You Don’t Fatten Your Sheep By Weighing Them

These days this adage is generally applied to the abusive overuse of high stakes educational testing. Here what I would like to offer is that you could draw analogous conclusions on the now routine drawing of blood at the doctor’s office. The data tracking society that has crept in to normalization lands all of us who perform well visits (in the United States at least) in the lab having hollow needles injected into our arms with the suspicion that some parameter in our blood might warrant lucrative medical intervention. Fattening we sheep is not their concern—it’s fleecing us by cashing out our wool, under the guise of protecting our health.

The likely logic is that the doctors are advancing the pharmaceutical corporations’ agendas to push a particular drug. Instead of their largely ineffectual commercial advertisements, they advertise indicators on your very own blood test that speak for themselves: you the patient may have a cholesterol problem in several years, so why not start taking our statin drug now? Personalized data in the hands of an authority such as your trusted modern doctor are a powerful weapon to coerce you into compliance.

This cynical view of mine is far more likely than the story that routine blood tests with annual physicals are a genuine advancement in medical thinking that go to benefit the patient. Blood samples twenty years ago could still test for all the same categories that they do today, so what’s the difference? It’s the drug company lobby on the medical field, many times stronger today than it used to be. Blood tests are not preventive medicine, they are battering rams that force open the gateway to medicinal plundering of the human animal.

Perhaps a new dichotomy should be formed between drugs and medicine. Previously it was drugs that were recreational, and medicine that was the remedy to an ailment. Now it is drugs being those substances that benefit someone external to the user (such as the pharmaceutical pusher), and medicine is something that benefits the actual user (an increasing rarity).

Edited 2015-10-28


Anti-State and Anti-Statin: Chomsky and Seneff at MIT


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