Better Health Update #47 - Monte Kline, Clinical Nutritionist
One of the most common causes of disease (if not the most common cause) is conventional medical doctors! Sad, but too often true. The medical term coined to describe this problem is iatrogenic disease, from the Greek "iatros" meaning physician and "genesis" meaning origin. Thus we have doctor-caused disease. Specifically, iatrogenic disease is defined as:
Any adverse reaction, either major or minor, to a medical or surgical treatment.
The late Robert Mendelsohn, M.D., while Chairman of the Medical Licensing Committee for the State of Illinois and Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Illinois School of Medicine, wrote:
. . . the greatest danger to your health is the doctor who practices Modern Medicine. I believe that Modern Medicine's treatments for disease are seldom effective, and that they're often more dangerous than the diseases they're designed to treat . . . I believe that more than 90% of Modern Medicine could disappear from the face of the earth-doctors, hospital, drugs, and equipment-and the effect on our health would be immediate and beneficial.
DOCTORS ON STRIKE
Whenever medical doctors go on strike, a most interesting phenomenon occurs - death rates go down! In 1976 in Bogota, Columbia medical doctors went on strike for 52 days, with only emergency care available. The death rate dropped by 35%. In 1976 in Los Angeles County a similar doctors' strike resulted in an 18% drop in mortality. As soon as the strike was over, the death rate went back to normal. A 50% decrease in mortality occurred in Israel in 1973 when there was a one month doctor's strike!
HEALTH CARE CUTBACKS
Since the early 1980's we've heard a lot about the impact of "managed care" and health care cutbacks. Medical doctors and political liberals are screaming that people are dying for lack of services. Actually, just the opposite is true. Since the "downsizing" of conventional medical services in the 1980's, life expectancy has made a massive jump both in the U. S. and Canada. No drug therapy and surgical technique can be shown to have statistically increased the general life expectancy. No generation has had its life expectancy increased significantly since medical doctors began using chemical treatments. Researchers John and Sonja McKinlay found that medical intervention only accounted for 1 - 3.5% of the increase in the average lifespan in the U. S. since 1900.
Alternative cancer treatment authority, Dr. Ralph Moss, notes that a 1999 article in The Journal of The American Medical Association stated that prescription drugs kill over 100,000 people per year in U. S. hospitals. The F.D.A. noted that back in 1978 1.5 million Americans were hospitalized as a result of taking medical drugs. One in seven hospital beds is taken up by patients suffering from adverse drug reactions. The General Accounting Office stated that 51.5% of all drugs introduced between 1976 and 1985 had to be relabelled because of serious adverse reactions found after the marketing of these drugs - reactions like heart, liver or kidney failure, birth defects, blood disorders, respiratory arrest, seizures, and blindness.
DRUG COMPANY BRIBERY
Most people are not aware that drugs companies spend thousands of dollars per year on each medical doctor "selling" them on using their particular products. Drug companies hire "detail men" to visit physicians' offices and give them drug samples. These salesmen, who are not doctors and have no medical or pharmacological training, tell your medical doctor what drugs to use for what problems. Drug companies start this process early by offering medical students gifts, free trips to "conferences," and free "educational material," which translated means propaganda on that drug company's products. In Australia drug companies spend an average of $10,000 per year per physician marketing their products. The result of all of this is a massive overprescribing of drugs.
The drug companies don't stop with just practicing M.D.s, though, but also direct major dollars toward hospitals, medical schools and supposedly "independent" research institutes. Medical schools, for example, are given grants for clinical trials, pharmaceutical research, or even buildings. These companies have sought to gain massive influence over medical teaching institutions by spreading their money around. Dr. Alan Levin, Adjunct Associate Professor of Immunology and Dermatology at the University of California states:
Pharmaceutical companies, by enlisting the aid of influential academic physicians, have gained control of the practice of medicine in the United States. They now set the standards of practice by hiring investigators to perform studies which establish the efficacy of their products or impugn that of their competitors. . .
HAZARDS OF HOSPITALIZATION
Hospitals are a hotbed of iatrogenic disease. Every year two million people are admitted to hospitals with one health problem and end up with another health problem! According to Dr. Mendelsohn these doctor-caused illnesses kill as many as 20,000 people annually. A study in the Southern Medical Journal reported that one in five patients admitted to a university hospital acquires an iatrogenic disease, and one in thirty of these lead to death. Of these iatrogenic deaths, half are complications of drug therapy and 10% result from improper diagnostic procedures.
Another study of 815 consecutive patients in a university hospital over an eight month period found that 36% had a disease caused by their doctor - in 2% of the cases the iatrogenic disease was believed to be a cause of the patient's death.
If you project that figure out, assuming 2% of all hospital patients die from an iatrogenic disease, you get 700,000 hospital/doctor-caused deaths per year - one third of all deaths!
In the 1840's Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis directed a teaching hospital in Vienna, where 75% of the women giving birth were dying of puerperal fever. He observed that doctors went from dissecting cadavers to delivering babies without washing their hands. Dr. Semmelweis made the "radical" policy change of requiring doctors to wash their hands before delivery a baby. An amazing thing happened - the mortality rate drop fifteen-fold. Unfortunately, his arrogant colleagues couldn't see the connection, so they dismissed him and ostracized him. The rejection ultimately drove Semmelweis to death in an insane asylum - another great moment in the history of iatrogenic disease.
But doctors are enlightened nowadays about sanitation, aren't they? A 1981 study of washing habits in intensive care units found that only 28% of the doctors washed between patients in a teaching hospital and only 14% washed in the private hospital! Dr. Mendelsohn noted:
. . . the sanitary practices of the medical personnel are often abominable and the hospital itself is probably the most germ-laden facility in town.
Your chances of getting an infection in the hospital are one in 20 with 15,000 people dying annually from hospital-acquired infections.
Dr. Arthur Mannix, Jr. declared in an article in the New York State Journal of Medicine:
Errors in judgment or technique concerning either the anesthesia or the surgery, or a combination of the two, contribute to close to 50% of the deaths in the operating room.
I think what that translates to is that disease is only responsible for 50% of the deaths on the operating table, while doctors are responsible for the other 50% of deaths.
The McCarthy-Widmer study in the New England Journal of Medicine noted the following:
1. 20% of all surgery is unnecessary.
2. This unnecessary surgery costs consumers over $3 billion per year.
3. There are 2.4 million unnecessary operations annually.
4. This unnecessary surgery results in 12,000 unnecessary deaths each year.
Another study showed that when a second specialist was consulted, 18% of the time he disagreed with doing the surgery.
Hysterectomies are the most common operation today with nearly one million done per year. In six New York hospitals 43% of their hysterectomies were found on review to have been unjustified. Women with abnormal bleeding from the uterus or heavy menstrual blood flow were given the operation though other treatments or none at all would probably have worked as well.
PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM DOCTORS
Doctors in general should be treated with about the same degree of trust as used car salesmen.
- Robert Mendelsohn, M.D.
1. Caveat emptor - "Let the buyer beware." Don't assume your doctor knows everything, or that he or she necessarily knows what's best for you. Use your doctor like your lawyer or CPA - someone to give you counsel with you making the final decision.
2. Don't panic with sickness - Sickness is an opportunity to learn about your body's needs and to seek God's direction. Remember the story of King Asa in the Old Testament who died because he only sought the physicians instead of first seeking the Lord for his illness (II Chron. 16:12).
3. Avoid treating symptoms - There would be little iatrogenic disease if people were not so intent on treating symptoms. Instead you must get down to root causes, which usually means lifesytle change.
4. Don't "quick fix" pain - Get over the idea that pain is something that has to be immediately eliminated at any cost. That view encourages a lot of symptom treatment and resulting drug iatrogenesis. Pain is a warning that something's wrong. Again, seek to fix the underlying cause and that will fix the pain.
5. Seek appropriate health care services - The old saying says: Never ask a barber if you need a haircut. Don't expect anything but a prescription drug for symptoms when you go to a medical doctor. If you want to deal with underlying causes, go to the appropriate natural medicine doctor. Of course, if you have an emergency situation or some type of acute problem, conventional medicine is best equipped to deal with that.
6. Stimulate natural healing, don't sabotage it - Symptom treatments, like the frequent use of antibiotics, destroy your natural immunity, and thus open the door for more iatrogenic problems. Focus on detoxifying, correcting nutrient deficiencies, allergic desensitizing, and exercise to free up your body to heal itself.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this publication is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose illness nor prescribe treatment. Rather, this material is designed to be used in cooperation with your nutritionally-oriented health professional to deal with your personal health problems. Should you use this information on your own, you are prescribing for yourself, which is your constitutional right, but neither the author nor publisher assume responsibility.
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