|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
Ten Commandments for health care reform
In December, my father spent a month rehabilitating from his second stroke in a health-care facility. One hundred years ago, such a place would have been called a sanitarium. I was fortunate enough to live less that one-half mile away from Sun-Bridge Care Center, and was there each morning with freshly cut canteloupe and honeydew. I passed from shock to anger with each meal served to my father. Toast with butter, eggs with sausages or bacon, skim milk. Lunches were worse. Mystery meat swimming in fatty gravy. Few vegetables. No fruit. Dinners were more of the same. I met with the nursing staff, dietician, and nutritionist to no avail. "That's what got him here," I would tell them. I could have gotten a more positive response talking to my living room wall. I shopped and cooked and brought over meals, leaving their fare untouched. I wrote four columns about my father's stroke: Stroke of Bad Luck Partial Recovery The Cause Vegan Cure I've recently began to read the brilliant work of health reformer, Ellen G. White. White set up nursing facilities for people who needed to recover good health. One hundred years ago, her words of wisdom became a model for health sanitariums. I've compiled ten quotes from her writings, which could very well serve as a list of Ten Commandments for health care reform. Commandment I "These people have lived improperly on rich food. They are suffering as a result of indulgence of appetite. A reform in their habits of eating and drinking is needed. But this reform cannot be made all at once. The change must be made gradually." (1904) Commandment II "It is the duty of the physician to see that wholesome food is provided, and it should be prepared in a way that will not create disturbances in the human organism." (1901) Commandment III "Physicians who use flesh meat and prescribe it for their patients, should not be employed in our institutions, because they fail decidedly in educating the patients to discard that which makes them sick. The physician who uses and prescribes meat does not reason from cause to effect, and instead of acting as a restorer, he leads the patient by his own example to indulge perverted appetite. The physicians employed in our institutions should be reformers in this respect and in every other. Many of the patients are suffering because of errors in diet. They need to be shown the better way. But how can a meat-eating physician do this? By his wrong habits he trammels his work and cripples his usefulness." (1896) Commandment IV "When a physician sees a patient suffering from disease caused by improper eating and drinking or other wrong habits, yet neglects to tell him of this, he is doing his fellow being an injury. Those who understand the principles of life should be in earnest in striving to counteract the causes of disease." (1905) Commandment V "An important part of the nurse's duty is the care of the patient's diet." (1905) Commandment VI "The patients are to be provided with an abundance of wholesome, palatable food, prepared and served in so appetizing a way that they will have no temptation to desire flesh meat. The meals may be made the means of an education in health reform. Care is to be shown in regard to the combinations of food given to the patients." (1902) Commandment VII "Let fruit be placed on the table in abundance." (1902) Commandment VIII "We must remember that the habits and practices of a lifetime cannot be changed in a moment. With an intelligent cook, and an abundant supply of wholesome food, reforms can be brought about that will work well. But it may take time to bring them about. (1904) Commandment IX "The food placed before them must necessarily be more varied in kind than would be necessary in a home family. Let the diet be such that a good impression will be made on the guests. This is a matter of great importance. The patronage of a sanitarium will be larger if a liberal supply of appetizing food is provided." (1901) Commandment X "Fresh air, exercise, pure water, and clean, sweet premises, are within the reach of all, with but little expense; but drugs are expensive, both in the outlay of means, and the effect produced upon the system." (1885) Please post these reforms in your local health care facility when visiting a friend or loved one.
Robert Cohen, author of: MILK A-Z
Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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