Health and the Environment

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Medicine After Oil

The scale and subtlety of our country’s dependency on oil and natural gas cannot be overstated. Nowhere is this truer than in our medical system. Petrochemicals are used to manufacture analgesics, Continue reading

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A Place-Based Malady

The scream of chainsaws gnawing through full-grown oak trees abruptly announced summer’s arrival in 1987 in the leafy enclave of Lake Forest on the Lake Michigan shore north of Chicago. Most Continue reading

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Beyond the Patient

Before Hippocrates, health was a supernatural affair. Exorcists and priests charmed money from the dying. Snakes squirmed beneath sickbeds. Sacred dogs licked fatal wounds. Pilgrims dozed within shrines, awaiting divine visitations, Continue reading

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Fahrenheit 59

Yesterday afternoon, my six-year-old son practiced swimming with me. Delighted with the water and my attention, Corey stayed in for forty minutes. Despite the water’s chill, I knew if I took Continue reading

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The Germs of Life

WATCH TV FOR AN HOUR. Flip through a mainstream magazine. Peruse personal hygiene or cleaning products in a store. You’ll feel the need to defend yourself with antibacterial soaps and cleaning Continue reading