Individuals are required to make daily health decisions to promote healthy living. However, not all decisions are informed decisions because of the lack of knowledge in self treatment, in addition to limited access to healthcare providers to help make decisions. According to the U.S Census Bureau, 46 million people under the age of 65 years old went without healthcare in 2007
. Without healthcare, ill patients will remain sick and/or contagious, which may possibly be extremely harmful to other individuals' health, yet beneficial for the survival of a horrible microbe.
On the other end of the healthcare controversy, those that receive healthcare benefits are at the same risk of making poor decisions compared to those without healthcare. When a patient is consulted by a doctor, many professionals and patients prefer prescription medication that may alleviate them of symptoms and not necessarily kill the disease causing pathogen. In some cases, patients are over treated with antibiotics, not realizing the adverse effects it could have on the human body's recovery process. 60% of patients suffering from a cold, cough, or sore throat symptoms go to the doctor and leave with a prescription for antibiotics.
The adverse effects of overusing prescribed medication would be the interference with the body's natural evolutionary defense mechanisms. Recently, there has been a growing awareness among the medical community that recognizes evolutionary biology as an important aspect for medically treating patients called Darwinian medicine.
The goal of this unit is to help inform high school students (grades 9-12) of human population response to microbial diseases through the development of medical treatment, while incorporating Darwinian medicine. This unit will use multifaceted approaches to understanding evolutionary biology by incorporating mathematics, history, and language arts skills. The unit will also identify unique ways of incorporating the arts (through dance, visual art, theatre, etc.) because of its role within my school's discipline.
As a class, students will formulate, from the unit's content, answers to the following questions: How do we prevent becoming ill by communicable microbes? Is it possible for humans to prevent microbial illnesses? Are medications safe to use? Should there be a limitation on the medication prescribed to patients?