Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lies & Illusions

One of my missions in my practice is to help patients reclaim and improve their lives by understanding and reclaiming their health.

My other mission is to respond to all fraudulent, irresponsible and misleading stories about health in the media that distort the truth and perpetuate medical mythology.

The following is another letter to the editor about an AP article that appeared in my local papers.
Statistics are most often used as a drunk uses a lamppost, more for support than illumination.” So it is with your story “Alternative Meds Can Harm Children,” supporting the false notion that natural and alternative therapies are dangerous and medical procedures and drugs are safe. This article is misleading in that it lacks perspective.
An article in JAMA: Vol 284, No 4, 07/26/2000 by Dr Barbara Starfield, MD, of Johns Hopkins, shows that medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States.

There are 2,000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery; 7000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals; 20,000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals; 80,000 deaths/year from infections in hospitals; 106,000 deaths/year from non-error, adverse effects of medications - these total up to 225,000 deaths per year in the US from iatrogenic causes which ranks these deaths as the # 3 killer. More than two million American hospitalized patients suffered a serious adverse drug reaction (ADR) within the 12-month period of the study and, of these, over 100,000 died as a result. Over 75 per cent of these ADRs were dose-dependent, which suggests they were due to the inherent toxicity of the drugs rather than to allergic reactions. The data did not include fatal reactions caused by accidental overdoses or errors in administration of the drugs. If these had been included, it is estimated that another 100,000 deaths would be added to the total every year.”
Shockingly, all medical adverse events are reported voluntarily; estimated at only 1 to 10% of the real problem. So, the actual number of doctor-induced deaths is a multiple of that reported. And, there is no way to know how many of those who die are children.
Anything can harm children, and many things do. It is wrong to scare people away from natural treatments. In many, if not most, cases they are superior to, and less dangerous than, medical approaches in that they rely on the body’s innate capacity for healing. On the other hand, good parenting acknowledges the important role of medical care in emergencies and life-threatening illness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kelly Lee says:
January 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm (Edit)
This article is spot on. Think about it; our medical system on which we rely for our health is one of the leading causes of death. Profit is the motive, misinformation and fear the means.