May 122010

There has been some controversy over the question of whether doctors should discuss the downside of the so-called health reform bill with their patients. The AMA says no; Dr. Hal Scherz says yes and complains that the AMA is trying to muzzle doctors. (WSJ column here.)

But for some reason Dr. Scherz didn’t use the term “holistic medicine” to describe what he’s doing. Here is one definition of the term:

Holistic medicine is a system of health care which fosters a cooperative relationship among all those involved, leading towards optimal attainment of the physical, mental emotional, social and spiritual aspects of health.

It emphasizes the need to look at the whole person, including analysis of physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, social, spiritual and lifestyle values. It encompasses all stated modalities of diagnosis and treatment including drugs and surgery if no safe alternative exists. Holistic medicine focuses on education and responsibility for personal efforts to achieve balance and well being.

Sounds to me like that would include the political aspects of health care, too.