There’s a great line in the 1958 Maurice Chevalier classic Gigi that got me thinking about the current state of medical care.
For Gigi, played by a young Leslie Caron, the thought of becoming mistress to Gaston – an older man she’s known for years and cares deeply (albeit platonically) about – is absolutely repulsive. Nevertheless, when Gaston asks if she’s willing to be his lover, she relents, saying…
“I’d rather be miserable with you than miserable without you.”
Gigi’s sentiment reminds me of society’s own love affair with conventional medicine. Despite its many advancements, there’s still ample room for improvement. Even so, most folks seem willing to take the medical good with the medical bad, as if to say, “I’d rather be miserable with it than miserable without it.”
Case in point: According to a recent article in USA Today, “A definitive new study finds that screening healthy women for ovarian cancer… actually does more harm than good.” No doubt you can think of any number of other examples where, for instance, a drug that was thought to provide some sort of miracle cure actually turned out to cause some very serious side effects.
Now, if we really want to do something about this problem, I’d suggest looking to Gigi for direction.
[Spoiler Alert: Stop reading if you don’t want to know how the movie ends.]
Despite her initial agreement with Gaston, Gigi ends up holding her ground in a sort of roundabout way hoping, perhaps, for an arrangement that better suits her needs. Eventually Gaston realizes that if he really wants to be with the woman he’s fallen in love with, he’ll have to marry her. Cue “happy ending” music.
The lesson here is that maybe we, too, should be holding our ground when it comes to our health care. After all, does blindly conceding to what someone else has decided is best for us – or them – seem like an acceptable thing to do, especially when it leaves us holding a bag full of both good and bad results? Are we destined to be miserable? Aren’t there other options?
For me the most effective means of health care is an entirely prayer-based approach, one that doesn’t involve drugs or medical procedures of any kind. This isn’t because I have anything against doctors or medicine; it’s just that I rather like the results I’m seeing. Your approach may be quite different. The point is; everyone deserves to rely on whatever works best for them, that meets their needs – without compromise and without mixed results.
Side-effect-free health care may sound like a fairy-tale ending to a silly movie. But I have every reason to believe that it is achievable. I’ve experienced it myself many times and witnessed it in others as well. Certainly this is something that can be – and should be – available to all.