Thursday, October 4, 2012

Medical Research V Education V Selectivity

Throughout the world millions of people suffer from serious and life threatening illnesses. They will be in physical pain and many of their friends will be suffering through stress and worry. In a civilised society most of us will want to do as much for them as possible.
But are our motives too emotional, and do they lack logic?
If we take cancer, an illness that receives enormous research funds from governments, and uses up very large amounts of resources within private pharmaceutical corporations. However more than 50% of all cancers occur from smoking tobacco products, over weight and obesity or alcohol abuse. All three of these cause are totally self-inflicted.
  • Obesity does not happen by accident or as a result of fate.
  • You do not need to smoke.
  • You do not have to drink alcohol above the recommended levels
So why are we investing the research funds, and spending substantial funds on medication, surgery and care? Should we leave these sufferers alone? Should we spend the research funds on educating and communicating to the community at large that the cause of cancer can be stopped? With regard to the latter, there is a great saying "You can take a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink". For example just because I tell you something does not mean that you will respond.
With most forms of communication we are looking for AIDA. To attract ATTENTION, stimulate INTEREST, encourage DESIRE and get ACTION.
Using statements such as:-
  • "Alcohol Causes Liver Damage"
  • "Obesity Kills"
  • "Smoking Is Dangerous"
Fortunately or unfortunately, dependent upon your own point of view, as we live in a relatively free and democratic society we have our own opinions on how we conduct our lives. But why should the members of society who personally abuse their own lives, and are unresponsive to communications and education, be funded by society?
  • The smoker who wants treatment for lung cancer, whilst still smoking
  • The obese who think that a double burger fries and cola does not count as calories because it is a snack
  • The heavy drinker who cannot remember how much he drinks because he is so drunk
It is forecast that by 2050 there will be more people in the world older than 60 than younger than 16, and of course it will be the young, active and employed who will be providing the taxes to support society. Less of them and more of the non contributors. As a priority we need to set standards and guidelines with regard to treating the "self-made ill", so that funds are invested in protecting the genuine needy.
If you were to give a $ where would you like it invested? On an innocent child suffering from leukaemia or a 60 cigarette a day smoker? Choices need making now.

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