“Human beings no longer accept being sick”

Tn human beings will one day encounter disease in their lifetime. A companion of death, illness is a door beyond which men and women inevitably question their human condition. Socrates himself said when he died: “To live is to be ill for a long time: I owe Aesculapius the liberator a rooster. “

What about our outlook today as citizens of the XXIe century? “Zero disease tolerance”, “zero pain” claims a neoliberal society urging us to strictly follow a biomedicine that has never known such a level of development and technical means thanks to a fantastic progress of our knowledge. Such a rejection of the pathological is a true philosophical paradox.

Of course, we accept major pathologies, such as cancer, cardiovascular accidents, etc., but because they only happen to others; who are unlucky somehow. It is different with the great epidemics which have accompanied the history of humanity (plague, cholera, typhus, etc.), in that they no longer only strike “the other” but affect each of us in our own right. identity.

Read also the interview with the philosopher Barbara Stiegler: “The crisis due to the coronavirus reflects the neoliberal vision of public health”

Can the history of medicine, especially modern medicine, help us better understand the reasons for such contradictions? There are fundamental medical steps that have profoundly changed our view of the disease. Among these stages, one of the most significant is the discovery of antibiotics in the 1940s. A formidable discovery that saved millions of lives; a real breakthrough, but it is not without limits.

The “augmented man” is fragile

The excessive use of antibiotics has led us to a real hubris (exceeding limits) medical. Considered a crime among the Greeks, excess inevitably calls in return Nemesis in the name of justice whose finality is the retraction of the individual within the limits he has crossed.

Beyond a Nemesis The biological efficacy of antibiotic resistance, the fantastic efficacy of these drugs has led us to believe that we have become invincible, capable of erasing disease from our lives.

Read also the interview with the philosopher Jean-Pierre Dupuy: “If we are the only cause of the evils which strike us, then our responsibility becomes disproportionate”

Human beings no longer accept being ill, turn their heads away and refuse, dumbfounded, at the idea of pharmakon that any remedy (medicine) is also poison and… scapegoat. Having abandoned himself to technique, the “augmented man” (pharmacologically or genetically) has paradoxically become fragile in a Nemesis anthropological, because it has disappeared in its own gaze and in that of a society that certainly takes care of it, but at the same time tends to erase it as an individual. Failure finding? Rather a realization of the complexity and uncertainty of the living.

You have 58.21% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.