reply to post by Heike
Maybe we could narrow that down to a topic somehow… "there is an organized conspiracy among medical professionals to keep the public diseased."
I think there's a lot of seriously unethical and even immoral behavior by pharmaceutics companies and by HMOs/insurers. I think there are a lot of
bad doctors, and even more overworked doctors. But I don't think that there is an organized conspiracy reaching throughout the health care field to
keep us alive but sick.
I do think there is a societal/cultural terror of death that drives us to take absurd measures to prolong life at the cost of living. And I think
it's consciously fed by the media as part of their fear and drama conditioning.
I've seen you tell the story about the doctor and the echinacea before, and I can't figure out what exactly he meant – I'm pretty sure there's
no legal bar to telling patients about alternative treatments as long as it's clear that they are alternative and not backed up by peer-review
And I have yet to see a "cancer cure" that hasn't either been debunked or is actively in early stage research. For what it's worth, I used to work
as a secretary on an oncology unit (mid-1990s) in a major teaching/research hospital. While I was there one of the nurses and one of the doctors were
collaborating on a study of using Reiki in cancer treatment. They really are willing to try new things – even things with no benefit to the drug
companies or medical device manufacturers.
No doubt the doctors are partly to blame for the pitiful state of medical practice in the US. Antibiotics transformed medicine and doctors bought into
the idea of the magic bullet hook, line, and sinker, and then taught the public to expect magic. We need a new attitude among doctors, but we need a
new attitude among patients as well. It's great (in my opinion) that your doctor would refuse to give you antibiotics for the flu – unfortunately
many doctors have been worn down by the never-ending demands to take action
about a problem that just requires time, and justify their
misprescribing by appealing to the placebo effect.
And too many doctors have bought into the idea that they can do magic. But the attacks on them rather than on the dysfunctional medical infrastructure
drive them into a corner and seem to result in an oppositional relationship between doctors and patients that actually wish to be well-informed and to
participate in their treatment decisions.
(In the interest of full disclosure and in case of future debate: my father is a doctor and professor of medicine at the aforementioned teaching
institution. Growing up with a doctor as a parent gives you a different take on things: we rarely saw our pediatrician between annual visits, and
I've probably been on antibiotics five or six times in my life, all for ear infections. My dad is vehemently opposed to antibacterial soaps etc –
except for scrubbing in to the OR – and has always practiced and preached a very minimalist medicine. He also refuses his flu shot every year