If you had to pick a superpower to use in a fight with cancer (or heart disease or multiple sclerosis) what would it be? Truth, Evidence, Reality or Proof?
No one doubts that Evidence and Proof will win the long game, but will we still be alive by the time they build their impenetrable pyramid of Evidence to the point of Proof? These days there is a lot of noise around the reality of ‘Evidence-Based Medicine’ Is Evidence Based Medicine only an Illusion and I long for Wonder Woman’s Golden Lasso of Truth to tie around the researchers and funders that navigate these concepts of Evidence before us.
As for Proof, we would all like some firm Evidence that would confirm to us that our ideas or beliefs are 100% correct … but Proof is a slippery concept and indeed, scientists prefer not to talk about ‘Proof’ at all. They insist it is more useful to talk about Evidence – and if the Evidence really stacks up to support a claim, then we can be (reasonably) confident the claim is true. They say you can never ever really ‘PROVE’ anything in science at all!
If I’m determining my role in a strategy to battle my disease, I’m not sure I want Evidence or Proof as my superpowers. So it’s a good thing these are the powers given to our healthcare providers. They take on a tremendous burden juggling, justifying and continually re-educating themselves about what the powers of Evidence and Proof can and can’t do and I’m grateful for their efforts.
Now, Truth and Reality are powers that go hand in hand. Truth is based on that which is true or in accordance with fact or Reality. Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. Reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. Who possesses the power of Reality? The only person who can speak to the Reality of your physical being is YOU.
If healthcare is in need of a superhero (and who can honestly claim that it isn’t), then let that superhero be YOU, the healthcare consumer, armed with the growing and strengthening ability to quantify, document and share your Reality. This is your superpower and it informs Truth. When you combine your superpower with your healthcare providers power of Evidence, you have a dynamic team.
The Fainting Goat is voting for a new Superhero I call “Veracity”, (I like the colour purple for the cape, what do you think?) representing Truth in accordance with fact or Reality. Don the cape, embrace the moral code, protect your identity and join the fight for your good health.
It’s your health. It’s your health information. Manage it well.