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  1. Samenvatting
  2. FIRST UNESCO CHAIRS SYMPOSIUM
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  4. FIRST UNESCO CHAIRS SYMPOSIUM
  5. Anticipation and Medicine

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FIRST UNESCO CHAIRS SYMPOSIUM

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It emulates the control mechanism model of engines endowed with sensors and extends it to the individual, claiming that it will eventually lead to individualized medicine. Reducing the use of annual physicals could also save money and time. Though on a per-visit basis, the annual physical is not costly, it is the single most common reason that U. Poor access to primary care has been cited as one reason why patients seek care in emergency departments for low-acuity conditions.

Finally, there are large societal costs to asking all million adults in the United States to spend several hours of their lives each year traveling to and waiting for care, when they could use that time productively elsewhere. Given this evidence base, it appears unlikely that annual physicals in their current forms lead to any substantive net clinical benefit. Missing from the list of arguments is the understanding that medicine as applied physics will continue to be expensive, ineffective, and confusing.

The three-body system problem, notoriously unsolvable, could be fractionated into a variety of two-body and one-body systems. But this does not ultimately produce the knowledge we need to understand the dynamic characteristics of the initial system. Fractionation does not afford the information we seek—and from a holistic perspective, it does not afford any information. All the media-hyped information on genetics that spurs hope in patients see Garzoni, Centomo, Delledonne4 is the result of ignoring a simple principle: health, or its deterioration, is a matter of the whole.

Some healing processes can be triggered through identification of what might have caused an imbalance, but only if the fractionation transcends physics and chemistry. Unfortunately, modern industrial medicine is based on a view of the living and of health grounded in physics, and sometimes chemistry. Even physical therapy is practiced in this spirit. From a logical perspective, specialized medicine—which reports spectacular successes never to be underestimated neither in price nor in helping patients— collides with the holistic understanding of what health, or even disease, is.

Every year, the medical community celebrates the ten or however many greatest accomplishments. There is no way to avoid the feeling of awe. Human lives are saved under extreme conditions and amazing interventions of all kind, some involving new drugs, genetic medicine, prostheses, and highly complicated procedures.

But there is also the dark side, where numbers of a different kind—such as incorrect diagnoses, botched surgeries, questionable medications to name a few —add up. Adverse reactions to prescribed drugs in the millions , needless procedures close to eight million a year , unnecessary hospitalization close to 10 million are documented with the aim of establishing some quality control criteria. Antibiotics—once the miracle treatment for infectious disease—and opioids hydrocodone, oxycodone, fontanel, codeine, among many others are rapidly becoming a curse [28] affecting the genetic profile of the entire population not to mention effects on the environment.

It is impossible to predict the long-term consequences of this situation, produced by those who dedicated themselves to serving life, not undermining its viability. Such examples evince the resistance to understanding healing within an anticipatory perspective. In the absence of a holistic view, the various parameters considered and the threshold values are at best indicative of a measurement method that brings up another anecdote: — What are you looking for? The internist takes note of higher blood pressure, the cardiologist prescribes pills Losartan or Lisinopril , a psychiatrist addresses a stress situation, a practitioner of alternative medicine recommends red beet juice, a Chinese healer initiates a course of acupuncture—each one looking around their own lamppost.

In the absence of a meaningful understanding of change, as it pertains to health, this kind of medicine has a very low predictive performance. Indeed, it is quite surprising that no one seems to notice that while the prediction of physical phenomena is rather successful and getting better , once the same view is applied to the living, the performance is low—not far from the threshold of sheer guessing. Therefore, despite all the statements to the contrary, medicine driven by physical determinism has a very disappointing proactive success.

Anticipation and Medicine

For example, tumor—patient—drug interaction remains quite ill defined. Consequently, treatment success in oncology remains low, despite the enormous effort of all involved. While cancer settled in as the main challenge to medicine, only rarely are alternative treatment methods considered. Heart disease belongs to the same area of reductionist-deterministic medicine marred by failure, despite the awareness of its terrible consequences.

We have to take into account that the notion of anticipation is used currently in medicine with a very precise description attached to it. Anticipation describes a genetic disorder passed from one generation to another, each time at an earlier onset the so-called trinucleotide repeat disorders, such as Huntington disease, myotonic dystrophy, dyskeratosis congenital, etc. The operational definition of anticipation advanced in this study explains, after the fact, the choice made by medical practitioners in trying to understand how the trinucleotide repeat occurs and what is involved in the production of the mutant protein.

In the context of a study that bridges between anticipation and medicine, my goal is to point to the variety of forms through which anticipation is expressed in action. The various phases of the sexual act, pregnancy, birth, etc. Medicine states that the variety of processes associated with creation—sexual act, impregnation, pregnancy, giving birth, nurturing—can be fully explained in terms of brain activity, the neuro-endocrine systems, hormones, and the like each taken independently.

Before revisiting some of the processes, let us take note of the concrete instantiations of the fundamental thesis I advance: Anticipation, in the sense defined in this paper see Fig. This assertion is connected to yet another thesis: The living is that which reproduces itself: it is its own efficient cause. Evolution, as it describes natural selection in the context of change, acknowledges sexuality as it relates to reproduction.

The human being, in the new nature it made for itself, added to the reproductive impulse sexuality as a goal in itself, most of the time disconnected from reproduction. This defines the human in contradistinction to the rest of the sexually reproducing living. Some of the processes identifiable in the human are not identifiable in the rest of sexually reproducing nature: for example, the cultural aspects of pregnancy and giving birth. The current state of an anticipatory system depends not only upon previous states, but also upon possible future states.

The diagram and the definition do not express the holistic view, which entails the fact that the reductionist method will always return a partial understanding of the process. Indeed, health, as well as loss of it, is the expression of the whole called human being, the physical embodiment of the biome shadowing it and the spiritual expression of the non-physical state consciousness, preparedness, self-control, etc. Invasive procedures, such as surgery, intravenous tubing, implantation of artificial knees and hips, and kidney and heart transplantations can trigger infections that prove to be resistant to antibiotic treatment.

But the rate of success in fixing machines is as high as it can get, while the success rate of healing is increasing only slightly despite the spectacular successes of extremely complicated cases that the media report. Two assumptions ought to be made at this juncture: 1. Medical practitioners will find value in stepping out of their comfort zone where all they read are medical news and prestigious journals close to their fields of expertise.

Those dedicated to research of anticipatory processes will deliver clear assessments of practical consequence to their colleagues in healthcare. If both are realized, medicine will change. Anticipation-based medicine implies a number of possibilities.


  1. Dr Owen Dempsey: Anticipation and Medicine – Why Screening for Cancer May Be a Bad Thing.
  2. Persistent Offender Law: Racial Disparity, Patterned Offenses, and Unintended Effects (Criminal Justice (Lfb Scholarly Publishing Llc).)!
  3. Properties of Light!
  4. Op. 14, Movement 2: Scherzo.
  5. Anticipation and Medicine?

As opposed to reaction, which is usually swift and short, anticipation unfolds within the timescale of the process involved. The immune system is anticipatory. Vaccination is designed to engage the immune system in order to avoid certain conditions e. Its components antibodies, white blood cells, lymph nodes, T-cells, bone marrow, spleen evolve according to the specific dynamics of the bacterial and viral expression they address.

Nothing is immediate. The possible infection—a future state that the organism would rather avoid—is identified before onset. Immunotherapy is still in its early stages; but it is the closest we have come to an anticipatory perspective in medicine. Among others, Miroslav Radman, expert in DNA repair, alluded to the anticipatory characteristics of the immune system.

Mechanical interventions introduce the clock of physics where in the reality of the organism many time scales exist. Someone dedicated to understanding anticipatory processes will not be among those searching for the one reason, where evidently many factors are involved. Indeed, life is the expression of the complex nature of the living. Arguing from examples—how often do physicians err in reducing a problem to a smaller one, or how many times the physics and chemistry were right, but the patient died—is at best spurious.

The broad image of medicine in these days of spectacular scientific and technological creativity is such that even those inclined to defend its record are not necessarily free of doubt concerning its progress. We landed on the moon, an immense achievement based on physics and chemistry. We stuffed medical offices with expensive technology and provided the physician with data acquisition and processing capabilities of unprecedented precision. To repeat, arguing from examples does not lead to knowledge, rather to questions. These are the outcome of the daily activity of each physician.