Maybe you’re healthy?

An extant existential inquiry

Kaveh Rashidi

Photo: Lori Ann Reinhall
Kaveh Rashidi is a medical doctor and journalist. His new book highlights questions doctors face today.

M. MICHAEL BRADY
Asker, Norway

A comprehensive Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study of what matters most to the peoples of 35 countries around the world (Further reading) found that for most people, safety, income, and education matter most, perhaps because in the global picture, they often are scarce. Within Scandinavia, Danes and Swedes ranked satisfaction with life highest. For Norwegians, health mattered most.

Why that is so now has been probed and explained in 2020 by Norway by born and bred Kaveh Rashidi in a book entitled Kanskje du er frisk? (Maybe you’re healthy?). The story of how that book came about is nigh predestined. Author Rashidi, born in 1988 in Elverum, is a second-generation Iranian Norwegian, whose parents and two elder sisters came to Norway in 1984 as refugees. As often in the histories of names in Norway, the surname Rashidi was taken from that of the ancestral village of the family in Anza County in the Lorestan Province of Iran.

Rashidi studied medicine at the University of Oslo, and in 2011, at age 23, was awarded the medical degree. He has specialized in general practice and works as a family doctor in Oslo and as an emergency services doctor in Bærum Municipality, a suburb of Oslo on the west coast of the Oslo Fjord, just south of the city. He is a member of the board of Amathea, a foundation dedicated to preventing unintended pregnancy and abortion. Since 2017 he has been a member of the professional group on Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (MUPS), and by invitation of the Ministry of Health that year became a member of the council for researching and treating the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

In Kanskje du er frisk? Rashidi spotlights the challenges facing medical professionals in providing services to the public. The book has nine chapters, each on a topic that alone could be covered in a relevant booklet:

Alt vi gjør for å bli friskere: Gode valg versus naturmedisiner, kosttilskudd, supermat og salgstriks. English translation: Everything we do to be healthier: Good choices versus natural medicines, supplements, super foods, and sales tricks.

Helsefrykt og falske nyheter: Frykten for sykdom, helsejournalistikk, motstridende råd og sannheten om vaksiner. English translation: Fear of health and fake news: Fear of illness, health journalism, conflicting advice, and the truth about vaccines

Frisk nok: Blodtrykk, kreft, sorg og usynlig sykdom. English translation: Healthy enough: Blood pressure, cancer, grief, and invisible disease.

Er det sykdom? Intoleranser, sukkersensitivitet, el-overfølsomhet, søvnproblemer og ADHD i et samfunn der vi sammenlikner oss med det uoppnåelige. English translation: Is there disease?: Intolerances, sugar sensitivity, electrical hypersensitivity, sleep problems, and ADHD in a society where we compare ourselves to the unattainable.

Unødige diagnoser: Farlige CT-bilder, intetsigende helsesjekk, leting etter kreft og alternative diagnoser. English translation: Unnecessary diagnoses: Dangerous CT images, bland health checks, cancer screening, and alternative diagnoses.

Fungerer behandlingen? Gode studier, placebo og et hav av usannheter. English translation: Does the treatment work? Good studies, placebo, and a sea of untruths.

Alternativ behandling: Falskt håp, mirakelprodukter og verdiløs terapi, tillatt av et passiv lovverk. English translation: Alternative treatment: False hope, miracle products, and worthless therapy, permitted by passive law.

For mye av det gode: Kolesterolsenkende, hjerteinfarkt, skadde knær og et forsøk på rasjonelle prioriteringer. English translation: Too much of the good: Cholesterol lowering, heart attack, injured knees, and an attempt at rational priorities.

Hvorfor blir noen syke, mens andre holder seg friske? Årsaker, forklaringer og vitenskapen bak det hele. English translation: Why do some people get sick while others stay healthy?: Causes, explanations, and the science behind it all.

The book: Kanskje du er frisk? (Maybe you’re healthy?) by Kaveh Rashidi, Bergen, 2020, Vigmostad & Bjørke, 236 pages, hardcover, ISBN 978-82-419-5112-1.

Further reading:
“An interview with Kaveh Rashidi, M.D.,” by Lori Ann Reinhall, The Norwegian American, online publication Oct. 15, 2019, updated Dec. 15,2019, link: www.norwegianamerican.com/norwegian-enough-kaveh-rashidi, print edition Oct. 18, 2019.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), How’s Life? 2020, Measuring Well-being, Paris, OECD Publishing, latest edition link www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/how-s-life/volume-/issue-_9870c393-en, referenced section What matters most to people around the world?: link www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/responses

This article originally appeared in the April 9, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

M. Michael Brady

M. Michael Brady was born, raised, and educated as a scientist in the United States. After relocating to the Oslo area, he turned to writing and translating. In Norway, he is now classified as a bilingual dual national.

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