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Lessons from invasive fungal disease

We live in a world of self-interests.

Everyone has something to say, and someone has imputations (i.e. meanings conveyed by a matter in concern) which either protects or destroys another's reputation.

Beyond money, wealth and social stature, one's reputation may take decades to build yet only a day to destroy through either solicited or unsolicited event.

A well-intended message or encounter with someone may end up being a life-changing success or the start of irreversible decline.

The harsh reality is that everyone of us live in a world that does not protect privacy. While the laws protect reputation interests, there are also the requirements to protect the representor, and the represented.

Accordingly, there are appropriate defences for every offence. Single cause of action may likely be treated by single cause of remedy. If the matters are of same or similar nature, then the society will decide the course of action so there is no repetition.

What is presented so far is contradictory to what actually occurs within the human body, or the universe for that matter. The photograph enclosed is what actually happens when one's lung is colonised and infected by opportunistic fungal infection such as Aspergillus fumigatus.

While the conscious brain may not be aware, the lung tissue is actually rotting away from the pathological inflammation even in advanced stage of tissue destruction. Everything of the body's homeostatic system comes to mitigate the foreign insult. Everything about the body is about multiplicity, complexity and collaboration while the ultimate outcome is the survival of the whole being. There is no single remedy, or single cause of action because the whole body responds.

The universe is the same. Of the billon stars and galaxies, everything works in their multiplicity, complexity and collaboration (otherwise, all stars and galaxies will be colliding into each other, yet we only see episodic examples of such dynamic interplay at a mega-macroscopic scale as compared to the human body).

Where is this physician blog is taking further at this stage of discussion? As a public figure in a reputable profession, I receive emails, faxes, phone calls and reminders from information providers such as media outlets more increasingly than ever before. When a person is diversely read, learned and vocationally trained within the medical and/or healing industry over a period of several decades, he or she is invariably exposed to different aspects of our social culture, scientific wisdom and even different modalities of healing as a student and/or a practitioner.

Until we have 'mastered' in a chosen art of Science, one is always a student. Although I would say for myself that I am highly experienced in the practice of Medicine and skilled in its techniques especially for Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, would I be bold enough to say I am a master of its arts? Well, this conclusion depends on what reference is used to determine what a master is in its implied meaning. On the contrary, while I am not perfect, I am an excellent student of Medicine because I have learnt greatly and continue to learn as a student. Now, who is 'perfect' in this world of self-interests one would wonder ?

Therefore, the imputations have been suggested that status as a 'student' of healing is a conflict of interest to one's duty and responsibility as a medical practitioner. We live in a world where a distance third party 'intermediary' who you've never met before or even have a hint of interest in repaying your mortgage or tax payments can decide that you are not the 'right' person to practice Medicine or know Medicine for that matter.

Given the body's analogy, another bacterium yet to invade the lungs 'tell' the body's immune system that it is not capable of defending itself against the onslaught by Aspergillus fumigatus. So, the body should give up, accept that the whole lungs are rotted/rotting and don't even bother living life.

If self-interest is everyone's core emphasis for their very survival, why is it that:

…. ridicule, false allegations, or negative disparagement must be directed to a person who is devoted to living life to their fullest while abiding by the laws and upholding social responsibilities ?

…. by revealing yet another story for the public to consume like the takeaway meal on a Friday night after busy days at work that potentially lowering someone's reputation may not even mean a thing to their integrity as a human being ?

…. while the decision of an authority is to be acknowledged and respected, the precise details of a complex circumstance are never meant to be openly discussed and known by a third-party so what interest or agenda does the additional inquiry intend ?

…. the objective test of the 'ordinary reasonable person' (ORP) is the latest catch phrase in the practice of Law and Medicine, yet people can be singled out due to position within a group, small number of people can be given alleged imputations, and even some people can be herded into a larger indeterminate group under a disputed, misperceived or even corrupt understanding of a certain characteristics, for example, try 'contagious', 'disabled', 'impaired', 'socially harmful', or even 'of a cult'.

One can see the similar prepositions will continue if the space allows it.

In seeking a specific remedy, the society asks for the aggrieved party to prove the necessary elements and provide the factual evidence. In my early days as a consultant physician, I recall a retired police inspector who had commented to me that the nature has all the evidence to every unsolved murder case yet these remain unresolved because the nature does not voluntarily provide the evidence at the human level.

If the human history could only speak, and along with its volumes, the endless voices and images of the scenes that had played out on the battlefields, we would see that self-interests had led to endless destruction of human beings on all alignments to the social fabric. Through the complexity of our human fabric, diverse societies have come and gone. This inevitable trend will likely continue like illness and disease until such a time the humanity is able to perfect the imprecision and indeterminacy of which it sustains its place in the universe.

Mathematically represented, one cannot keep subtracting countless numbers of individuals from a finite number until there is a balance in the equation through creation of individuals to replace the loss. If we to restore humanity to its predestined truth, then we may either concentrate on increasing the numbers or master the quality of how it is to live as a human being. If we are not even bothered about human advancement or evolution, then continue the ills of the past and focus on self-interests.

May I offer this drop of wisdom while the rain continues in Brisbane for another day or so (and expecting to sit my semester's final exam tomorrow afternoon) ? Like the human body, allow full disclosure of one's agenda (= health, if applied to the body's analogy). If the circumstances arise and change due to falsity of representation, the whole context should matter more than the scattered random cause of action deemed to be 'reliable' for a proposed angle of publication. After all, who cares about the 'ordinary reasonable person' when technicality of a predefined rule can over-ride the core principles of what truth actually represent in measurable facts? Because the facts are not measurable or even spoken about out in the open that such an ordinary person can make a wholescale assumption on the whole group of people?

Supposedly the truth in Science and Medicine can exert its influence irrespective of the indeterminate amount for an indeterminate time for an indeterminate class (or group) of people. Even without a disclaimer, or show of any emotional vulnerability, this particular group of people are meant to be impaired or even harmful to the society at large. Who is then responsible for the accuracy of the imputation or the chain reaction involved in the dissemination of such information ? What if the information is totally discriminative of every individual of the grouped people ? What human remedy is then appropriate for the unforeseeable risk of inequity suffered by the affected people when the others are allowed to live their lives and go unscathed from the adverse circumstances created intentionally by the information providers ?

Before writing publishing and disseminating, let all responsible adults adopt the purpose of serving the whole integrity of a living society, as the immune system would naturally do for the body it serves. If the Aspergillus fumigatus is to be allowed to co-exist within the lungs, at least allow the body's parts to respond in its entirety and not in fragments of indeterminate time, place or stories. The human body does not respond to illnesses and diseases in fragmented form. Either the body responds in whole or not (as in immune-compromised state) even when the issues are buried as in psycho-emotional illnesses (as 'burying' may manifest in anxiety, withdrawal or restlessness etc through adaptation, conversion, cognitive modification and even stress management as confirmed by scientific literature).

What we all know as conventional Medicine will evolve and advance further when we shift from the phase 1 of diagnosis and phase 2 of symptomatic repair. The phase 3 is the era of exposing the 'root' cause(s) as per the cumulative wisdom of seasoned physicians of the old and the new at a far wider scale than ever before. Subsequently, the phase 4 will take form when the mass population is healthier than ever before as far as the human eyes can see. Eventually, the phase 5 of Medicine will be when we are able to heal the unseen beyond the physical and psychological ailments as one would expect an advanced civilisation would do for a global population which by then will have everything to keep physical survival comfortable and sustainable. Even as a humble 21st century physician, I would anticipate that future Medicine will go beyond the diagnosis and treatment to a fundamental depth of healing which will influence several generations of men, women and their offspring.

Instead of establishing elements of abuse and self-interest, we should allow how much more the humanity could be through the singular interest of the whole while every person is an equally important part, and whose right as a human being is deeply respected, sanctified and enforced when any breach has occurred through intention to cause injury, deceit, misinterpretation, misrepresentation or falsity.

Sam Kim

Spring Hill, Brisbane, Queensland

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