(4) The ancient Greeks included both Hygeia, goddess of prevention and Panacea, goddess of curing, in their medical pantheon, a balance which appears to have been lost in modern medicine.
Another case is childhood diabetes where insulin is used to control the symptoms. But in the absence of preventive action, and because the disease has a hereditary component, the effect of the discovery of insulin was to cause a steady rise in the number of diabetics, as patients survived long enough to have children of their own.27 Recent research suggests, however, that insulin-dependent diabetes could be mostly preventable provided the key environmental factors are determined.28
Overemphasis on treatment has inevitably led to an epidemic of iatrogenic disease. According to the medical textbook iatrogenic Disease, perhaps 5% of general hospital beds in Britain are occupied by patients suffering from their treatment. In the United States, it is estimated that one in seven hospital beds are taken up by patients under treatment for adverse
reactions to drugs.29
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