Proceedings of the Second National Conservation Congress at Saint Paul, September 5-8, 1910
Excerpt: ...prevention, or cure by human agency, since man has shown himself quite able to solve nature's other secrets for the benefit of his comfort or convenience. We conserve health by the application of the same sciences which enable us to conserve our other better recognized but less material natural resources. Disease yields to man's mastery; death remains man's mystery. Even death, however, may be postponed, and Professor Irving Fisher has estimated that over 600,000 deaths occur each year in our country which could be postponed by the systematic application of the scientific knowledge already available. For those who think more easily in terms of dollars and cents, he has estimated this appalling annual National loss at over one billion dollars which can and should be prevented. We must not be lulled into any sense of well-being by such statistics. There is no royal road to such a goal. Our very success in the eradication of one disease or unsanitary condition may lead to undue optimism in regard to other problems, which later may be found to be dependent on altogether different causes and to require very different methods of prevention or cure. Failure to realize the complexities of modern social activity and economic development, in their relation to health, and, at the same time, to recognize the immense number of variable factors and agencies which are involved in health-protective measures, cannot but lead to disappointment. The individual whose enthusiasm is too easily aroused by the discovery of some hitherto unknown cause of disease, or some new method or theory of cure or prevention, is a source of danger to the commonwealth. The faddist, whether in the matter of such things as food, clothing, fresh air, baths, exercise or other therapeutic agents, as well as the individual who thinks that he has discovered the one cause of all diseases, is to be feared. Our chief difficulty lies in coordinating the various forces and agencies which are...
- 189 x 246 x 13mm | 458g
- 13 Sep 2013
- United States
- black & white illustrations