Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Banting & Best:

Let me state it up front: I am a type one diabetic. And thanks to modern medicine, I am still alive. Without my daily injections, I'd be dead by now. Diabetes mellitus is linked to genes in ways that are not yet completely clear - it runs in families, and yet also appears in families with no history, like mine. Even without a family history, I was of course concerned when my son was born. His mother came from a family with very prevalent male diabetes. Were we passing this on to him?

It occurred to me that my survival was guaranteeing my passing on of defective genes. Modern medicine is in many ways weakening the human gene pool by allowing these sorts of diseases to be propagated, and making us ever more dependent on pharmaceutical products for survival. Yes, all very nice for our present lifetimes, but what will this mean on a 10,000 year timescale?

I suspect that medicine is doing great harm in the very long run. And what can the present do about it, given the perceived short-term benefits?