Sunday, March 19, 2006


Although I am a non-smoker: there is an interesting article on Süddeutsche on the stupidness of outlawing smoking. Nice to read, it not only applies to smoking but to other things considered not healthy as well...

Snippet, badly translated by myself:

Einen Schritt weiter kommt man beim Nachdenken über die Formel der Gesundheit, die von der Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO), vage genug, aufgestellt worden ist. Da wird dekretiert, Gesundheit sei der „Zustand vollständigen körperlichen, geistigen und sozialen Wohlbefindens“. Diese Definition umfasst mehr als die Gesundheitsvorstellung jedes Hausarztes. Wie könnte er auch, neben dem körperlichen, das geistige und soziale Wohlbefinden bestimmen? Das tut jeder für sich selbst. Und in dieser allgemeinen Bestimmung steckt ein Restchen anarchischer (und das heißt, genau übersetzt, herrschaftsfreier) Selbstbestimmung ohne soziale Kontrolle. Über den Zustand seines geistigen und sozialen Wohlbefindens entscheidet – wie lange noch? – jeder Mensch selbst.

You will get a step further when you think about the formula describing heath which has been formulated vaguely enough by the world health organisation. It decretes health as being the "state of complete well being, physical, spritual[1] and social." This definition implies much more as the definition of health your doctor has. How could your doctor aside of your physical wellbeing say something about your spritual or social well being? That everybody has to do for himself. And in this general designation of health there is a little remain of an anarchist (and that literally means without authority) self definition without social control. On the state of his spritual and social wellbeing decides - who knows for how long - every person himself.

[1] geistig can mean spritual, mental, intellectual. Not really sure which too choose, as all apply...

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1 comment:

Kryptikmo said...

I've no problem with people doing unhealthy stuff, I have a problem when I pay increased taxes to cover poeple who eat, drink and smoke themselves into stomach-stapling, liver transplants and chemotherapy. I also dislike going out to come home unable to breathe properly and stinking of fumes.

If you want to do something irresponsible, pay for it yourself. This includes things like martial arts, skydiving, weightlifting, driving too fast or working too hard. I do lots of these things, but I don't see why someone else should pay for my mistakes if something goes wrong. It's all very well to say that health is directly dependent on happiness, but when the costs of your happiness are externalised to someone else, then it merely shifts the problem and does nothing to eliminate it.