I love drugs. I really do. Always have. Not the illegal kind so much. I was never very good at those and haven’t gone there for many years. I’m an over-the-counter girl. With the odd antibiotic prescription.
I don’t go anywhere these days without a little emergency pack of useful drugs in my handbag. In my emergency pack I have emergency doses of all kinds of wonderful things including Panadol, Nurafen, Naprogesic (which I use to treat the early symptoms of a migraine), Ventolin and Noroxin (an antibiotic for cystitis). Because emergencies do happen. And I like to be prepared.
So frankly, I’ve never understood people who talk about medicine as if it’s a bad thing. You know the ones. They say: “Oh no, I would never give my child Panadol or Nurofen! I don’t believe in it!” And: “We don’t do antibiotics in our house! They are poison!”
These people are often the same ones who mistrust doctors, believe pharmaceutical companies are secretly trying to kill us and would rather give birth in an inflatable plastic pool than in a hospital with trained professionals and world class life-saving medical equipment.
This wholesale rejection of medication and medical advice seems to be part of a bigger and more troubling movement towards a mistrust of experts and it baffles me, truly.
From my first world vantage point, it seems like the ultimate privilege to be smug about the fact you don’t take medication or to take pride in refusing antibiotics for your child. Making that choice doesn’t make you better than anyone else. It just makes you very,very lucky to even have a choice. It’s the ultimate luxury.
What parent in the third world, what mother of a child detained in Nauru or a refugee camp, would blithely refuse a safe substance that could ease her child’s suffering or her own? And how does doing that earn you smug points exactly?