First, do no harm by Gary Cohen
When it comes to health, we have been told that prevention is always better than cure. With prevention alone, it has gone beyond mere watching out for the food we eat, or exercising everyday, but also to avoiding what used to be naturally-occurring for fear that it may be contaminated with pollutants and chemicals that used to not be there.
This is what the article by Cohen is about, and how it has impacted the health care delivery system. Cohen mentioned in his paper how much the incidence of diseases has increased in the past years. Truth to the matter is, not only have our bodies become less healthy, but also, the environment from which we get sustenance from. Our health isn’t considered to be in its top form because of unhealthy food, and the unhealthy chemicals included in those that were supposed to be healthy types of food. Conversely, and just like the age-old chicken and egg argument, the cause of the proliferation of these toxic chemicals are our own doing as well. Cohen (2006) named mercury and dioxin as the two chemicals that have recently been considered to be unsafe. (p 3) Aside from this, there is also an increasing number in genetically-modified food that serves to the benefit of producers, but causes much harm to the consumers.
So what is next? As Cohen (2006) so aptly put it, “The hospital of the twenty-first century can promote the health of its patients, employees, the general public, and the environment in its design and operations. The hospital can support the local economy through purchasing an array of safe products and technologies and model the kind of environmentally responsible institutions every community should have.” (pp 8-9) In other words, carefully choosing what hospitals would serve and recommend to patients, in itself, albeit simple and easily disregarded, should be one of the priorities of health care providers across the world.
Cohen, G (2006) First do no harm. Designing the 21st Century Hospital. retrieved 31 July 2009 from www.gghc.org