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    Aesculapius and Hygeia Health Models

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    1. Can you please help me? I cannot find much information for this assignment. Can you please provide me one good article (or two if you can) for this assignment below? Thanks.

    Robert Frost (1874 -1963), an American poet wrote the following lines:
    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence;
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    There are two cults (options) within the traditions of ancient Greece - Aesculapius and Hygeia - which dealt with health care delivery. Aesculapius was a strict patient and health care provider model that was aggressively centered around the patient, whereas Hygeia was a public health model that focused on prevention in the context of public interest. It is clear that American medical care is built on the Aesculpapian model. When one considers our concerns regarding the allocation of health care, is it possible that some of our problems are associated with this choice made over 1,000 years ago? Consider how the debate would be altered had we taken the Hygeia model (option) as the standard of health care provision.

    In particular, address each of the following:

    1. What would the health care system look like?

    2. What would be its primary legal, ethical, and moral obligations and why?

    3. What would be among the problems facing this different model of health care?

    4. What lessons, from this model, can you take into your own healthcare practice and/or values and why?

    Thanks a lot.

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    Solution Preview

    Interesting topic, indeed. I have located two articles presented below. The first one provides information that is highly relevant to your assignment. The second one includes spirituality in the discussion, as one form of Hygeia health care model.

    Read the following carefully and thoughtfully:


    Physicians versus Healers
    by Jim Lynn

    A doctor tells a mother her comatose daughter will never regain consciousness, only to see the girl awake and alert the following day. A woman diagnosed with lung cancer is later found with her lungs clear (without medical intervention). We've all heard such stories...stories of healing that defy medical and scientific reasoning. And yet, these stories are true!

    While the medical community is usually quick to dismiss such stories as quirks of nature, millions of people in pain and suffering aren't so sure. They wonder. Are these seemingly miraculous healings really quirks, or is there something more at work here than we've been told?

    Truth is there IS something more at work, but a money driven, government controlled medical system is completely at odds with it, and you and I are often times its helpless victim.

    Healing is one of nature's greatest gifts to man. Our body is created with its own inherent healing system. Even at
    DNA levels, maintaining health is your body's highest priority. But we live in a culture with a medical system that neither knows nor acknowledges this powerful healing system.

    The vast majority of American citizens wrongfully believe the health care industry in the U.S. is about healing, when it is not. And all too often, people are hexed and die because a physician told them there is nothing more they
    can do.

    Our health care industry is governed, regulated and controlled by a system of medicine (allopathic) whose purpose is to diagnose and treat symptoms, not to heal. When healing does occur, it often times is in spite of treatment, rather than because of it.

    Given the truth of the matter and a choice, people would rather go to someone who works to heal the body, not treat
    symptoms. But we have few choices, and most people do not know the difference between a healer and a physician, or are even aware they have a choice.

    Background history:

    From ancient Greek mythology, two gods are responsible for two opposing philosophies ongoing in health care today. They are the gods Asklepios and his daughter Hygeia.

    "For the worshippers of Hygeia, health is the natural order of things, a positive attribute to which men are entitled
    if they govern their lives wisely. According to them, the most important function of medicine is to discover and teach the natural laws, which will ensure a man a healthy mind in a healthy body. More skeptical, or wiser in the ways of the world, the followers of Asklepios believe that the chief role of the physician is to treat disease, to restore health by correcting any imperfections caused by accidents of birth or life." (1)

    The Definition Expanded:

    Practitioners of Hygeia's teaching are called healers. Practitioners of Asklepios's teaching are called physicians.
    By definition then...Healers heal, physicians treat.
    The differences between the two philosophies and practices are profound.

    Healers work with the body's natural defense system to restore well-being. They recognize that healing is a natural power inherent to the body. From the lowest form of life to the highest, maintaining a balance of health (homeostasis) is life's highest priority. Healers recognize a body out of balance works to get back to it, and takes advantage of this in his or her work. Healers work to eradicate the cause of disease rather than its effect.

    By contrast, many physicians are neither taught, nor are aware of the natural healing power of the body. (2) They rely on technology with its drugs and surgery to cut, burn, kill or suppress symptoms. They use the word "cure" instead of "heal" as representative of what they do. Physicians identify disease (diagnose) then determine a therapy to treat it (effect).

    Caught Between Two Worlds:

    In North America, allopathic medicine, an evolved form of Asklepios medicine, dominates health care. It is protected by government through regulatory law. As a result, people seeking relief from illness and disease for years were given little choice as to the kind of health care they would receive.

    Though little has changed in that regard, the high cost and effectiveness of allopathic medicine is driving millions of
    people in search of health care alternatives. They are turning to Hygeian healers.

    Still, physicians and modern medicine play a vital role in society. Physician knowledge and technology is unequalled when it comes to emergency or crisis surgery. And physicians are excellent for diagnosing disease and illness. But from this point on, physicians are dependent on doing what they have been taught (to treat symptoms), and not to heal.

    If physicians would prescribe treatment with substances that would work with the body, fine...but they do not. Instead physicians reply on allopathic procedures which conflict with the body, and are known for their poor and sometimes deadly effects.


    Unlike physicians, who are heavily regulated, there are no laws regulating healers. Anyone may heal, but not everyone may legally diagnose or treat disease. Making a diagnosis and prescribing treatment of disease belongs to the realm of licensed physicians. It is unlawful for anyone else to do so.

    Healers need not be licensed (3) because they do not work with or speak about sickness, but rather with health and healing.

    Once a ...

    Solution Summary

    Referring to the Aesculapius and Hygeia Health Models, this solution provides information on the Models to address the questions referring to how the United States healthcare would look differently, has it chosen the Hygeia model, instead of the Aesculapius model, as the standard of health care provision.