Spoon River Revisited
by Daniel J. Benor, MD
Wholistic Healing Publications

"Modern medicine... has come to be the equivalent of a religion. We are not supposed to question what we are told is true."

Using the tragic experiences of Spoon River's citizens, Dr. Daniel Benor scrutinizes modern medical practices and emphasizes the benefits of wholistic and preventive medicine in contrast to allopathic systems centralized around medication. While allopathic treatments require the individual to first get sick in order to get well, preventive medicine focuses on understanding the root cause of the illness. The author expertly weaves facts and statistics within his immensely emotional prose to make society aware of medical shortcomings. For instance, Dr. Benor reports that 180,000 people in the United States die from medical errors including, but not limited to misdiagnoses and misinterpretation. While numerous flaws of the healthcare system— sometimes labeled the "illness profit system"—are exposed, the author's purpose is not simply to bash the current system. On the contrary, he highlights where the system, as constructed, is beneficial, and where it can make strides that are beneficial to the patient.

Dr. Benor vehemently protests both the healthcare systems promotion of and the patient's reliance on medications. Each poem is christened after a patient from Spoon River. A clearly somber mood overshadows every piece; however, the speaker in each poem is a fallen victim of the system. To expect a positive tone to the poems would undoubtedly be a travesty. Whereas most of these fatalities would be reported as a statistic, the author gives a name, a voice, and a story to the citizens of Spoon River. The stories of Donnie, Tammy O'Connor, Cora Emory, Dr. Tim Solway, Nashima Peters, Georgina Bells, and Tracy Sampson, among others, will impel the medical society to reevaluate their system. Dr. Benor states that there is not a single medication that is risk free. Comparing medications to Russian Roulette, he says that even with a 99% safety guarantee, the 1% could come back to haunt you. Even if it doesn't, medications have side effects that can alter the way you live. Therefore, it's pertinent to focus on a healthy lifestyle that minimizes risk and maximizes the quality of life. Spoon River Revisited is a stirring combination of scientific research and human emotion, a marvel to read and reflect for all.

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