Liveware Quickies: Medical Authority In Eastern Europe

I think it’s time I slapped a bitch.

When I opened my email just now I found a chain-letter in my inbox titled “IMPORTANT FOR HEALTH!!!” with the note “This is very true.” from my mother. I was able to trace back the e-mail to her medical doctor friend she hangs out with. The mail reads as follows:

DRINK HOT WATER AFTER MEAL

DEAR ALL,

This is a very good article. Not only about the warm water after your meal, but about heart attacks. The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals, not cold water, maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating.

For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this “sludge” reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

A serious note about heart attacks – You should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line.

You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. 60% of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let’s be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could survive.

A cardiologist says if everyone who reads this message sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we’ll save at least one life. Read this & Send to a friend. It could save a life.

So, please be a true friend and send this article to all your friends you care about.

Being a decorated Internet Veteran, my CAPSLOCK-senses were immediately triggered and my skeptical mind went into red-alert.

Fortunately I have an emergency-button for times like these.

It took me 0.13 seconds to find this article on snopes.com about drinking cold water leading to cancer.

This got me thinking how much shit my parents take on authority from their doctors. The answer is, all of it.

You see in eastern Europe, specifically Poland in this case, people with University degrees (and Priests) hold the answers to the Universe and everything. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous or completely bullshit the claim, as long as you got a doctor title it’s absolute truth.

The interesting thing is that this authority extends past the given specialty of the person the degree gives you magic power to know everything with absolute certainty. If a doctor makes a statement no rational discussion, arguments, data, science, or facts will counter it, ever. Unless you got a magic degree yourself of course, then you can just jargon everyone to death and make yourself look SMRT.

I saw that in particular when I tried to debunk my grandmas belief in Homeopathy. It only worked once I started studying Pharmacy at university even though the arguments never changed, but I finally had authority.

Poland in particular is very enamored with intellectuals, or I should say, pseudo intellectuals.

I think it can all be traced back to the era of communism where being an intellectual was frowned upon and most of Poland’s thinking elite was actually shipped of to Siberia. Add to that the fact that the government started to re-settle farmers and people from “the country” into larger cities, gave them lower-grade academic education (mostly engineering) to reshuffle the population, and we have ourselves a situation where we have a bunch of country-bumpkins that never were exposed to critical thinking or the scientific method but hold high economic positions in core-population centers.

This is nothing against people from the country really, but you have to understand Poland’s countryside ca. 1970 was equivalent to 1900 in western Europe’s standard. I mean there were women that would have their period on the fields because that would enhance fertility of the soil, half the population didn’t have plumbing, schools and education were ran by priests, etc.

Sad as that is, 2012 Poland is a garbled mess of sciencce half-truths, pseudo-science, new-age beliefs, tech-enthusiasm and hardcore catholicism.

Living in that country for extended periods of time might cost you your sanity.

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