Transforming Symptoms and the Healthcare System: A Near-Death Experience Model
Presentation: The side effects of pharmaceutical drugs used to suppress symptoms result in over 100,000 deaths per year, but this risk/benefit ratio is considered acceptable in our culture. The price we pay for this attitude goes far beyond the disturbing death rate above. We treat our national healthcare crisis the same way as we approach our personal health crises. Runaway expenses with diminishing returns and increasing use of alternative methods are a warning that our conventional medical system may be on the brink of collapse. In these cases, fear has been the major marketing strategy of the drug companies for years, and it is quite effective. Fear of aging, fear of pain, and fears of all sorts are just precursors for the ultimate fear of death. The only thing our society values above suppression of symptoms is denial of death. But few people have the capability to overcome their fear of death on their own in our culture. Fortunately, the ever-increasing near-death experience literature offers a ray of hope in this regard. People who have survived death report a loss of their fear of death, and the same effect occurs in the readers of their books. It seems that our medical system is about to undergo such a near-death experience and transformation due to outgrowing its money supply.