Do we know what health is anymore?

In Medicine, Health, and Sexual Liberation: Friends or Foes?, Carlos D. Flores notes how many modern Americans (particularly political liberals) no longer have a grasp on what health is. He writes that “health is the proper functioning of bodily faculties.” He goes on to say: “But one should also speak of health as not merely the proper functioning of a particular bodily faculty but the proper functioning of the human organism considered as a whole. Thus, a healthy human is one whose parts function well in unison toward the end of the bodily life of the whole.” Medicine “restores bodily faculties to their proper function” and “prevents the dysfunction of bodily faculties.”

Flores points out that, generally speaking, contraception is not healthcare because it prevents the reproductive organs from their proper function. Abortion is not healthcare because it ends bodily life entirely. Sex-reassignment surgery is not healthcare because it damages otherwise healthy bodily faculties. I would add euthanasia to the list of the perversions of medicine we see today.

You would think every medical professional would know that a healthy eye sees clearly. But, via Lydia McGrew, I now learn that one Jewel Shuping, who suffers from Body Integrity Identity Disorder and believes she was meant to be born blind, found a so-called psychologist who put drops of drain cleaner in her eyes that eventually made her blind after a year and a half of “treatment”.

I implore the reader to recognize that we have a human nature (an essence in Aristotelian-Thomistic [A-T] language) that gives us certain ends (final causes in A-T language). What is good for us is determined by our nature and our ends, not by what we believe. Once our beliefs become the determining factor in deciding whether we are healthy, there is no objective standard to identify mental or physical illness. Be on the lookout for perversions of medicine and be prepared to fight against them.


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