At the intersection of medicine and technology lies a fulcrum upon which healthcare can reconnect to a broader sense of the human condition beyond its own or drift further away from what it means to truly care for others. At this epicenter are driving forces, conscious and unconscious, potentiated by the linear algorithmic world of medical education and practice, which preclude true informed consent and thus empowering patients and caregivers to live pursuant to what they hold sacred.
Influenced more and more by technologic advances, an inherent fear of life’s ambiguity (lacking a realistic understanding of the true physiologic arc of life manifest as fear of clinical failure due to limitations of medical education / training), and economic pressures, medicine faces the atrocity of undermining the principles of non-maleficence and beneficence. Reclaiming or losing our own humanity depends on whether we acknowledge the need to change how we perceive life and the delivery of medical care throughout its entirety.
If we step away from acknowledging this, even for an instance, we are likely to lose sight of what it means to be human. If we portend to believe that technology without rigorous moral and ethical scrutiny against perhaps the greatest frailty of humankind – the desire for absolute certainty or, put another way, fear of the unknown and living in a world of ambiguity (which is truly what life is), – if we enter that realm, then technology will falsely appear to approach the impossible of being able to overcome and even control the very nature of life itself.