On a daily basis when I work with my clients and I have to present to them information that upsets their mental models, I get a variety of responses. These responses range from
1) Are you sure about this? (mildly skeptical)
2) Why did my doctor or dentist not tell me this?
3) How come the FDA passed this?
4) Why isn’t the government doing anything about this?
For the mildly skeptical responses (its only mildly skeptical now because those who come to me know about my somewhat unorthodox views), I simply give them the facts and let them decide. They are of course shocked that the precious antibiotics that the doctor gave them for their viral influenza was quite useless and it was in the best (or worst) case scenario (depending on your perspective) meant to protect against the possibility of a secondary bacterial infection (if it occurred). Most people believe however that the cold got better because of the antibiotics. It is because of the indiscriminate use of the antibiotics we now have “flesh eating bacteria” proliferating and
the development of antibiotic resistant bacterial species.
The next scenario is that of “Why did my doctor or dentist not tell me this”. I have a good friend of mine who is a general practitioner who regularly tells his patients when they have a cold that they do not need antibiotics. Some of his patients love him. His relatives when they see him professionally for a cold and are told they do not need antibiotics go away disgruntled grumbling under their breath, “What kind of doctor are you?” This is one reason doctors do this. They do not want to lose patients. If a patient feels he needs antibiotics and nearly everyone else is doing it, than “I must do it as well’.
On the subjects of mercury fillings, I can wax lyrical but I won’t. I will simply say that in many countries until quite recently, a dentist could lose his license for suggesting that mercury was not a suitable material to be used in the teeth. Now there are states in the US outlawing the use of mercury. One wag once said that
1) If they used the same standard of double blind studies on mercury as a dental filling that they do on drugs, it would never have cleared clinical trials
2) If the US government were to openly ban mercury as a dental product, it would go bankrupt under the weight of the lawsuits filed by its military serviceman
In Singapore, dentist are advised not to use mercury for pregnant mothers by the Ministry of Health. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Is it not safe for pregnant mothers or is it not safe for the babies? If its not safe for mothers and babies, how about the rest of us poor mortals?
One of the other major issues is that of vaccines and its safety. A certain percentage of the cost of the vaccines goes towards legal fees. There are legal companies in the good old USA who specialize in cases of vaccine damage in children. They take these companies to court and win. I will let you ponder on the meaning of a purported medical procedure that is supposed to protect children but leaves 2 % of the children handicapped and brain damaged and autistic some way. Before the serious advent of modern vaccines, the incident of autistic features was 0.1% to 0.2 % . Ahh…the wonders of modern medical science.
For the longest time, the FDA has been held up as the bastion of medical safety and reliability. I have already written about the makeup of the FDA committees when they sit in deliberation. However let me add a new piece to the puzzle.
In what may be among the longest-running and widest-ranging cases of academic fraud, one of the most prolific researchers in anesthesiology fabricated much of the data underlying his research, said a spokeswoman for the hospital where he works.
The researcher, Dr. Scott S. Reuben, an anesthesiologist in Springfield, Mass., who practiced at Baystate Medical Center, fabricated data in some or all of the 21 journal articles dating from at least 1996, said Jane Albert, a spokeswoman for Baystate Health.
The reliability of dozens more articles he wrote is uncertain, and the common practice — supported by his studies — of giving patients aspirinlike drugs and neuropathic pain medicines after surgery instead of narcotics is now being questioned.
The drug giant Pfizer underwrote much of Dr. Reuben’s research from 2002 to 2007. Many of his trials found that Celebrex and Lyrica, Pfizer drugs, were effective against postoperative pain.
“Independent clinical research advances disease treatments and improves the lives of patients,” said Raymond F. Kerins Jr., a Pfizer spokesman. “As part of such research, we count on independent researchers to be truthful and motivated by a desire to advance care for patients. It is very disappointing to learn about Dr. Scott Reuben’s alleged actions.”
Last but not least, the government of any country is the last resort in the chain of medical responsibility. When all else fails and there is a epidemic, pandemic or global financial meltdown than the government steps in.
My question to you my dear reader is, how responsible are you going to be for the health care of you and your family?