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First, Do No Harm

Primum non nocere

Let me preface what I am about to say by stating that I have the utmost esteem for mainstream medicine’s skill in emergency situations — the do or die surgeries, the dispensing of powerful life-saving drugs necessary in that setting are second to none; and its mastery of cosmetic surgery in cases of deformities and the advances made in prosthetics are nothing less than spectacular. These are what make mainstream medicine great.

. . .

The pompous certainty of mainstream medicine’s powerful proponents — be they multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies, medical associations, disease-specific charities, government agencies, Madison Avenue selling the diseases and the pills, TV or magazines, the news media parroting its cash cow’s every claim — combined have most people, hook, line and sinker, believing in the impeccable record of mainstream medicine. No questions asked.

Here, I would like to throw out some alarming statistics — ones that can be easily found in a variety of journals from Forbes to JAMA to CounterPunch, etc.

The estimated annual mortality rate for adverse drug reactions to “correctly” prescribed drugs is the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S. Over the counter (OTC) cold medications are among the top twenty substances causing death in children. Used according to direction, NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) are responsible for more than 20,000 deaths every year. There are over 400,000 deaths each year from drug and medical errors and tens of thousands more deaths from unnecessary procedures. Add those together and mainstream medicine is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

So, why is it that most people trust, without question, the omnipotence of mainstream medicine in the same way religious zealots believe in their chosen religion or atheists in theirs? When well over 200,000 people die in the U.S. each year from prescription drug use alone — not abuse, but use; when we spend more, per capita than any other nation on earth and yet our health indices and life expectancy are near the bottom of all other developed nations why is there no sense of outrage (except for price gouging!) or, at the very least, a sense that something is not right, that something is terribly wrong?

Yet, as has happened many times, should a doctor, a scientist, a researcher or a curious layperson question conventional medical creed the herald is quickly battered down with jeers of derision, and swiftly “discredited” and shunned by the medical community. The media then parrots what they are told and soon everyone is asking, “How dare they question science? Haven’t they heard of collateral damage? Every war (and they are constantly reminding us of the war we are fighting against diseases) has collateral damage”. Yet when a few people die from dirty spinach, improper use of some herbal product, or a handful of people (some even vaccinated) catch the measles (and live to tell about it!) panic overruns the media.

Does anyone remember or know of the ad campaigns telling us that “nine out of ten doctors smoke Camel cigarettes” or that DDT pesticide spray is “good for you!”? We may laugh now but what about the more recent debacles such as HRT (hormone replacement therapy), Vioxx, swine flu vaccines and GMOs — all of which received the seal of approval from industry scientists, government agencies and all were pushed by Madison Ave. — just like the cigarettes given to my father for heart disease and the DDT sprayed on everything in sight, including children.

The number of TV commercials for drugs, medical clinics, hospitals, and doctor-related reality TV shows is mind blowing. It is a constant barrage of “a pill for every ill” and “don’t forget to ask your doctor about it”, while people with vapid eyes move in slow motion through white rooms or a meadow filmed through gauze, while a voice, soft and soothing, tells you of the pill’s benefits and then the same voice, just as soft but at breakneck speed, spews a partial list of possible side effects and a series of unwanted symptoms, some of which sound, and are (such as death) worse than the “disease” itself.

And interspersed between the ad for an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that had not long ago been given “by prescription only” and another ad for the new six story billion dollar specialty clinic are yet more commercials inviting us to join in what has become a celebration of you fill in the blank disease. There’s a “walk” or a “run”, even a paddle! for this disease and a different colored “ribbon” for that disease. It is almost as if having a disease has become the new “in” thing — fashionable, admirable, heroic even. Are we being groomed to embrace our diseases, while at the same time being told to give, give, give to find a “cure”? According to Dr. Robert Sharpe, author of The Cruel Deception, a book about animal testing in medical research,” . . . in our culture treating disease is enormously profitable, preventing it is not.”

We have been told we are living longer but the sad fact is that the trend has reversed and now for the first time in decades life expectancy has dropped in the U.S. Even more alarming is that, along with adults, the number of children with chronic diseases has risen sharply. Think about it. How many of us make it past seventy (hell, even sixty!) without some major medical catastrophe (or two) requiring surgery and/or special apparatuses to help us do what used to come naturally and/or prescribed no less than three or four drugs? And how many “new” (iatrogenic) diseases do we then acquire from taking those drugs or undergoing those procedures that require even more drugs and/or more procedures?

And just what is conventional medicine’s track record for curing disease — any disease — not palliation or suppression or masking (all of which suppress and weaken the immune system) — but curing? Forty years ago I knew one woman with breast cancer while today I know dozens, all of who underwent tortuous procedures, surgeries and drugging, and yes, some of them died. And why is it that when people die after making use of conventional medicine — surgery, chemotherapy, drugs, etc. — there are no cries of foul against their choice of healthcare? Instead they are hailed as heroes who fought a courageous battle, but when someone dies after trying an alternative medicine the cries against their choice are nothing less than vitriolic, as if no one ever dies using mainstream medicine, when in actuality many thousands die each year from mishaps alone, never mind the many hundreds of thousands who die from the diseases that have remained rampant — heart disease, cancer and diabetes, etc.

Despite unprecedented technical and scientific advances, mainstream medicine’s only answer to disease is to destroy—with toxic substances, ingested or injected, with life-threatening procedures and with the removal of diseased (and often times healthy) body parts. Kill germs, fight cancer, destroy cells, kick (name a disease)’s ass, crush, terminate, rub out, blast; never build up, heal, cure. Are we, as a society, even capable of imagining alternatives to mainstream medicine? I once told an MD I knew that a friend’s kidney stone passed with relative ease after drinking a herbal tea prescribed by an Acupuncturist. “If there was something out there that can do that,” he told me, “we would know about it”. Not with that attitude!

When contemplating all that led up to the economic debacle of 2008, I would venture to guess that most people would be leery now (if they weren’t already!) of any advise given by the banking industry and Wall Street concerning, let’s say, home loans. And the same wariness would prevail when listening to the oil or coal industries’ take on environmental issues, or the weapons makers’ spin on whether to go to war or sell arms, or the pesticide- producing conglomerates on the safety of their products. The conflict of interest in each case should be obvious because when one considers that the very ones who profit by limiting the field of allowable research, who selectively choose among research papers to discredit alternative theories or boost their own are the very ones who control the message, it becomes obvious that we are seeing conflict of interest on a massive scale.

And, what of the research done by pharmaceutical companies that tell us a certain drug, or procedure, or vaccine is safe and effective? Does it make you comfortable to know that President Obama’s pick for FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Commissioner, Robert Califf, had received research funds from twenty-five drug companies while director of Duke University clinical research department where a major research fraud scandal had erupted under his watch or that Julie Gerderding, former head of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) concealed and then destroyed evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism in African-American boys, and yet congress refuses to subpoena her and the whistleblower from the CDC and the media never mentions it, and that this same Julie Gerderding left the CDC to become the president of Merck’s vaccine division and then executive VP of Merck, the sole manufacturer of the MMR vaccine? These examples are just two of many that are not only about a colossal conflict of interest but also about a dangerous threat to true scientific discovery affecting millions of lives.

So, why is it that pharmaceutical companies (which, by the way, have more lobbyists than there are members of congress and the senate combined) and which have a woeful track record when it comes to conflict of interest in medical research, drug research and alternative medicine viability research, are given a pass, a green light, a pat on the back of confidence and, besides, are vehemently defended and vociferously cheered on? What marketing magic do they spin that makes people overlook their complicity in fraudulent research, their over-the-top demonizing of opposing viewpoints, and above all their abhorrent safety record?

Why can’t we question the effectiveness, the safety or the necessity of some vaccines without being rudely shouted down? I wonder if those who shout the, “Shut up! They are safe!” mantra have ever taken the time to study the long history of infectious disease and the history of vaccine use? Do they know there are no long-term studies on the effects of vaccines, or that vaccinated people are not necessarily protected from the diseases they are vaccinated against, or that the pharmaceutical companies and the government agencies refuse to do a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated population study as to their overall health indices, that vaccines, unlike other drugs are not tested against a placebo but against another vaccine, or that childhood infectious diseases had been on a downward trend for many years (measles deaths had declined by almost 100 percent!) well before vaccines were introduced as had many of the other infectious diseases — running their course, improving as our sanitary conditions and treatment of the illness improved? So, why not let them continue to decline until they naturally disappear? Why introduce crude disease substances and a mixture of lethal chemicals (of which no one knows or bothers to test their long-term effects) into our bodies in an attempt to eradicate diseases that seemed to be doing a fine job of doing just that naturally?

Could there be a connection between the plethora of “new” or increasing diseases and the crude drugs (including vaccines) we have been putting into our bodies for decades now? If we stop to think about it does it make sense to inject ourselves with hazardous material we know nothing about to prevent diseases like the measles, mumps and the flu and others that are now so simple to treat?

But we are told, ad nauseam, to, “Shut up and just get your shots! All your questions have already been answered!” However, when you look behind the scenes of medical research and find the pharmaceutical companies paying the bills, writing the reports and working closely with government agencies, research colleges, medical journals and the media to get their message out, it should raise a red flag.

What is the great harm brought about by this absolutism of the proponents of mainstream medicine? There are many but two are outstanding. One is that freedom of choice in one’s healthcare decisions can and will be taken away — it has begun already and is picking up momentum. I do not use conventional medicine except in some emergency situations, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t fight for the right of others to choose to use it exclusively if they believe it to be their best or only option. Being comfortable with one’s healthcare choice is, I firmly believe, of utmost importance. Yet if it were up to many people I should not be allowed to choose the kind of healthcare I want for my family and me.

And secondly, that same vitriolic certainty and insular thinking is truly harmful to the very essence of scientific inquiry. Great discoveries could be ignored simply because of a refusal to look beyond what we are told is scientifically acceptable today, the realm of inquiry having been limited by the greed of those in power and their manipulation of the masses by way of the fear factor.

Written by Emmy Bee and published by Dissident Voice ~ September 24, 2017. Emmy is not an expert of any kind, nor does she hold any degrees or certifications, or represent, belong to, or work for any party, organization or corporation. She speaks for herself, a sixty-two year old woman, and from her life experiences and extensive research. Her goal is to simply get another point of view out there that is seldom heard.

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