ESCAPE FIRE: Healthcare transformation need not be feared

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There’s a different way of doing things that’s possible” according to the trailer for a thought-provoking movie by Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke entitled “ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” that opens Friday, October 5. Our current system resists needed changes, perhaps fearing change, but the new ideas and alternative treatments, including spiritual ones, that will help rescue American healthcare can be considered and utilized without fear.

According to the movie’s website, “ESCAPE FIRE examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care.”

The inspiration for the title of the movie comes from an incident in Mann Gulch, Montana where a forest fire trapped a group of firefighters. Their foreman, Wag Dodge, intentionally lit a fire in front of him and then stepped into the newly burnt area. The fire went around that area since it was already burned. His crew couldn’t accept his unusual approach and went on ahead and, tragically, most of them were killed. Wag Dodge survived.

It seems that one of the big challenges lies in overcoming the fear of something new, something a little different than what we’re used to.

Albert Einstein reassures us with his perspective: “Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting points and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.”¹

Rather than fearing change, we can be open to adopting broader views. Here’s a heart-warming example of this from here in Michigan:

Earlier this year, NBC Channel 4 in Detroit aired a segment entitled, “Alternative treatment helps local doctor beat infertility”. The doctor who was interviewed said that this experience solidified her belief that alternative medicine definitely has a role in treatment.

Dr. Frank McGeorge, Good Health Correspondent for Channel 4 in Detroit, works in the E.R. at Henry Ford Hospital. He reported this story and said ”if you remain open minded, however, there are alternatives.”

Speaking of complimentary and alternative medicine, a 2007 survey² conducted by researchers at UCLA and UC San Diego reported that the third-most commonly used CAM approach during the past year was prayer for health (29%).

Many, including myself, have found that prayer for health, utilizing Mind-healing which includes consciousness, spirituality and reliance on the divine power, without resorting to drugs, is an effective means of achieving better health.

My mother-in-law relied on our conventional medical system for healthcare. Then, while listening to new ideas in Christian Science about the spiritual nature of health during a train ride she found herself healed of a headache. Pursuing these ideas further she began to rely on this approach more and more and subsequently was healed of severe anemia. After that, she used this spiritual approach as the primary means for her healthcare needs.

When outgrowing the old, you should not fear to put on the new” says Mary Baker Eddy in her groundbreaking book about the spiritual nature of health, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

Probably, most would agree that some changes to our healthcare system are needed. But we don’t need to fear change. Perhaps this movie will light a fire in our collective consideration of our healthcare system and spur us to new and higher views that will yield better healthcare for all.

A profound assessment by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sees the gradual adoption of an expanded view of health by the medical community in America in a forecast for 2020 (page 346):

The first shift is from rigid adherence to the biomedical model to an expanded, multifactorial view of health. While the scientific model looks only at biological indicators of health, the expanded model goes beyond this to include social, mental, and spiritual, as well as physical, health. This shift in focus will lead to the regular provision of psychosocial and other services that currently are not in the health care mainstream. How the medical community acts to encourage the shift will greatly affect the speed and degree to which it happens.

To view the movie trailer for Escape Fire, click here and to visit the website, click here.


¹ Albert Einstein, The Evolution of Physics, page 159 (select 179 in the PDF to see page 159 of the book).
² Ryan B. Abbott, Ka-Kit Hui, Ron D. Hays, et al., “Medical Student Attitudes toward Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2011, Article ID 985243, 14 pages, 2011. doi:10.1093/ecam/nep195
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