The Human Primary Operating System is Not Rational
We are not rational beings who emote; we are emotional beings with the capacity to think rationally. Big difference. Emotion trumps reason. Absent primordial prevention, sickness trumps wellness and survival trumps thrival.
It’s time for a new social health contract.
Let’s be very clear, society (government, healthcare providers, employers) must take the lead role when it comes to responsibility and accountability. This is a partnership, a social contract whereby—we, the people—voluntarily relinquish the freedom of action we have under the natural state (a state of existence that is not contingent upon man-made laws or beliefs) in order to obtain the benefits provided by the formation of social structures. Building on the philosophy of John Locke, who said, “…no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” Thomas Jefferson et al, framed government responsibility under the umbrella of securing inalienable—natural—rights including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” By obeying man-made laws and complying with accepted standards and mores, we implicitly agree to our part of the social contract. In turn, we have the legal, moral and ethical ground to demand that the custodians and protectors of our natural rights—our elected officials, medical providers and employers—be held accountable. This speaks directly to the issue of healthcare access and affordability.
In its simplest form, our implied social health contract requires that society provide:
- Awareness of the consequence and benefits of lifestyle choices
- Education needed to initiate and sustain healthy living
- Access to affordable primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare
- Evidence-based medicine and prevention measures
- Supportive infrastructure (parks, healthy worksites, recreation, green, etc.)
And, when provided with all of the above, individuals representing themselves and their minor dependents are responsible for:
- Making healthy choices
- Self-exams (paying attention to changes in personal health)
- Keeping up with recommended age and gender clinical screenings
- Seeking timely and appropriate medical attention
- Complying with evidence-based recommendations and directives involving lifestyle habits, medications, lab work and rehabilitation protocols
Evaluate your contribution to this social health contract. Are we, as a society, providing awareness, education, full access to treatment, evidence-based medicine and prevention and a supportive culture for ALL of our citizens? If not, why not? And, as an individual, are you keeping up your end of the bargain? If not, why not?