Surgeons continued to use injections of an enzyme, chymopapain, to dissolve ruptured discs, even after it was revealed that it probably aggravated the condition, because their patient preferred injections to surgery.
With the extensive increase in the range of health related products, whether pharmaceutical or advocated by the alternative health community, preoccupation with personal health can lead to debilitating psychological consequences. Some practitioners, especially of alternative cures, actively feed people's anxieties, without necessarily being able to focus on specific illnesses. Whereas practitioners of conventional medicine focusing on specific conditions, overlook the emotional, dietary and environmental causes which may subsequently engender others symptoms. Both approaches are distorted by a need to maximize the financial exploitation of the patient.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.