Sunday, February 3, 2008

Better Harrington interview

The Boston Globe has one that positions Harrington more reasonably than Salon managed to.

What too many journalists miss is the reasonably expansive area between the extremes. They miss, willfully or otherwise, the fact that the mind-body connection is not a black and white scenario with "only physical causes" on one side and "the mind generates all disease" on the other. Writers (such as in the Slate review, previously noted) love to pretend it's black and white, so you get western medicine wearing the white hat and (as the Slate headline had it) "The unscientific allure of mind-body medicine" embodying everything silly and superstitious.

But that's a false and foolish dichotomy. Just because western medicine has a powerful understanding of the physical side of disease does not in any way rule out that the mind can play a very important role as well.

If over time I appear here to berate western medicine, it's not because I don't believe that germs cause disease, or that there aren't actual physical circumstances happening when something is wrong with your body. But there is no way--absolutely no way--that western research can prove its position, and by and large its practitioners, and followers, have no justifiable reason to dismiss the psychological/emotional element of bodily disorders. And yet that's all most of them seem to do.

That's what I've had enough of, and will continue to write about.

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