Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews No holds barred

Margaret McCartney: Are we too captivated by precision medicine?

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j1168 (Published 09 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1168

Health & Homeostasis

Health is homeostasis. Homeostasis is an internal feedback system that stabilizes and balances our body's chemistry, so that our organs work smoothly and efficiently with each other. Sickness is the disruption of homeostasis, which doctors treat with medicine. But medicine adjusts one homeostatic mechanism by disrupting another, which leads to more sickness and more medicine. This is why medicines are so profitable, but have so many side effects and adverse reactions. So healthcare should minimize medicine and maximize holistic factors, such as lifestyle, diet, exercise, education, recreation, and relationships.

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 March 2017
Hugh Mann
Physician
Retired
New York, NY, USA