Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

One cause of death — the medical question no one has asked yet?

When I was a medical student, decades ago, I was taught that when formulating a probable diagnosis, we should try to fit all symptoms into one illness or syndrome.

True, my teachers would add, everyone “is entitled” to a cold or hemorrhoids. They are normal and don’t need to be part of the thing the person acutely suffers from.

But besides this, generally, most patients go through one illness at the time. It could be two infections but then it could be one poor immune system. It could be multiple fractures, but we should first look for one cause (one decalcification of all the bones, one car crash, one violent home, etc.).

If someone drank so much alcohol that they get cancer of the pancreas, why not also from the liver? Those whose heart muscle is destroyed by alcohol may have a poor liver health but often not liver cancer. Why?

Cigarette smoking can give cancer in every organ thinkable, but typically only in one. What signal does cancer in one tissue give all the other tissues not to become cancerous?

I’m not claiming that drinking alcohol until your heart muscle can’t perform anymore leaves your esophagus or liver or brain intact. It won’t. But those with alcoholic heart failure usually don’t have liver cancer, alcohol dementia or bleeding ulcers in the intestines.

A woman who had breast cancer in one breast is at a greater risk of also developing it in the other (not as metastasis) but normally not and certainly not in other cancers of other tissues or organs of the body – unless she has a general predisposition to develop cancer – in which case she’s very unlikely to develop a weak heart, dementia, or brittle bones, unless related to a cancer.

A cause of death is usually one thing too.

The question is: why?

This should be golden information in the quest to stop all illness.

There is no way of finding this factor unless one first asks the question. So I hereby do.

How do illnesses keep the rest of the body healthy?


This sketch was send to the Editor of The Lancet 3 weeks ago. They did not reply.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Holocaust survivors in The Netherlands, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Dutch Holocaust survivors. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. His fields of attention are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality), Medicine, Science, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (of young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQI, foreigners, and anyone else who's dehumanized and exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation) and Veganism. Many of his posts will relate to current affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or to new insights that suddenly befell him. He always tries to bring something original and to avoid boring you or wasting your time with the obvious. To send a personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click on Contact Me.
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