Human Health as an Economic Objective

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT.

Economic activity is affected by the diseases and pandemics that spread more and more and very rapidly in some areas of the world, leading, ultimately, to economic downturns which drive to a series of repercussions both on their own citizens and on economic relations with third countries. We try, therefore, to outline the vision through which human health must be interpreted because man uses his health in order to produce income and, more than that, by creating profit from his actions, he created net income. Therefore, health should be monitored and continuously improved through joint and complex efforts, individual and constitutional, national and international.

Keywords: human health, dynamic equilibrium, whole-integrated, health as an economic good

1. Human Health as an Economic Good

World Health Organization and other authors, including F. Capra, Pope John Paul II, C. Popescu, define human health as a physical, mental and social complete welfare in the absence of disease or infirmity. Due to the growing complexity of life and the interrelations that lead to the proper definition of health in the context of the new economic-social-politicalcultural realities, but not only, we should consider a systemic approach that includes individual, social, environmental and economic dimensions. This approach should be based on the awareness of interrelation and interdependence of all physical, biological, psychological, social and cultural phenomena, as the physicist Fritjof Capra (2004) said. In this respect, health requires an equilibrium between environmental influences, way of life and different parts of human nature, according to Hippocrates. An example of such an understanding and approach of health is the Chinese medicine which is based on the fact that both individual and society are health, being whole-integrated in a bigger systemic order and disease is the appearance of individual and/or social disharmonies.

Therefore, health is a state of welfare resulting from a dynamic equilibrium involving both biological and physical aspects of the body and its interactions with the social and natural environment. In order to be healthy, a body must retain its individual autonomy, but, also, it has to be able to integrate into larger systems. This capability of integration is closely related by the flexibility of the body and by the concept of dynamic equilibrium. Therefore, disease is a consequence of imbalance and disharmony and it can be often seen as a result of lack of integration, as stated by Capra (ibid.). One of the factors involving the imbalance of the organism is given by the stress, as a response to the environmental influences. It occurs when the individual is suddenly threatened, or when he needs to adapt to sudden changes of the environment and when he is strongly stimulated in a different way.

In other words, stress is produced by actions related to freedoms enjoyed by people as positive elements, but also by the fact that in conditions of poverty, insecurity of employment, day of tomorrow, organic pollution, incurable diseases etc., the unpleasant side requires more intensive the adaptation of individual and social human life to this undesirable real situation. In this respect the following aspects are relevant (Popescu, Taçnadi, Nica, Lepädatu, Popescu, Stanciu, 2008):

* The number of those who are in a position that cannot provide even the basics of life, not on short term, but over a long period of human time, represents an objective factor, transforming the impact of the stressful factor - poverty and insecurity of life - from an individual level to a higher level, to the scale of the socio group.

* The time taken by the unpleasant factors to act, in our situation the poverty and uncertainty of life, economic crises may fall within the normal waiting time, in which the body finds the required adaptation reserves or it can exceed these limits with serious consequences for adaptation, consuming, over normal human limits the energy that body has in order to live our lives according to the biologically steps that we go through. …