harm.” I consider myself an advocate and activist for peace both personally and professionally. My formal Conscientious Objector application to the draft board during the Vietnam war back in 1971 was one of the first times I really expressed this philosophy of life in writing.

The war machine that I was objecting to still manifests in many parts of our society, not just in literal warfare and in fact things have only got worse in the last 45 years. We are at war both abroad and here at home – look at the vitriolic atmosphere of our politics today. We continue to decimate our environment for profit with potentially dire consequences for future generations.

I have also come to the conclusion that Western Medicine itself can be a form of war. I see much modern medical intervention, whether through drugs or surgery, as an “attack and conquer” approach to our body. We must ask what is needed for real healing and not just symptom removal or suppression? These are questions that have a more integrative and philosophical approach to health and life care. They seek more harmony and new balance, and take a deeper view.

I have a more complete discussion of these ideas in two articles I wrote for Total Health Magazine back during the 2106 Election. I hope you will click the link below to read Part 1.

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Integrity, Healing and Peace

written by
Elson Haas, MD

Dec 02, 2016

Politics, Medicine and War – Part II

Let’s continue our exploration of politics, medicine and war and how this  “attack and conquer” mentality permeates many parts of modern our life all the way down to our relationships with others and most importantly with our one and only self. How can we shift towards integrity, healing and peace?

Of course, there are many types of strife, conflict, and war. Politics, medicine, agriculture, food production and the environment are all examples of ways in which traditional “attack and conquer” approaches have had negative consequences and where a more integrative approach can have long-term positive results. This is also true of course in our personal relationships, where conflict often begins with our inner turmoil and affects our inner peace, how we relate to others, and our overall health.

We create war, or develop the concept of war, as an imagined solution to conflict, and this often begins as children from our parents’ attitudes and approach to the world. We are also affected by the environment we are exposed to with the media’s onslaught of violence in movies and the everyday news. All of this affects our own behaviors, messages, and approach to life and relationships. Most of us have problems or challenges in our personal alliances at home with family members, at work, and in love relationshps. Our programming, once developed, is difficult to change.

So, it starts with each of us, asking such questions as, “Were our parents peaceful, or were they fighters, angry, and mad at each other and/or the world? What makes us want to give and help others, especially those less fortunate?”

To read more in my article for Total Health Magazine – please click the link below

 

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