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  • Das K

When the Driver does matter: What happens when Commerce drives Medicine


1. In ancient India, Medicine, Education, Food and Legal support were provided without any expectations whatsoever*.

2. What were the reasons for not putting a price on these modalities ?

3. In today's India. Medicine, Education, Food and Legal support, drive the economy.

4. Medicine, Education and demand for Food has created numerous job opportunities, created a huge and profitable industry and is the lifeline of our economy.

5. What can we say about this Commerce and Medicine partnership, especially when Commerce drives Medicine ( Research, formulations, patenting etc).

6. Has Disease become an incentive? Does it make sense to eradicate Diseases especially when Diseases are a lifeline for commerce? Is commerce driven medicine in search of ways and means of nurturing diseases ( and creating new ones)?

7. During an inauguration of a Charitable hospital a spiritual master addressed the audience thus " I am looking forward to a day, when there will be no visitors to this hospital. I pray for everyone's health and hope that the almighty will help us eradicate sickness and disease "


Rahul gets a call to attend an interview, for a dream job that he had been preparing so long for. Since he stays in a village he has to leave for the city the next day. Rahul gets his checklist, to cross check if there is anything he needs to get done before leaving for Mumbai.

He needs a good formal dress- ✔ He has one.

A good pair of shoes -✔ Yes.

Two copies of his recent Passport size photograph- ✔ They are ready.

Most of the items on his checklist are done. He is happy, puts down his checklist and then as he is about to retire for bed and call it a day he looks in the mirror and realizes that he needs a decent haircut.

Rahul's glance falls on the image of Ganesha by his bedside and his mind makes an earnest plea " Please Please Please, let me find a good barber tomorrow morning. I don't know if the good shops will be open so early, please help me..."

Across the lane is Salim the barber. It wasn't such a good day today. He holds his Quran lovingly and prays for help. "I need a little bit more to pay the rent to Hari. He has been very kind. Please help me, I dont want to default on my payments again."

Salim gets up early the next morning at around 5:30 am and opens the shop. Usually customers dont turn up so early, yet he hopes for a miracle. And then when he sees Rahul enter the shop, he thanks Allah for being merciful. Rahul is nervous at first, he explains to Salim as to how he would prefer a haircut. He is praying that Salim better be good, since this was the only barbers shop that was open.

As Salim gets started, Rahul notices that he is very good at his work. To break the ice, Rahul starts up a conversation with Salim. He is impressed with Salim's outlook towards life just as he is with Salims hair cutting abilities. After the haircut, Rahul makes the payment of Rs 100 that includes a Rs 40 tip. Salim holds Rahuls hand warmly and thanks him. His eyes say it all. And as Rahul is just getting out of the shop he is privy to this inner dialogue "Can I give this man some more, he has given me such a wonderful haircut and has been god sent. He is also so kind and loving...."

Rahul turns back again, approaches Salim and surprises the old man with another note of Rs 500. He thanks him and heads back home.

This is an example of Win Win commercial transaction. Each person prayed that he be blessed with good service or a good customer and it was as if Ganesha and Allah struck a deal to keep their respective devotees happy!

This could also happen if Ramesh wanted to buy a new shop and there was another owner Joseph who desperately wanted to sell his shop. A win win.

You transact with a Uber driver who drives you to the airport in time. You thank him and gift him a smile and a pat on his back - Yet again Win Win.

Now imagine this situation:

A cardiologist kneels in front of his Altar and prays to God. " Dear God, I need a couple of patients tomorrow so that I can meet my monthly targets... Please Please Please help me"

Now the only way for God to answer the cardiologists prayers is to create sickness to answer a prayer; to give some one a cardiac arrest, so that the doctor can be happy ! . This is definitely not a win win

A doctors prayers can never translate into a win win scenario.

That is the reason why, in ancient India, Medicine was not to be practised for the sole purpose of earning income. A medical practitioner had to be an individual whose sole purpose in life would be to help people stay healthy. He was supposed to be highly altruistic, a spiritually evolved individual with love and compassion for fellow human beings and a passion for healing.

Today when medicine is driven by commerce, I see many youngsters** and parents decide on a career in medicine, not because they are passionate about healing, but because they know that a Doctor would be rich, prosperous and respected. The motivation is the wealth and the power that it bestows on the individual.

( The same logic applies to Education - where knowledge is given only if you have the means to pay for it. It is not given to those who are capable of using it in the best possible way, but to those who are able to afford it. )

Who is the villain here? Unfortunately there is none.

No the Pharma industry is not the culprit. Allopathy as a modality is amazing and cannot be blamed at all. The doctors are doing the best to live and let live and we cannot blame them either. It is us as a community of individuals who have chosen to give value to Money over Life. When we make commerce a driver and medicine takes a back seat what else can we expect.

Today the intent of Medicine might be to heal, but the drivers intent is to create a revenue stream. Medicine might want to find a solution, but the driver wants the issue to stay life long so that disease keeps generating revenue, increases the value of your shares, it keeps people employed- perhaps your children or relatives work there, it creates new opportunities for research that is again driven by commerce. The vicious cycle continues. No one is to blame since we all have given priority to commerce over life and have chosen to elect commerce as a driver.

To ensure that our elected representative ' Commerce' gets the necessary support, we have also created legal system to punish those who do things with good intent but are not qualified and certified by the industry. Today law is also all about logic and proof and not about reality. If you can prove it then you can win. You get the best lawyer you can get away with anything. If you are certified by the industry, then you can get away with mistakes some of which might even take away lives ( Not to worry, your certificates, qualifications and the legal system will ensure that no harm comes your way )

Another point to be noted is that our legal system believes ( claims) that all of human life is equal, that everyone regardless of their social and financial position should be treated equally. Everyone should be treated justly, whether it is with regards to interpersonal relations or with respect to the diseases they suffer. We say life is equal. A poor mans life is as precious as that of a Prime Minister or a President, but is that really true ?

Not until you make medicine totally free. If medicine & medical treatment is made free then a poor man would have access to the same treatment that a millionaire would have access to.

Say for example there are two patients with eye infection. One is a poor old villager and another is a CEO of a big multinational. The poor old villager would have to do with cheap eye drops because he would not be able to afford the more expensive ones. The CEO gets the best eye drops, the best nutrition and medical care to heal his eye. We say that all life is equal, but we behave otherwise. What we are communicating is that all life is equal given that they all have the necessary funds. The legal system contradicts itself !

Is there hope? Are we looking at a bleak future?

I dont think so. There are many great souls who have been able to motivate their followers and have started Charitable institutions. A few corporates too are following suit. These institutions are offering medicines and medical care for free. Yet in the current Commerce driven medicine scenario, they too have their limitations.

They need to buy the medicines and unfortunately many of the medicines are manufactured with an intent to sustain the disease rather than to cure.

Why? Because, commerce rewards the pharma giants who come up with patent-able medicine and hence pharma companies are stuck with finding new cures when there are tons of natural cures available.

Another limitation for these charitable institution is that the Doctors that work here have also been trained by a commerce oriented Educational system and are so specialized in their approach that most cannot think holistically. This lack of a holistic approach in medical education is a severe handicap.

It is for this reason that charitable institutions are struggling with addressing more and more patients , when in fact with proper support they would have been able to eradicate diseases.

Case in point: A spiritual leader visited a charitable hospital that he had founded. The doctors were proud to show as to how they had been addressing more and more patients for free. The spiritual leader on the other hand looked at the numbers and then remarked " If the number of patients are increasing, then of what use is this Hospital? Why dont we start programs to educate the public so that they dont fall sick and avoid visits to the hospital? The duty of a hospital is to spread awareness, keep diseases away and try to make the community so healthy that there are minimal visits to the hospital"

He went on " A hospital's success lies in fewer number of patients visiting every year rather than an increased number. I look forward to a day when there will be no patients coming to this Hospital "

This is what one can expect when Commerce no longer drives medicine. I hope that very soon we should be able to realize the vision of great souls who have been working hard to release medicine from the clutches of commerce.


1. When commerce drives medicine then life is at stake, since Disease drives commerce !

2. Medicine should be freed from the clutches of commerce otherwise the motivation for the industry will be Disease ( And not healing)

3. To free Medicine from commerce, we would also have to free education from clutches of commerce. At least medical education can be free to start with.

4. The Dr degrees should be awarded by patients and community after a medical healer has proven his worth. Institution should be giving a certificate saying that the person is qualified to practice. A respectable title like Doctor should be earned and be in possession of someone who is passionate, loving, caring and a true healer

5. We need Doctors with passion, with love, with compassion and who value the life of each and every patient.

6. To sum it up. and to quote the spiritual master- Every hospital should work with the community to ensure that there are minimal patients in the hospital. A hospitals success should be judged based on how successful they are at eradicating diseases .


Coming Soon

I will share more about what we " Prehealing Community Members" are doing in a post titled " Understanding Free Commerce "


* In ancient India, Education, Medicine, Food, Shelter and Legal services were provided without any expectations, since all these services are price-less. How could they put a value on that which sustained life. Since Life was considered priceless all that supported life had to be above commerce and an appropriate price could never be given to it.

Those who could afford paid as much as they could. Those who were poor made the payment by means of offering their happiness and gratitude. The rich and the poor supported these priceless support systems much the same way the systems supported them.

** I am also aware of so many passionate and wonderful doctors that it is not fair to see the community in negative light.

We all are victims of commerce driven medicine. I have seen quite a few doctors who have at least one family member who has been affected by the commerce driven way of treatment.

Furthermore since most doctors have specialized there is nothing they can do when their family member, relative or close friend is afflicted with a disease that they are not trained to address. For e.g What does a cardiologist do when her mother is affected with Alzheimers? She too becomes a victim of this commerce driven medicine. No one is spared. There are no villians, there are no heroes and there are no victors.

The message I would like to get across is that we need to take collective responsibility rather pointing fingers at the Pharma Companies, The Doctors, The Educational institutions etc


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