Justice is represented by the color green, the color most often associated with nature and natural harmony. Harmony in our bodies and environments is an important aspect of health.
The color green is associated with all photosynthetic life and is a symbol of sustainability and natural law. Likewise, any sustainable system needs a form of corrective feedback such as that provided by the virtue of Justice.
The interaction between light and matter in photosynthesis is also symbolic of the interaction between the spiritual and the material. In this sense, justice can be viewed as the interface / battleground between the spiritual and the material realms of existence.
To set the stage for discussing the virtue of Justice and its relationship to health we begin with the observation that the application of Truth to our health can take two forms as shown below:
- Prevention of disease and the increase of health, through Righteousness.
- Correction and cure of disease through Justice.
Typically we think of Justice in the context of a court of law, however, the concept should also be applied to our health, because there are laws of health which result in positive outcomes when adhered to and negative outcomes when broken. Using the analogy of the justice system we can uncover some of the problems in the current system for diagnosing and treating illness.
Health = Harmony
The justice system analogy for dealing with disease and illness also brings out the importance of defining health as a harmonious interaction between separate living entities that make up the body in the form of cells, tissues and organ systems, and also separate parties that make up the mind in the form of sexual drive, appetite, emotions and reason. These separate living entities should not be viewed in a strictly mechanistic sense. This view of the individual as a society of participants is important for our understanding of health as harmony, where an illness or disease is analogous to a law suit of one participant against the others.
In the context of individual health, we have the following substitutions:
- The judge is replaced by the physician
- The trial is replaced by the diagnostic process.
- The plaintiff is replaced by the specific group of cells in the body that brings the “complaint” through symptoms.
- The defendant is the suspect believed to be the root cause of the problem. The suspect could be in the mind, in the body or an external agent.
- The lawyer for the plaintiff seeks to uncover evidence of the cause for the specific complaints. This process of discovery also seeks to determine the applicable health laws that have been violated.
- The lawyer for the defendant attempts to deflect blame back to the plaintiff arguing that the complaint is not justified.
- The evidence is in the form of health records, case history and diagnostic test results. Evidence also includes related scientific studies, and prior cases.
- The sentence is replaced by the prescription, the goal of which is to restore health (i.e. harmonious interaction between all bodily and mental functions).
The Trial = The Diagnostic Process
During the trial (i.e. diagnostic process) all of the evidence must be looked at regarding actions that have been taken in order to determine which laws of health have been broken. In this process of discovery the lawyer for the plaintiff also plays the role of health detective, seeking evidence against possible suspects. The goal of this process is restorative justice as opposed to retributive justice. That is, the goal is the restoration of harmony in the mind and the body. The goal is not to punish but to restore.
If this process is properly undertaken then the odds of obtaining a sentence (i.e. prescription) that results in a cure and restoration of health (i.e. harmony) will increase dramatically.
When Justice Breaks Down
We know that the system of health care faces serious challenges in the U.S. and other countries. A large portion of the problem is the emphasis on cures rather than prevention. However, we find a serious flaw in the approach to cures as well. What we find is a serious breakdown in the discovery process described above as well as in the sentencing (i.e. prescription).
Because the discovery process is flawed, more effort is placed on quieting the plaintiff (i.e. elimination of symptoms), then on identifying and correctly sentencing the defendant (i.e. perpetrator). Often an incorrect perpetrator is targeted because the root cause of the problem is not properly identified. This breakdown in justice at the cellular, tissue and organ system level results in progressive deterioration in the harmonious relations of the mind and body.
Another way in which health justice breaks down is that often the innocent are targeted along with the guilty. This causes a breakdown of trust between participants resulting in later illnesses and diseases. An example is the excessive use of antibiotics that kill good bacteria along with bad bacteria. This results in increased tension between later more aggressive bacteria and the cells that form the gut.
Another example is the excessive use of traumatic chemotherapy, radiation and surgery that result in damage to healthy (i.e. innocent) participants. Even the drawing of excessive blood from sick patients should be questioned since blood is alive in and of itself. However, our health system treats the body as a machine and does not stop to consider the justice aspect of targeting innocent participants.
Fixing Health Justice
We believe that advances in the handling of “big data”, and the development of wearable and mobile technology must be brought to bear upon the discovery process described above. This will facilitate the proper processing of the correct defendants / perpetrators in the health justice analogy thus setting the stage for true healing to take place.
A perfect example of this can be given in the case of Parkinsonism. Many individuals with Parkinsonism, have the symptoms of Parkinson’s but have not been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. There is much evidence that Parkinsonism and Parkinson’s are often triggered by toxic exposure during the individuals lifetime. However, comprehensive databases of individual exposure over a lifetime is not available for analysis and thus the perpetrating toxic substances remain unidentified.
Worse yet is the fact that the affected individual may remain exposed to the offending substances throughout their treatment with absolutely no effort on the part of health practitioners to identify the perpetrators. We believe this state of affairs should not continue, and novel ways of tracking environmental exposure must be implemented.
Who is the Judge
In our analogy of Justice and Health the question could be raised as to the identity of the judge that pronounces the sentence (i.e. prescription). Although it may seem as if this model empowers the licensed physician as an absolute authority over the individual this is far from the case.
In reality the physician and the individual affected must form a close partnership to determine the correct verdict and the correct sentence for dealing with the specific illness or disease. In many cases individuals will pronounce their own judgment and sentence for example a person could determine that they get headaches when they become dehydrated and pronounce a sentence of 5 or more cups of water per day.
Forgiving and Justice
Justice in the context of health, and very likely all true justice, is of the restorative rather than retributive nature. Thus forgiving is the first step that needs to be addressed for healing. In some cases this may mean forgiving oneself for self-inflicted harm. In other cases it will mean forgiving others. This does not mean that the perpetrator should be allowed to continue disrupting health. The perpetrator needs to be confronted, subdued and corrected when possible, and the damage done by the perpetrator also needs to be corrected when possible. Complete healing only takes place in the context of forgiveness. But forgiveness should not take on a weak form. This requirement leads us to our next virtue of Security.
True Justice provides unlimited opportunities for health.
21Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.…