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Fixin' Healthcare

Monday, September 03, 2007

Say It Isn't So

Jacob Sullum provides food for thought with comments on "the totalitarian implications of public health".

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" (World Health Organization).

"Public Health is dedicated to the common attainment of the highest levels of physical, mental and social well-being and longevity consistent with available knowledge and resources at a given time and place" (Public Health Administration and Practice by John Hanlon).

Is individual freedom inconsistent with optimum health? If that is so, it is a condemnation of our society and culture that will never be corrected "with a legally enforceable duty to be well". When people want to be healthy, feel good and be more productive, they will find ways to do it. The role of public health is to provide reliable information and enable people with their individual efforts. Individual efforts are greatly enhanced by like-minded groups. Motivation and inspiration are at the core of healthy lifestyles.

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