Monday, July 26, 2010

First Do No Harm

First Do No Harm
On August 24th, 1987 US District Court Judge Susan Getzendanner ruled that the AMA (American Medical Association) and its officials “instituted a boycott of chiropractors. The purpose of the boycott was to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession. This conduct constituted a conspiracy among the AMA and its members and an unreasonable restraint of trade in violation of Section I of the Sherman (Anti-Trust) Act.”
Does this represent an isolated case of the AMA’s persecution to ‘contain and eliminate’ a competing profession and/or effective alternative treatment outside of the medical drug paradigm? No way!
Case closed: has the AMA stopped this type of persecution? No way! It is woven into the very core of their history and their ongoing mission; a medical-pharmaceutical monopoly.
The history of the AMA is a compelling read of personal and political power and corruption entwined with corporate interests, profits and greed; the usual suspects.
In 1909, Abraham Flexner, a teacher ( with no other qualifications), backed by the corporate interests of the Carnegie Foundation, with personal family ties to the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Education, issued The Flexner Report. This superficial and prejudiced opinion paper launched a kind of “paradigm coup. It declared and established an orthodoxy of healing dominated by the medical, allopathic, model based in modern chemistry and the prescription of drugs by doctors.
All other modalities were to be shunned (and labeled as quackery), especially the vitalistic approaches that talked about working with the energy or structure of the body, rather than its chemistry. From the manipulations of chiropractors or osteopaths, to the use of energy devices in connection with the body, any healing approaches based on physics were rejected. In the new medical realm, chemistry was king.” (HP of LENS 335)
The goal was to eliminate the competition.
Along the way it inextricably linked medical practice and research, for better and worse, with corporate-sponsored science. Together, they made medicine/health-care an ‘industrial mass-market phenomenon’ and empire.
Along the way they betrayed their Hippocratic Oath: First, Do No Harm by subverting, in so many ways, any other possible effective treatments, or even cures, for anything from back pain to depression to cancer, sacrificing untold numbers of lives.
But the irony of it is laughable. Modern medicine uses the body’s energy and physics in almost all realms of diagnosis, including x-ray, CT, MRI, EKG, EEG, Ultrasound, functional MRI, PET Scans, chromatograpy, lasers, the electron microscope, etc,. At the same time, they continue to condemn, marginalize, and ridicule any treatment or modality that uses the body’s own energy/physics to restore homeostasis and health. All but one that is; the rather medieval EST (electroshock therapy) now known as ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). That one they like. It fits their paradigm that treatment requires ever more potent and powerful interventions; that the body needs to be shocked, drugged or operated on; that more subtle energy techniques could not possibly work.
They deny funding for research into other healing modalities, supporting their claim of the absence of evidence. Yet, of all they do in diagnosis and treatment, it is estimated that only 15% has the standard of scientific evidence that they hold all other alternative treatments to. Not to mention that ‘the absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence. The fact that there are few rigorous studies of an idea doesn’t mean the idea isn’t powerful; it may mean that science refuses, for whatever prejudices, to study the concept.’ (symp p xii)
This is not meant to condemn all of medicine. Some drugs, emergency and surgical interventions approach the miraculous. It is simply a condemnation of their arrogant quest to maintain a disease-oriented, chemical-based medical monopoly at the expense of other efficacious health-nurturing, physics-based alternative therapies such as chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, bio and neurofeedback, among others.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Swallowing Statins; Hook, Line & Sinker

Swallowing Statins: Hook, Line and Sinker
NewsFlash: “Nearly two years ago, a study known as the JUPITER trial hinted at a new era in the use of statins -- one in which the cholesterol-busting drugs could be used to stave off heart-related death in many more people than just those with high cholesterol.”
This study ‘changed the treatment guidelines;’ opening the floodgates for doctors to prescribe statins, such as AstraZeneca’s Crestor, to adults who do not have high cholesterol, and begin prescribing them to children as well.
Is it surprising to anyone that a study audaciously named JUPITER (Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention), a study funded by a drug company (AstraZeneca), performed by researchers with strong financial incentives and ties to the drug company, a study in which “the sponsor collected the trial data and monitored the study sites,” concluded the use of statins in primary prevention is justified?
Both are examples of self-serving, inhumane, corporate profit-driven science.
A second look at this study (2 years and multi-billions in corporate profits later),”turned up no evidence of the ‘striking decrease in coronary heart disease complications’ reported by investigators behind JUPITER.”
No surprise there!
This isn’t a 2010 newsflash. I wrote about how flawed and corrupt the JUPITER study is back in November of 2008 (Holy JUPITER Batman!), two weeks after the study was released!
The short of it is:
  1. High blood cholesterol is not a disease. While it can be secondary to many other diseases, it is mostly associated with poor lifestyle choices: poor diet and lack of exercise.
  2. According to Framingham Heart Study, people with an age greater than 50 years have no increased overall mortality with either high or low serum cholesterol levels.”
  3. Half of all heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol. That said, how can anyone ‘justify’ lowering cholesterol in any group to ‘normal?’
  4. The results of JUPITER were underwhelming: “the proportion of patients with hard cardiac events-cardiovascular death, MI, and stroke-was reduced from 1.8% in the placebo group to 0.9% in the statin group. That represents an absolute reduction of only 0.9%. Stated another way; ‘the data actually means that 120 people would need to take Crestor daily for 2 years to (possibly) prevent 1 heart attack or stroke. At a cost of $3.45 a day, that’s $300,000 for Big Pharma to (possibly) prevent one problem.
The red flags here are numerous and ominous.
  1. Drug companies are constantly creating new diseases and marketing their drugs as cures, seeking FDA approval for ‘cradle-to-grave’ blockbuster drugs. They are getting close to that goal with statins.
  2. Corporate profit-driven science is corrupt and cannot be trusted.
3. Medical treatment guidelines are being developed by doctors/researchers with financial ties to corporations. These guidelines determine ‘standards of care’ and doctors’ prescribing habits with legal ramifications. Stated another way: drug companies are writing guidelines that require physicians to prescribe their drugs or be open to malpractice suits.
4. For us to believe that we all need to take statins, or any other drug, to stave off disease, is to believe that we all inherently suffer from some drug deficiency syndrome. It disarms us from taking personal responsibility for our health and making simple lifestyle changes that, better than any drug, can help us reclaim our health.