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celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )

I mean, there's a lot to be said for the way that conventional western medicine has utterly discarded thousands of years of traditional herbal knowledge in favor of petrochemical-derived medicines and surgery.

You should read up on iatrogenesis in modern medicine (if you haven't already), I think it is a very interesting topic which goes frequently undiscussed due to the massive political power of the professional class in capitalist countries.

While I certainly have many criticisms of conceptions of the "natural" in this book (and in general when people use it, especially in the context of "natural medicine"), here is an interesting author who talks about iatrogenesis:

We should be pushing for evidence-based medicine which attempts to limit iatrogenic consequences by using the least invasive techniques, including herbal medicines if they are appropriate. Instead, especially in my country, the capitalist medical system pushes people to use the most expensive and thus lucrative options, even making lifesaving drugs like Naloxone and Norepinephrine too expensive for the poor to afford, let alone doctor's visits or other forms of healthcare. While there are many parties profiting here, you cannot divorce the class stratification of capitalist healthcare from the professionalization of medicine. In fact, they feed into each other.

There is a growing shift towards integrating herbal knowledge which is evidence-based within the medical field, but it's happening slowly, and only as a way to reinforce the professional class's power. This is not sufficient to address the problems we face, imo.

Ultimately, anarchists should be pushing for the deprofessionalization of medical knowledge (siloing knowledge and care in extremely hierarchical structures, to accumulate capital, is fucked up), equity for healthcare workers, and a healthier environment/food system. We should not creating new professions that sell a false bill of goods, like alternative (and sometimes conventional) systems do. I think it is like the difference between a green political party, and a green direct action coalition. One seeks to build up a new parasitic social relationship, and the other tries to actually address the problems we face from the root up.