A Tyranny of Health?

Our skeptical doctor reacts to another simplistic progressive article in the premier American medical journal over at Law & Liberty.

In this article, which has the merit of being clear and logical, no single instance of individual conduct is mentioned as being necessary for, or conducive, to health. In the healthy society envisaged by the author, who is a public health doctor in Massachusetts, no one will have to try to behave well—not drink or eat too much, refrain from smoking or taking drugs, not indulge in hazardous pastimes, take recommended but safe exercise and so forth—because everything will come as a matter of course to him. Living in a perfect society, he will behave perfectly.

2 thoughts on “A Tyranny of Health?

  1. Rebekah Valerius

    Ah, Dalrymple is such a kindred spirit on this. I have known many with an unhealthy obsession over health. So unhealthy an obsession, in fact, that it can’t help but be a detriment to their health. In Christian parlance, we’d say that health has become an idol to which all must bow. But health alone is not a kind and gracious ruler.

    What TD writes here reminds me of two of my favorite essays from G.K. Chesterton: “On Lying in Bed” and “The Methuselahite.” Chesterton famously scorned obsession with health. He didn’t live long, either, but he lived a wonderously happy and fulfilled life (over 300 pounds fully filled, that is!).

    What I worry about? I worry that COVID will make the hypochondriacs of this world more intent on inflicting their hygenic obsessions on the rest of us. A virtue should never be made out of mere health alone.

  2. William Vaughan

    I note that the accompanying photograph has a protester sign “Health Care is a human right”. Since the primary provider of health care is our own body, the sign care should read “Health Care is a human responsibility”. Further, “Sickness Care (i.e. the Health Care system) is a human privilege”.


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