Lancet Planetary Health: An argument for the naturalistic study of collective intelligence (2) Reciprocal altruism

8 May, 2021

Hopefully one source of information that we can maintain and rely on will be personal health data created and processed by health care professionals and patients working together. There are pressures on patients and on health professionals sometimes to alter or vary the accuracy or interpretation of medical symptoms, medical history, medical examinations, medical diagnoses, results of tests and investigations, past interventions and diagnoses but overall hopefully reciprocal altruism - as demonstrated by President Biden's move to remove patents from covid vaccines, will prevail to maintain and improve the global source of accurate, timely personal health data for health professionals, patients and families.

"In evolutionary biology, reciprocal altruism is a behaviour whereby an organism acts in a manner that temporarily reduces its fitness while increasing another organism's fitness, with the expectation that the other organism will act in a similar manner at a later time. The concept was initially developed by Robert Trivers to explain the evolution of cooperation as instances of mutually altruistic acts. The concept is close to the strategy of "tit for tat" used in game theory"

HIFA profile: Richard Fitton is a retired family doctor - GP, British Medical Association. Professional interests: Health literacy, patient partnership of trust and implementation of healthcare with professionals, family and public involvement in the prevention of modern lifestyle diseases, patients using access to professional records to overcome confidentiality barriers to care, patients as part of the policing of the use of their patient data

Email address: richardpeterfitton7 AT