Publicizing Research and Medicine
In America, disease is responsible for the overwhelming annual death count. The war against disease is an ever-extending frontier; everyday we discover new and lethal pathogens. Many battles must be conceded to win few in return, but we are getting stronger. We combat this enemy with research and medicine – syringes and scalpels. We may never eradicate disease entirely, but we are capable of treating its inflictions; we can mend the damage, but for all of these efforts to continue, we need all the support we can get. Our soldiers may seem fit and able, but on some fronts we are in desperate need of resources.
So, I am here now to tell you that we need more. Medical breakthroughs don’t birth from hope and negligence. I am here to tell you that there are countless research labs that can’t make progress, and not because of a lack cohesive minds, but an inadequate amount of samples. According to npr.org, a shortage of brain tissue is hindering research on autism; this could be fixed if the public were educated enough to consider brain donation. (Nrp.org) Being the parent of an autistic child can be very difficult, and thinking about even more sacrifice at the end of your child’s life can be overwhelming, but if people knew the change they could be making by donating a dead brain, I think they would be more inclined to do so.
The problem is that most diseases aren’t discussed as much as others. Public outlets are mostly focussed on cancer and other “popular” conditions – which is fine, but the general public should not be completely ignorant of other research efforts. There shouldn’t be a hierarchy of disease in medicine. Science is supposed to be logical and calculated; there is no room for popularity. In the 2014 film Still Alice, the main character faces a life changing diagnosis; she has alzheimer’s. After being told her prognosis, she gives a speech about her struggles.”All my life I’ve accumulated memories – they’ve become, in a way, my most precious possessions. The night I met my husband… Everything I accumulated in life, everything I’ve worked so hard for – now all that is being ripped away.”(Still Alice) As you can tell from Alice’s speech, Alzheimer’s isn’t an easy disease to cope with, and yet you don’t see alzheimer’s research progression in mainstream news broadcasts. Alzheimer’s may not be as an aggressive killer as cancer, but the quality of life for the patient is dire. Shouldn’t there be relays and other marketed events for Alzheimer’s and Autism; shouldn’t we be discussing all prevalent ailments? Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in America! Why don’t most people know that?
Healthcare and research needs to be a comfortable topic to discuss among average Americans; else, disease will go unnoticed and people that aren’t directly affected by certain ailments will keep ignoring them. In an article by Body and Mind Staff, the author explains that Melanoma (Skin Cancer) needs to be caught early to be treated successfully(Body and Mind Staff); the problem is that most people don’t consider that they may have Melanoma until it’s too late! Talking about possible inflictions shouldn’t be a taboo subject, and if we began to publicly teach people how to diagnose things like Melanoma, then the problem would disappear!
In the end, Medicine to me is the most important study for humanity. Sure, astronomy and history are important, but the ability that people carry – the ability to save lives is unprecedented, and I don’t believe there should be any limits to our sacrifice to keep medicine alive.