Derael

Healing diseases with Breath

6 posts in this topic

Not sure if it was discussed here already, and it's not exactly on topic, but I've been reading the book for the past few days, and I can't stop thinking about the way of healing that can be used to cure any and all physical diseases very efficiently.

All you need is one person with high enough awakening and one Drab. Basically, the patient gives his Breath to Drab (I think just giving it to random item might also work, but not sure if a person with one breath can even infuse it into the item), then the "healer" gives his breath to the patient, the patient is cured of all ailments, and then the breath is returned to the healer, and original breath is returned by the drab to the patient.

Surely there might be some crimes involved (e.g. breath terrorism, when someone pretends to be I'll and takes the breath of a healer, and then refuses to return it), but with necessary precautions it's possible to eliminate most of the problems. (E.g. performing healing in a specific colorless room so the patient can't awaken and run away, etc.).

Still it's a bit risky, since someone might just refuse to give up stolen breath even if they are threatened to be killed, and I'm not sure how to solve this problem completely (unless it's possible to force anyone to give up their breath using torture, but that's probably not true). Very few people would be willing to try and steal from healers, if it was established as the highest offense. Sure, if they succeed, they can gain potential immortality, but if they are tortured and crippled permanently, breath won't help with that, so there is little point unless you want to specifically destroy the big quantity of Breath at a cost of your life. Which still may be a viable enough reason for the spies/terrorists of the enemy countries, but that's pretty much it.

Please correct me if I'm missing something, but to me this sounds like a very viable method, and even the most pious members of both religions should be able to see the clear benefits of using it. There are no downsides besides the point that one person needs to hold a large quantity of Breaths of different people. But as long as those people are willingly sold those Breaths (which already happens anyway), or just donated/sold the Breath before their death (since it doesn't seem like Breath is actually a soul, just some sort of power). It doesn't seem like the Breath of a dying person is significantly worse than breath of a healthy person, as long as enough breathes are collected this way, a healer can be born.

 

Healer himself will get an obvious benefit of living an extremely long life, even though his position comes with obvious risks (e.g. their life is worth a ton of money, so they are an obvious target for kidnappers). There is also a risk that healer may try and escape, but it can be solved by treating healers like monks (e.g. if they give up on their position, they will have to return the breath, while their original breath can also be temproarily given to a Drab working at the temple).

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I actually thought of the same process with the added precaution of chaining the individual to be healed with metal so that they cannot escape.  I do think that the breath would wear out eventually though as per the laws of thermodynamics.

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Just now, Karger said:

I actually thought of the same process with the added precaution of chaining the individual to be healed with metal so that they cannot escape.  I do think that the breath would wear out eventually though as per the laws of thermodynamics.

Well, yes chaining is quite an obvious precaution, I just forgot to metion it when I mentioned colorless room. Basically, creating as secure environment as possible is the minimal requirement, but I don't think it's enough to ensure the safety of procedure.

 

As for the second statement, do we even know that law of thermodynamics applies to breath? But even if it does, it should wear very slowly, and the breath can be renewed by buying a new breaths anyway, so it's not too high of a price for almost completely eliminating diseases.

 

Health people will be able to improve their loving environment, and as a result, decrease the frequency of diseases itself, so less and less healings will be needed as time passes.

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Just now, Derael said:

As for the second statement, do we even know that law of thermodynamics applies to breath? But even if it does, it should wear very slowly, and the breath can be renewed by buying a new breaths anyway, so it's not too high of a price for almost completely eliminating diseases.

Thermodynamics always applies in the Cosmere(at least in theory).

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Breath does not run out while in a person, and for the time being it doesn't in an inanimate object, but the latter may change. 

Quote

DavidB

Also, it seems to me like it would be more internally consistent if Awakened objects consumed Breath, to make all of these Breath-consuming powers in the last few chapters fit in better. So for example, if Vasher Awakened a shirt and left it Awakened and doing stuff for a day, then he might be down one-seventh of a breath when he took it back at the end of the day. (Of course, that mechanic requires it to be possible to transfer or Awaken with portions of a Breath, and if you could do that, then using the "putting the Breaths you don't want to transfer into a cloth until after the transfer" thing, you could feed the Returned by taking a tiny fraction of all the Halladren's breaths, instead of taking some people's entire Breaths and turning them into Drabs.)

Brandon Sanderson

Hum. I like that suggestion, actually. I think I'll use it. Though, what I'll do is say that if you leave the breath in for too long, one of them vanishes. If you can get them back quickly enough, however, there is no loss. That gives a bit of a better explanation of why there aren't a lot of awakened objects doing things all over the place. True, using the breath to make them would be initially expensive--but if you got a magic object that never winds down, then that might be worth the expense.

TWG Posts (May 3, 2007)

As to the actual healing proposition, I believe it would work... But there would be a slight delay. The symptoms of the disease should be dealt with immediately, but the actual source of the disease should survive for some period. This would most likely vary depending on the disease, which would no longer be able to propogate itself and die off. After which, the Breath could be returned and the illness would remain cured. Return the breath to quickly and the illness should resurface. 

Mistborn Era 2 spoilers. 

Spoiler

This is the reason Wayne says that healing diseases is difficult. Dealing with the symptoms doesn't mean the actual illness is gone. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Calderis said:

As to the actual healing proposition, I believe it would work... But there would be a slight delay. The symptoms of the disease should be dealt with immediately, but the actual source of the disease should survive for some period. This would most likely vary depending on the disease, which would no longer be able to propogate itself and die off. After which, the Breath could be returned and the illness would remain cured. Return the breath to quickly and the illness should resurface. 

So you would need several hours of being chained to a wall.

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