This should be a precept of all Healing modalities. We cannot sit on the fence and judge others. We cannot assume we know better. We cannot dictate outcomes. We cannot make decisions on another's behalf. To do any of these things means we are doing the person a disservice. Not only does it create dependency but also boosts the ego of the so called 'giver'. In the long run this is harmful to both parties.
So why does the medical model appear to do all of these things?
Whilst this may not be the way that doctors wish to operate they are encapsulated by an impersonal system. As psychologists will tell you a system has its own culture and traditions which compromise the individual should they wish to 'succeed' or operate on an 'acceptable' level. There seems to be an element of control and fear here. Keeping people afraid of their bodies and even more afraid of making decisions about their own health creates total reliance on a system that is dictated to by the pharma companies. In mental health new diagnoses are invented to fit ordinary human emotions in order to reduce many to dependency on drugs. The side effects then require further medication, it's a vicious circle. There is much debate going on around these issues as the new DSM (diagnostic and statistical manual for mental health) is due to be published soon.
Western medicine and technology has produced incredible results in many areas however, it does not have all the answers. Some humility would therefore be expected. There are other ways of looking at the same problems to find solutions which offer choice.
We are all vulnerable when it comes to our health; be that of mind, body or spirit. A practitioner has a duty to first do no harm. This in my eyes, should mean seeking alternative non-invasive methods when possible. A practitioner also needs to acknowledge their own vulnerabilites and when appropriate share these. One of my favourite films is 'Patch Adams' starring Robin Williams. This is loosely based on the true story of a medical student who emphasises patients' feelings and thought processes first. In doing so he exemplifies deep sharing and vulnerability - in other words he is human and treats everyone with equal respect. May we all find the strength to be that honest, not only as practitioners but in every moment of life.