The expression biocentrism encompasses all environmental integrity that extend the status of things from human beings to all living organisms. Biocentric ethics involves a rethinking of the relationship between nature and humans.
Biocentrism beliefs state that nature doesn’t exist simply to be used or consumed by people, but instead, that people are simply one species amongst many, and that since we are a part of an ecosystem, those activities that can negatively affect the living systems of which we’re a portion of can negatively influence us as well.
Much of the history regarding biocentric ethics can be understood concerning an expanding array of values. As environmental issues, such as human population growth, waste disposal, and resource depletion have begun to become a growing issue for society, several ethicists argued that value ought to be extended to include future generations of human beings. It’s been argued under biocentrism that individuals should expand moral standing to animals and plants and then to wilderness areas as well as ecosystems, species, and populations. Roots of biocentric ethics originated in several customs as well as in several historic figures.
The first of the five basic precepts of Buddhist ethics is to avoid harming or killing any living thing. The Christian saint Francis of Assisi preached to animals and proclaimed a theology that included plants and animals. Some Native American traditions hold that all things are sacred. The Romantic movement of the 18th and 19th centuries lacked the inherent value of the natural world against the propensity of the technological age to treat all nature as having value.
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Biocentrism in the Medical World
While early biocentric beliefs and ideals have expanded through various aspects of society, biocentrism has also become the basis of ethics regarding its relation to human biomedical and behavioral research in the practice of human medicine, including natural, alternative care options, such as integrative medicine.
Integrative medicine is an approach to care that places the patient at the center and addresses the full array of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect a personâ€™s health. Implementing a personalized plan that considers the individual’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances, integrative medicine utilizes the most suitable interventions from an array of scientific disciplines to cure disease and illness as well as help people regain and maintain their overall health and wellness.
Integrative medicine is grounded from the definition of well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, psychological and social well-being and not just the absence of disease or infirmity.”
As mentioned above, integrative medicine attempts to restore and maintain health across a person’s lifespan by understanding the patient’s unique set of conditions affecting them and addressing the full selection of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences which can ultimately affect their wellness. During personalizing care, integrative medicine goes beyond the treatment of symptoms to address the causes of an illness. The patient’s immediate health needs in addition to the impacts of the complex and long-term interplay between influences are often taken into account before proceeding with the proper treatment.
Integrative medicine combines conventional medical treatments with remedies that are carefully selected and shown to be safe and effective. The goal is to combine the best that traditional medicine has to offer with therapeutic systems and therapies derived from ideas and cultures both new and old.
Integrative medicine is not the same as alternative medicine, which refers to an approach to healing that’s utilized in place of conventional treatments, or complementary medicine, which describes therapeutic modalities that are used to match allopathic approaches. Maintenance may be integrative irrespective of which modalities are used if the defining principles are implemented.
Many individuals erroneously use the term integrative medicine interchangeably with the conditions complementary medicine and other drugs, also known collectively as complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM. While medicine is not synonymous with CAM, CAM therapies do constitute an significant part the integrative medicine model.
The defining principles of integrative medicine are:
- The individual and professional are partners in the healing process.
- All aspects that influence health are taken into consideration, including body, mind, soul and community.
- Providers utilize all healing sciences to facilitate the body’s innate healing response.
- Powerful interventions which are organic and less invasive are utilized whenever possible.
- Good medicine is based in good science. It is inquiry driven and open to new paradigms.
- Together with the idea of treatment, the concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
- The maintenance is personalized to best address the individual’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances.
- Practitioners of integrative medicine devote themselves into self-development and self-exploration and exemplify its fundamentals.
In addition to treating and managing the immediate health problems as well as the deeper causes of the disease or illness, integrative medicine strategies also focus on prevention and foster the growth of healthy behaviours and skills for successful treatment that patients can use throughout their lives. Much like the biocentrism ideals, professionals who practice integrative medicine ensure that the patient is surrounded by healthy, external factors, including environmental exposure as well as the proper nutrition, aside from the person’s unique human experience.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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