Once upon a time (like almost yesterday, eh) in Canada, there was a parade in a small town. The local doctor was in the parade, in a shiny red convertible.
As one family watched the parade, a small boy exclaimed “I want to be a doctor when I grow up, and ride in a shiny red convertible.”
His sister, about 13 years old, responded “I don’t want to be a doctor like him. He doesn’t have any cures!”
“Don’t talk like that,” the mother interrupted, “of course he has cures. Everyone knows the doctor has cures. He just doesn’t have them in the car, they’re at the pharmacy.”
The girls responds, knowingly,”There are lots of medicines in the pharmacy, but I can’t find any cures there. And, I checked all of the medicines in our medicine cabinet. None of them say ‘cure’ either.”
“Why were you checking our medicines?”, asked the mom, curious.
“I’m writing a report for school about ‘cure’. But when I went to the library and checked the medical dictionary, the word ‘cure’ was not in the dictionary.”
“I can’t believe it.”, the mom replied.
“I couldn’t believe it myself.”, the girl responded, “So I went back the next day to check again. Our library has the Oxford Concise Medical Dictionary, latest edition. The words cure, cured, and cures are not in the dictionary. That’s why I say doctors don’t have cures.”
“How come you’re writing a report about cure, when you don’t want to be a doctor!” the boy challenged.
“We were studying scurvy in school. Our book said that people from England were called ‘Limeys’ because they learned to cure scurvy with limes.
“I had to write a report, but I thought everybody would write about scurvy – so I decided to write about cures. The problem was, I couldn’t find any, except for penicillin.”
“So, then I went over to Suzie’s house (Suzie is the doctor’s daughter), and we looked in one of the doctor’s big medical books. It’s called MERCK something. It has thousands of pages.
“First we looked in the index for ‘cure’. But cure wasn’t in the index. We looked in the table of contents, which went on for pages and pages. But the word cure wasn’t there either. ”
“Then, I had an idea!”, she said with excitement, “and we looked up scurvy.”
“And what did you learn?”, asked the mom.
“Well, scurvy is in the book. But there is no cure. The book recommends a treatment with ascrobic acid, or something like that, and a healthy diet. But it doesn’t say how to ‘cure scurvy.”
“Well, that’s just silly”, the mom gave a small laugh.
“I still want to be a doctor, and ride in a red convertible!”, the boy exclaimed.
The girl replied angrily, “I don’t want to be a doctor like that, I’d rather be a doctor who cures.”
Can doctors cure? Do doctors have any cures?
I recently surveyed 6 current medical dictionaries, but 5 did not contain the words cure, cures, nor cured. Most also provide no definition for ‘incurable’.
Don’t believe it, check it yourself, and message me. I’d love to see other dictionary definitions of cure – I’ve become a bit of a collector. I’m also curious to know if this is happening in other languages?
Some people claim cures are illegal, because the US FDA says that only a drug can cure a disease. But there are no laws against curing.
The laws are against ‘claiming’ that something will cure – unless it is an approved drug. When I checked the 100 best selling medicines of 2012, only 4 of 100 claim to cure any illness.
Many people think that only ‘alternative medicines’ can cure. Alternative medicine is a marketing term – and the US FDA does not have a definition for ‘alternative medicines’. They only approve medicines.
Five prestigious medical diagnosis and treatment books do not have ‘cure’ in the index, nor in the table of contents. Cure is occasionally used in the texts, but is not defined, and is not used consistently.
Dictionary (non-medical dictionary) definitions of cure are simplistic nonsense, the worst being “the act of making someone healthy again after an illness” in Webster’s, as if you first wait for the illness to go away, and then you cure the patient.
Cures are not defined in modern medicine, except for illnesses caused by parasites – cured by poisons like penicillin.
Illnesses caused by lack of healthiness, like scurvy, obesity, beriberi, heart disease, hypertension, even cancers, cannot be cured, because cured is not defined and cannot be tested for these illnesses.
If you cure your obesity, there is no proof. Most medicines treat symptoms, and do not cure any illness. Illnesses caused by a lack of healthiness can only be cured by treatments that are healthy, only by treatments that are not drugs.
It is possible, as a result, for alternative or conventional medical practitioners, or even patients, to cure these illnesses – with health.
But because cured is not defined for these illnesses, and curing with health is not recognized by any medical authority – the cure will not be recognized. It doesn’t count.
There are many people who claim to have cured healthiness illnesses, like diabetes, cancers, Parkinson’s, etc. But there are no tests for cured for these diseases. Diseases can be diagnosed – but cures cannot be diagnosed.These cures are ignored.
There are medicines for symptoms, but there are few cures in modern medicine. Cures don’t count in modern medicine.
If you cure your illness, even an incurable illness, your cure is ignored. You simply disappear from the system.
It you try to publicize your cure, you will be viewed as a quack. After all – everyone knows that diabetes, cancer, arthritis, obesity, Parkinson’s, cannot be cured.
If you cure your illness – any illness that cannot be cured with a drug, your medical insurance will not pay for the cure. It’s not on the list, therefore it cannot cure, therefore you will not be reimbursed.
What kinds of doctors do cure? Many doctors claim to cure. Naturopaths, chiropractors, homeopaths, Ayurvedic doctors, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners often claim to cure illnesses. Not every illness, not every case, but they do claim to cure in some cases.
They are consistently, and easily ignored, even when specific cures are claimed. It is not possible to prove a cure for any disease unless it was caused by a parasite.
Cured is not defined and cannot be tested. Do these doctors cure? How often do they cure?
Which illnesses do they cure? How do they cure? We will not know until we put ‘cure’ back into the dictionary, and study cures scientifically.
It is trivial to define cure, to create a useful definition of cure.
Cure: to stop the progress of an illness by addressing the cause
I have checked dozens of dictionary definitions of cure. There are lots of definitions. Not a single one mentions cause. It’s time for a change. It’s time for a cure. Be-cause.
If an illness is caused by a diet lacking foods containing Vitamin C, it is cured by a diet of foods containing Vitamin C. If a disease is caused by eating too many foods that are bad for you, it is cured by not eating those foods.
Every illness has internal and external components. Sometimes, the best cure is to remove the external threat, to make the environment healthier.
Sometimes, the best cure is to raise the healthiness of the patient, such that the illness is cured by health.
The common cold is defined, by medicine, as incurable, because it cannot be cured with medicines.
But it is frequently and easily cured with health and time – healthier people cure their colds faster, people who are less healthy get more colds, and they last longer.