Please think like a Doctor!

I wish politicians thought more like doctors.  A doctor’s goals are to maintain health, cure disease and prevent illness. A guiding principle is “Primum Non Nocere“ which translates as “first, do no harm.” Every Doctor knows that there are unintended consequences that have to be considered and mitigated with any course of treatment. So the consequences, minimally, shouldn’t make things worse.

And yet, that’s just what the Iran Nuclear deal does. We might not see the negative consequences immediately, but given the current Iranian regime, they will certainly appear. 

I wish our politicians thought more like physicians. A doctor knows that to cure an unhealthy person, you first have to identify the illness. You identify the cause of an infection before prescribing an antibiotic. Extreme ideology and terrorism are the infectious diseases the Middle East suffers from. Our own State Department has had the Iranian government on their list of  “state sponsors of terrorism” since 1984.  Why are we adding fuel to a fire?

Look at the Middle East;  Iran, Iraq, Isis and Syria are infected. Indeed, they are infectious with their disease spilling out beyond containment. Last year, the CDC and the U.S. Army sent teams to West Africa to deal with the Ebola crisis. It was wise to do so because although it was half way around the world, it could easily have spread to affect us here in the U.S. People forget the panic that the few cases that did come here caused. Thanks to their preemptive actions, we were spared an epidemic. 

I wish our politicians thought likewise;  at least “do no harm.” And that’s just the opposite of what this Iran deal does. It gives the diseases of terrorism and extremism more fuel (in this case money). By giving the Iranian government the ability to generate more revenue, we’re enabling them to foment terrorism all around the neighborhood and beyond. This “deal” places us at great risk as it also does Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Israel. We are vilified by the beneficiary as “The Great Satan.”

While the current embargo does have an effect on the people of Iran, it’s their government’s priorities prompted by an extremist ideology  to fund nuclear research and terrorism that’s to blame, not the embargo and not us. They could easily funnel that money back to their own people, however  they place ideology above humanity. That’s political extremist thinking.

This isn’t about nuclear weapons or about Israel. I truly believe that Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon with or without a “deal.”  It’s just a matter of time. They could probably simply buy one from North Korea, another rogue regime. This is about promoting moderation and peace, neither of which is advocated by the current Iranian regime or encouraged by this deal. I’ve written my congressmen,  I’ve said my piece, performed my civic duty and moral obligation. I’ve spoken out.  How about you? Have you let our leadership know how you feel?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

It’s not just politicians who suffer from convoluted thinking. Even our own healthcare system often promotes a pill for a symptom rather than getting at the cause of disease.   Getting at the cause takes time, effort and thought. It involves detective work that can’t be done by a machine, at least not yet. You really have to know your patient in order to avoid the “unintended consequences.” We’re to blame, too, as we expect quick fixes and immediate results.

At Manhattan Dental Health, our approach is to view each person as the individual that they are. Our goals are to promote good health, find causes for patient issues and then, and only then, offer solutions. This approach is becoming all too rare in medicine today. Indeed, our doctors are becoming more like our politicians than vice versa.

To everyone’s good health, wellness and peace,

Michael