Thursday, March 24, 2005

Lesson of the Shiavo case

The focus on Terri Shiavo and the legal battle swirling around her seems to miss an important component, and that is the reason why she became ill in the first place. As paragraph 15 of most articles will briefly tell you, she incurred brain damage due to her heart stopping due to a chemical imbalance brought upon by bulimia. The lesson to be learned from all this is to increase awareness of this psychological disorder and how to prevent it. While it is undeniable that Americans are getting disgustingly fat these days, the "technique" bulimia sufferers use to stay thin is obviously counter-productive, i.e. binging followed by disgorging, resulting in a whole array of serious health problems.

I think this whole Shiavo episode teaches us the importance of resolving problems before they get too serious, and our health professionals and educational gurus should increase efforts to make people aware of the hazards of bulimia. While some say it is itself the result of a chemical imbalance, I think psychology lies at the heart of the problem. And that means it can be cured. Healthy eating and regular exercise would prevent obesity in the first place. Of course, the sitting practice of meditation would also reduce this sort of obsessive-compulsive behavior. So let us not forget the hidden message in this Shiavo case, and that is to cultivate our health now and not let things get out of control, leading by chain reaction to far more catastrophic consequences. As such it is a good lesson of the law of karma.

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