"The Beginning Of Health Is To Know The Disease"
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"The Beginning Of Health Is To Know The Disease"

  • 12/01/1983

  • Source: Public Health Rep. 98(6):531-535
Filetype[PDF-1001.99 KB]

  • English

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      Public Health Rep
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      There is public impatience over the pace of medical progress. Some say prevention and health have not been well served by the research community. Rather than devising extended investigations, scientists should apply now what we know now. Activists argue that, although research on a better understanding of disease must continue, a companion effort to develop strategies for health promotion and disease prevention should exist. The national effort should emphasize "health" and not "disease," as the names of the various NIH Institutes would imply. I disagree with that proposed direction of prevention research. It is not possible to divorce research on health from research on disease. Are the secrets of nature open to us through mere observation? Does not research require the perturbation of a system in order to make valid observations on the nature of that system? This, after all, is the nature of the scientific method. Disease is, itself, a perturbation of the state of health and it is through our research on disease that we learn how to prevent it. I believe that the National Institutes of Health does devote equal time to the study of health. For it is my thesis that by studying disease we have, in fact, given our total time to the study of health. "The beginning of health is to know the disease."
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