I Don't Trust Doctors
by Josh Day
I do not trust doctors, and I certainly do not trust the American
never been comfortable around a physician for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, the hierarchy between doctor and patient is
a little too much like the relationship between the subjugator and
the subjugated: take off your clothes, sit on this bench, say aahh,
get ready for this shot, ingest these drugs, etc. If you trust the
man or woman in the shamanistic white robe, then this hierarchy
is natural and beneficial. However, if there is even the slimmest
of doubts, the whole system is rendered bankrupt.
you doubt your doctor's ability to solve your medical problems,
then why do you go to his office and subject yourself to his pokings
and proddings? When you give an M.D. control of your decisions,
then by that action you make her the superior, and you the subordinate.
most cases, the doctor-patient relationship is a flawed system.
Below I offer some numbers that prove my point.
following comes from a JAMA article written by Barbara Starfield,
medical system has played a large role in undermining the health
of Americans. According to several research studies in the last
decade, a total of 225,000 Americans per year have died as
a result of their medical treatments:
12,000 deaths per year due to unnecessary surgery
7000 deaths per year due to medication errors in hospitals
20,000 deaths per year due to other errors in hospitals
80,000 deaths per year due to infections in hospitals
deaths per year due to negative effects of drugs
America's healthcare-system-induced deaths are the third leading
cause of the death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer."
to Starfield's cited numbers, nearly a quarter million Americans
are killed by the medical establishment each year. She goes on to
say these deaths are third only to heart disease and cancer.
disease and cancer are diagnosed by this same flawed system, so
logic would purport that some of the deaths from the first and second
causes of American mortality are actually direct results of misdiagnosis,
unnecessary surgery, and the other factors listed above.
this argument, a conservative number of medical-induced deaths would
be a quarter million a year, and a more liberal--and probably
more accurate--number would be half a million people killed
every year by doctors, drugs, and hospitals.
a million people.
here we have the AMA quoting this outlandish number of 36,000 deaths
related to last year's flu strain, as well as pushing a questionable
and possibly worthless or dangerous vaccine.
on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, the flu
shot is recommended for an estimated 174 million Americans --
including those who are elderly, very young or immunocompromised,
and those who work in the health care delivery system. Still,
many people go without, leading to illness, complications and
an average of 36,000 US deaths each year. Additionally, in the
last two decades, flu-related hospitalizations have increased
from 114,000 to more than 200,000 annually.
unacceptable,' said AMA Trustee Herman I. Abromowitz, MD. He spoke
at a Washington, D.C., briefing held last month by the National
Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the National Coalition
for Adult Immunization.
message: Flu can be deadly but also can be prevented.
influenza virus ... must be taken seriously by the health care
community, as well as the American public, every fall and every
winter,' said William Schaffner, MD, NFID board member and chair
of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University
School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn."
to these shamans in white lab coats, we are to take this dubious
number of 36,000
seriously. That is a mere 7.2% of the whopping half million Americans
who die under the scalpel, in the hospital room, or by dangerous
chemicals injected into their bodies.
what is to be done? Probing for answers from the rest of the industrialized
world, Starfield looks at the Japanese health care system:
citing [the above] statistics, Starfield (2000) highlights the need
to examine the type of health care provided to the US population.
The traditional medical paradigm that emphasizes the use of prescription
medicine and medical treatment has not only failed to improve the
health of Americans, but also led to the decline in the overall
well-being of Americans. Starfields (2000) comparison of the
medical systems of Japan and the US captures the fundamental differences
in the treatment approach. Unlike the US, Japan has the healthiest
population among the industrialized nations. Instead of relying
on sophisticated technology and professional personnel for medical
treatment as in the US, Japan uses its technology solely for diagnostic
purposes. Furthermore, in Japan, family members, rather than hospital
staff, are involved in caring for the patients.
success of the Japanese medical system testifies to the dire
need for Americans to alter their philosophical approach towards
health and treatment. In the blind reliance on drugs, surgery,
technology and medical establishments, the American medical system
has inflicted more harm than good on the US population. Starfields
(2000) article is invaluable in unveiling the catastrophic effects
of the medical treatments provided to the American people. In order
to improve the medical system, American policymakers and the medical
establishment need to adopt a comprehensive approach and critically
examine the failure of the richest country in the world to provide
decent health care for its people."
goes on to compare the medical establishment and the public's blind
trust in the health care system to a cult. This is a very cogent
argument and a perfect comparison.
physicians of today are wealthy; they live in the nicest homes in
the most upscale of neighborhoods, their "MD" is an honorific
that marks them as "elect," and largely American society
looks at them as life savers and hard workers who are well and rightfully
rewarded for their skills and knowledge.
we come to the "patient." Patients sit in a "waiting
room" for up to two hours before being ushered down a hallway,
led into a tiny sterile room, made to wait from anywhere between
a half an hour to an hour longer, and then they are seen by the
doctor, a man or woman who has evolved to become above question
or criticism. The patient is stripped, prodded, asked questions,
and by this very limited information and observation a "diagnosis"
is made and "treatment" follows.
Starfield said, a cult.
this was not always the case in America.
follows is a brief history of the "physician" from the
the arrival of the professional medical tools that have dominated
20th Century medicine, most health concerns were managed at home.
The citizens of the day would typically keep a good supply of herbs
and other home remedies on hand. When illness struck, they would
call upon their personal networks of kin and community. From time
to time, they might ask a neighbor for advice, or seek help from
an older neighbor woman with extensive experience in caring for
the people of the Nineteenth Century spoke of their 'family physician,'
they were referring not to a person but to a book. Detailed encyclopedias
of lay medical practice occupied a place of honor in many homes.
One of the most influential was The Domestic Medicine,
by William Buchan, MD, one of the great best sellers of its day.
Buchan provided his readers with detailed instructions for dealing
with a wide variety of 'diseases, conditions, and calamities' at
home-from Quinsy, Consumption, and Dislocation of the Jaw, to Swooning,
Low Spirits, and Noxious Vapors. The entire
text of The Domestic Medicine is currently available online.
It makes for fascinating reading.
the closing years of the Nineteenth Century, the cultural persona
of the physician as we know it today-knowledgeable, authoritative,
and universally respected-did not exist. While some physicians were
revered because they were devoted and able healers, a variety of
non-physician resources-midwives, homeopaths, naturopaths, and a
variety of layfolk with special medical competence-were accorded
the same high regard. By contrast, physicians of poor reputation
were regarded as little more than unscrupulous vagabonds. Most citizens
took responsibility for their own illnesses and injuries, turning
to health professionals only in extreme situations. And
citizens had unhindered access to the full range of medical tools
and treatments that were available."
make a pop culture comparison, we are the helpless adult embryos
that power the machine world of The Matrix films.
We have become so reliant on physicians and the medical industry
that we no longer think or diagnose for ourselves, which is still
our constitutional right. Like the "battery" people of
The Matrix, we are born into the system, we are nourished
as slaves by the machines, and in the end the system kills us and
our bodies are recycled back into the network in the form of mortality
statistics and disease foundations that bear our or our loved ones'
not trust doctors.
not trust the medical industry.
Neo in The Matrix, I have freed my mind, and I do
not intend to say "aahh" again.
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