Thursday, February 23, 2012

What is Health Freedom?

Do you understand health freedom?  Does anyone understand health freedom?  Health Freedom has become a buzzword used by many websites.  Do any of them know what they are talking about?


Most of them have no concept, much less a definition of health.  Most, possibly all of them are talking about Medical Freedoms, not Health Freedoms.  Many of them have their own agendas - which have little to do with health freedom. Sales of products or treatments.  Political agendas.  etc.

I've been cruising the web again, checking out sites and blogs claiming to represent "Health Freedom".  Pity none of them has a copy of the dictionary. Here's my review of Google's top list. - Citizens Council for Health Freedom: Securing Health Freedom for All
Their website says:
About: CCHF is a free-market resource for designing the future of health care.
me - Health Care is not health.  Health care is 'sick care'.  
In October 2010, the organization changed its name from Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC) to Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (CCHF).
me - eg. Health Freedom sounds more jazzy than Health Care, so let's use that instead.
Their Mission: CCHF supports patient and doctor freedom, medical innovation, and the right of citizens to a confidential patient-doctor relationship.
me - clearly Citizens Council for Health Freedom sees themselves as carrying the banner for 'medical freedom'. But they are wrong.  Medicine is a subset of health - and CCHF knows nothing about health, only about politics and medicine.
What is the true mission of CCHF?  In their list of goals you will find tax issues and government mentioned in three of 10 goals.  Free markets, market competition, private insurance in three of ten goals. You will not find a single goal that directly respects your right to make health decisions.  The Institute for Health Freedom (IHF) Has Dissolved and Transferred its Health Freedom Watch Newsletter to CCHF .  
me. their goals are also more to do with politics than with health, or freedom. - Health Freedom Rights

Dr. Robin Falkov  - Doctor of Oriental Medicine appears to be a well meaning medical practitioner who publishes many important ideas about health freedom. However, it is clear that the site uses a few ideas related to health freedom to attract attention and sell medical services, as well as AquaSana water treatment, healing with light and Nature-Clean Ozone.  No health here, only illness. Freedom for those who have a few bucks to spend. - Health Freedom Expo
March 2-4 2012 at the Long Beach Convention Centre, the Health Freedom Expo.  Interesting. Very interesting. This Expo appears to bring together many people who are working for some aspects of health freedom. It is, of course, driven by marketing and products.  It is an Exposition.  eg. the people who present the Health Freedom Expo are not fighting for your health freedoms, they are charging people to present at and to attend their Expo.  Their goal is to make money from the concept of Health Freedom.
Of course most of the presenters are providing medical alternatives, not health alternatives. If you want to see a lot of new products and ideas - this may interest you.  If you want to participate in some serious discussions of health, and how health differs from illness, and health freedom - and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of healthiness, you may need to look elsewhere. - Health Freedom Alliance
The Health Freedom Alliance appears to be a well meaning site bringing our attention to many assaults on health freedom in the USA.  However, there is no concept of health - separate from illness. How can you truly support health freedom if you cannot define health? There is no central thread. Even their post The Medical Paradigm Is Fatally Flawed - starts out with a great title, but fails to identify the correct alternative.   We need a health paradigm, not a medical paradigm. - National Health Freedom Action
Promoting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  They messed up on the last word.  Of course it should read: Everyone as a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of healthiness.
Their mission:  "To promote access to all health care information, services, treatments and products..."
Of course they mean 'medical care', thus they mean 'medical freedom'.  Health freedom sounds better, but is much more challenging.

.... and so it goes...

It seems many organizations have adopted a `Health Freedom` to their name because it`s good publicity for their cause.  But their cause is not Health Freedom. Virtually every so called "Heath Freedom" organization makes the same errors

1. Medical freedom is not health freedom.
2. Medicine and medical treatments are not health.
3. Hidden agendas (product sales, lower taxes, promoting specific treatments) are not health freedom.
4. Random examples of excesses against medical freedom, or freedom in general do not make a platform for health freedom.

If we are to fight for health freedom, we need to understand health.

If we are to fight for health freedom, we need to understand freedom.

It's not easy.

Personal Health Freedom is about trying to understand health.  Illness and treatment is a subset of health.  A very small subset.  Most of the time, we are healthy. Most of the time - we could be healthier. Some of us are healthier when we are sick - than some others are when they are healthy.  But health is not measured - so we don`t know. Understanding health is probably more complicated than understanding medicine. When a doctor is doing medical work - the goal is clear.  Prevent, diagnose, treat or cure a specific illness.  What is the goal when you are trying to understand as opposed to treating.  What is the goal when you are trying to 'improve overall healthiness' instead of trying to 'minimize a specific illness'?

If we don`t understand health - we cannot recognize the chains we are carrying, much less fight them.

Personal Health Freedom is also about trying to understand freedom in the context of health.  Freedom is not some simple concept that is easily understood or explained.  It needs to be explored.

That's what I'm trying to do with this blog. It you want to help us all understand healthiness, drop me a note.  I'd love to hear from you.

To your health, tracy

Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: