When I hear of people that prescribe to the claimed powers of alternative medicines, I feel bad for them, but I usually don’t think twice about it. It’s their body, and if they want to be stupid about it, then that’s they’re own, misinformed business. If there’s a reasonable opportunity to subjectively offer some advice or point out an issue with an alternative medicine treatment, I’ll do so. It’s also important that I do not alienate my business clients, make enemies of my friends and receive tirades from complete strangers. One must pick his battles.
At what point does one need to intervene? When, in a business setting, does a persons decision to employ alternative treatments for possibly life-threatening illness become a liability for a company? What responsibility does a person have to insure that they are getting the best scientifically-based evaluations and treatment?
I’m an Apple junky. (yes I like the ones that you can eat, but that’s NOT the one we’re talking about here) The electronics and computer monolith Apple, that has revolutionized portable computers, music distribution and personal communications. At one time I had 8 PC computers, I now own 4 Apple computers and one PC that gets turned on maybe once a month for a few minutes to print out a label, and a litany of other amazing Apple products. In my mind the forward-thinking design, integrated with high technology, and a user experience that simply cannot be beat, is what allows me to do most all aspects of my job in the production field better, faster and cheaper. These systems substantially affect my business bottom-line and also my experience conducting that business.
When I heard the news that Apple CEO Steve Jobs was sick, I immediately felt ill myself. A knot formed in the pit of my stomach when I learned that a “Hormone Imbalance” was keeping him from his regular appearances on the Cupertino campus. Then he was absent from the Macworld show and a Worldwide Developer Conference. Of course the tech press were abuzz with discussions about his health, what it really meant and what connections did that have with his earlier bout with pancreatic cancer.
I felt reassured in my mind however, surely a man with this amount of insane wealth and means is getting the best medicine, examinations, doctors and treatment that money can by. “He’ll be OK if it’s a survivable issue,” I old myself.
Then, the horror of horrors, there it was, while reading an article describing the computer guru’s rocky road with illness, one word that changed the game: Alternative.
Now I’m not some Steve Job’s fanboy. Most of what I now know about him I learned within the last few months. Usually I don’t care who’s running the show, but as history has shown, Jobs is truly the driving force behind the technological marvels that have put Apple out in front of the pack. I’ve now learned that he’s apparently a Buddhist, a vegetarian and not a strong believer in mainstream scientific medicine. He, for some time, apparently tried to cure his pancreatic cancer with alternative treatments for some time, though ultimately he opted to have a surgery, in 2004 at Stanford. He has said himself that he is cured of the pancreatic cancer. In late 2008, we learned that his medical issues are continuing. Because of Jobs’ zealous privacy, little is know about the types of illness, the treatments and practices that he is taking. Are they alternative?mainstream? Both?
So the big question is, at what point does one have the responsibility of discussing their personal health with their employees, stockholders and customers? Jobs’ is clearly the leader of Apple and if he was to suddenly no longer be in that position, as the past has shown, the stock price will tumble and possibly even the direction of the company and it’s new products could be greatly impacted.
My hope that within his circle of highly talented fiends and family are people with enough bravery to challenge Steve Jobs to re-examine his beliefs in alternative medicine. Hopefully they can show him that, as a person in the technology and science business he of all people should know: Garbage in=Garbage out.
I await the return of Job’s to his post at the end of the month, and hopefully we’ll see a nourished-looking and healthy Jobs, taking his tyrannical, ranting and sometimes hostile reign at the helm.
And for those of you that may quietly influence a man of such power and wealth, that science-based medicine, proven treatments and real doctors are the keys to success in health, I give you kudos and much respect.
Hopefully such a brilliant man will understand that alternative and unproven treatments, even when you have the world at your fingertips, cannot replace good, real science.
Let this be a lesson to us all, we don’t need to stand in the shadow of a person of enormous wealth and power to lend a hand and extend the gift of good information. These people are all around us, and they ALL need our help.