This week's reading put many things into perspective for me. Ewald's view on chronic diseases highlights how human are approaching health care, specifically how health professions mainly cure the results of a disease, not the primal cause. An example that was given involved smoking and heart disease. Smoking does not cause chronic heart disease, but it is very likely that smoking allows the body to be more vulnerable to pathogens that increase the possibility of it. Smoking is linked to a huge array of health related problems and highly addictive, but doctors cannot force someone to stop smoking, which means they cannot cure one of the primal causes for many complications. Ewald demonstrates that unless the ultimate cause of the disease is addressed and cured, treating the symptoms will only go so far. The patient is more likely to go into remission and the disease will be more deadly than before.
I took the lesson that humanity is looking in the wrong direction to address issues. Too often we try to cure the surface problems and rarely delve deeper to try to attack the root of many chronic conditions. Simple lifestyle choices such as smoking or eating correctly really can affect many different facets of a person's health. Many people do very harmful things to their body because they don't see a direct effect; they don't realize that their actions often set off a chain reaction that affects a huge list of things. The fact that many actions don't have a direct affect also causes it's own problems however. Since many actions cause indirect affects, the question can be validly raised if we'll ever truly understand a disease because of the confounding factors that are involved.
Overall, I think this week's reading raised many questions that I had not previously thought of and challenged my views on modern medicine's take upon curing diseases.