1: Med Hypotheses. 2001 Aug;57(2):243-8.
Cancer and metaphysics.
Experimental Medicine and Cancer Research, The Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem. firstname.lastname@example.org
Metaphysics, is generally a pleasant, and harmless intellectual endeavor. Even if leading to wrong conclusions, nobody is hurt. Suppose that contrary to general belief, the Big Bang (1) never happened and the world is eternal. No harm is done. Some philosophers, like Kant, enjoyed life despite the fact that, nature, or the thing in itself, eluded their understanding (2). But suppose that the thing in itself is your patient, and you apply metaphysical reasoning for his treatment, metaphysics may occasionally be damaging. This is particularly pertinent to cancer, a disease that is haunted by false metaphysical statements.Since cancer is part of medicine, the present discourse deals with medical metaphysics. Medicine provides a simple way, or rule of thumb, for distinguishing between correct and wrong medical metaphysical statements. If they harm the patient, they are wrong, and if they aid him, they are correct. Statements that do not affect a patient's well being, e.g., 'Big Bang may be hazardous to your health', are of no apparent value and doubtful. Since treatment outcome is generally uncertain, the physician continually searches for new ideas that may aid his patient, even if they are metaphysical. In diseases, like cancer, that elude his understanding, his adherence to metaphysics intensifies, and he is ready to consider even doubtful suggestions for treatment. Yet by relaxing the rules of thumb for evaluating metaphysical concepts, he gradually slips into the irrational domain. Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
PMID: 11461182 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]