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Cuts or Curare? The question is certainly melodramatic but it makes the point. The overwhelming view of most people is that they would rather take a medication than undergo a surgical procedure, any day of the week, whether the treatments are equally effective or not. In reality drugs (which include naturopathic remedies and vitamins,herbals, etc.) have systemic effect on our bodies. They do not single out a specific organ or chemical reaction, rather they react with all tissues to more or less degree. That is why all meds including aspirin (which is a very powerful drug) have side effects. Not so with surgery! A cut purposefully made only injures the immediate tissue affected by it with no direct systemic consequence. Anesthesia (drugs) of course does, but even this aspect of surgery is under direct professional control. Surgery evokes a visceral response in us all, since it occurs much less often than our pill-popping daily use. Yet the dangers lie in our medicine cabinet much more so than in our operating rooms.