Let’s Treat Intolerance Like A Disease

Hate isn’t healthy, and doctors are working to find a way to diagnose and heal it

Hitler, despite suffering from chronic flatulence, was a vegetarian and in pretty good health at the time he orchestrated the slaughter of millions of innocent people. Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu was a nonsmoker and cardio enthusiast when he launched mass murdering sprees of his own. Surely, there are modern misogynists who can run a six-minute mile and Islamophobes with low body fat percentages. But should we consider a person healthy if he or she nurtures feelings of intense hatred? UCLA Medical Professor Dr. Robert H. Brook doesn’t think so.

This past Valentine’s Day, Brook addressed the insidious role hate plays in health, arguing in a JAMA article that medical professionals should play a larger role in combatting intolerance. Brook, who is also a Distinguished Chair in Health Care Services at the RAND Corporation, believes medical professionals have a responsibility to reduce intolerance, along with the necessary widespread respect to make a real difference.

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