The True History of Modern Medicine
The foundation of modern(allopathic) medicine can be correctly gauged from it’s history. If the foundation is flawed, then no matter how impressive the towering super-structure may seem, eventually it will collapse. Read carefully the story of Dr Abraham Flexner below and you will understand that the roots of modern allopathic medicine is diseased and corrupted, thus giving rise to bad fruits. Iatrogenics(death caused by prescription drugs) is now ranked in the US and UK as among the leading causes of death- these are the fruits by which you can assess their success.
Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Killing 225,000 People Every Year
This article is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the most widely circulated medical periodical in the world. It is the best article I have ever seen written in the published literature documenting the tragedy of the traditional medical paradigm.
The author is Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and she describes how the US health care system may contribute to poor health.
ALL THESE ARE DEATHS PER YEAR:
What does the word iatrogenic mean? This term is defined as induced in a patient by a physician's activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially of a complication of treatment.
Dr. Starfield offers several warnings in interpreting these numbers:
If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000. In any case, 225,000 deaths per year constitutes the third leading cause of death in the United States, after deaths from heart disease and cancer. Even if these figures are overestimated, there is a wide margin between these numbers of deaths and the next leading cause of death (cerebrovascular disease).
The high cost of the health care system is considered to be a deficit, but seems to be tolerated under the assumption that better health results from more expensive care. However, evidence from a few studies indicates that as many as 20% to 30% of patients receive inappropriate care. An estimated 44,000 to 98,000 among them die each year as a result of medical errors.
Journal American Medical Association July 26, 2000;284(4):483-5
DR .MERCOLA'S comments
Folks, this is what they call a "Landmark Article". Only several ones like this are published every year. One of the major reasons it is so huge as that it is published in JAMA which is the largest and one of the most respected medical journals in the entire world. I did find it most curious that the best wire service in the world, Reuter's, did not pick up this article. I have no idea why they let it slip by.
I would encourage you to bookmark this article and review it several times so you can use the statistics to counter the arguments of your friends and relatives who are so enthralled with the traditional medical paradigm. These statistics prove very clearly that the system is just not working. It is broken and is in desperate need of repair.
I was previously fond of saying that drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in this country. However, this article makes it quite clear that the more powerful number is that doctors are the third leading cause of death in this country killing nearly a quarter million people a year. The only more common causes are cancer and heart disease. (edited for brevity) (www.mercola.com)
The Leipzig Connection:
Sabotage of the US Educational System- by Paolo Lionni
Chapter 8. A Showplace (Excerpts)- Abraham Flexner was an able fund-raiser, an experienced educator, and an organizer who felt he had the solution to both the supposed failure of American education and to the need of the General Education Board to disburse the Rockefeller millions. Educated at John Hopkins University and the University of Berlin, he went on to be a researcher at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, in New York City.
In 1913, Flexner left the Carnegie Foundation and went to work for the General Education Board, first as assistant secretary for four years, then as secretary (principal executive officer) running the operations of the Board for eight years in partnership with its president, Wallace Buttrick.
Flexner's first impact on American education had taken the form of "Germanizing" American medical education. While at the Carnegie Foundation, Flexner was asked to do a major study of medical schools in the United States and Canada. In eighteen months, Flexner visited each of the 155 medical colleges in the U.S. and Canada. He was appalled by conditions which he considered inexcusable when compared with the medical schools he had seen in Germany. Nonetheless, he did find several medical schools of which he approved, most notably his alma mater, John Hopkins, which he considered to be "the one bright spot, despite meager endowment and missing clinics."
Support for the "modernization" of American medical colleges rapidly developed in the General Education Board, which was looking for ways to expand its philanthropy beyond the narrow band of assistance to rural Southern education. Carnegie, who had fostered the study initially, would have nothing to do with medical funding, as "the practical Scot could see no point in helping institutions which had allowed themselves to get into so abysmal a situation." But at the request of the Carnegie Foundation, Flexner took off again, this time to survey medical schools in England, Scotland, France, Germany, and Austria. It was while he was writing up his final report that Gates invited him to have lunch with him. Gates was strongly interested in German medicine, and was opposed to the traditional homeopathic medicine used by Rockefeller's personal physician, Dr. H.F. Bigger, with whom he often had heated arguments. In the short meeting, Gates asked Flexner what he would do if he had $1 million to work with in developing medical education in the United States. Flexner replied that he would give it to Johns Hopkins. Gates sent Flexner off to his alma mater with the agreement that if Flexner could make a convincing case for the donation, it would be given by the Board. It was several years before Flexner finally cashed in, securing a $1.5 million gift from the Board to the German-oriented Johns Hopkins University. That same year (1913), he left Carnegie and joined the Board to direct the allocation of Rockefeller millions to the development of chemically oriented medicine in the United States.
By the time Flexner joined the Board, his attack on American medical education, which had been front-page news across the country, had resulted in the number of medical schools in the United States dropping from 147 to 95. Naturopathic medicine was on the decline in this country, as it was proving particularly unsusceptible to Rockefeller funding. Over the years (until 1960), the General Education Board would give a total of over $96 million to medical schools which, like Johns Hopkins, disregarded naturopathy, homeopathy, and chiropractic in favor of medicine based on the use of surgery and chemical drugs. The Board's sponsorship of chemical medicine on the one hand and psychology on the other would culminate in 1963 when a group of researchers at Johns Hopkins developed the use of Ritalin to "treat" children who were regarded as "troubled" or too active. The effects of this merger of chemical medicine and Wundtian psychology upon American education are thoroughly documented in The Myth of the Hyperactive Child, and Other Means of Child Control, by Divoky and Schrag
An Example - Modern Medicine
Further on in a later paragraph, Zimmer says:
“Antibiotics are a "drug" which helps the body do what it is already trying to do. At the turn of the century, when antibiotics were discovered, great forward leaps were taken in the general health of the public, because infections no longer were untreatable. But most modern "medical" drugs do not act to "help" the body do what it is already doing or trying to do, and, in fact, often act to inhibit or harm the body and what it is trying to do. Modern drugs, including psychiatric drugs, primarily attack and suppress symptoms, rarely addressing or correcting any underlying causes, and almost always with known or unknown harmful side-effects. Even prolonged use of antibiotics has detrimental effects on the body's immune system and other normal body functions. Various proponents of "drugs" try to equate the "antibiotics" with the other newer modern drugs in their attempt to justify their use, but all "drugs" are not equal. Medical and pharmaceutical specialists want us all to simply think that "drugs are good" and "drugs cure illness". They don't want anyone to have an in depth understanding of what drugs actually do, and that they primarily attack symptoms. Sadly, and for the most part, this is what they themselves believe.” Also a historically important book on this subject can be read online at this address: http://www4.dr-rath-
University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London
Posted By Dr. Mercola | February 04 2011
It's been seven years since I posted the comprehensive, footnoted research article, Death by Medicine, on this website.
Authored in two parts by Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, and Dorothy Smith PhD, it described in excruciating detail how the modern American medical system had bumbled its way into becoming the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.
From medical errors to adverse drug reactions to unnecessary procedures, heart disease, cancer deaths and infant mortality, the authors took statistics straight from the most respected medical and scientific journals and investigative reports by the Institutes of Medicine (IOM), and showed that on the whole American medicine caused more harm than good.
The purpose of this was not to frighten you, but to help you make informed choices about your health, and to provide you with the tools you need to take control of your own health
Seven years after the original article was written, an analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine November 25, 2010 piqued my interest -- the researchers found that, despite efforts to improve patient safety in the past few years, the health care system hasn't changed much at all.
Instead, 18 percent of patients were harmed by medical care (some repeatedly) and over 63 percent of the injuries could have been prevented. In nearly 2.5 percent of these cases, the problems caused or contributed to a person's death. In another 3 percent, patients suffered from permanent injury, while over 8 percent experienced life-threatening issues, such as severe bleeding during surgery.
In all there were over 25 injuries per 100 admissions!
Shocked, I decided to do some research of my own on the state of American health care today.What I found is the grim picture that I'm sharing with you, as an update to the original Death by Medicine article.
Over 40,000 Mistakes EVERY Day!
Unfortunately, the NEJM article was just a reminder of something that the Thirteenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study pointed out earlier this year.
HealthGrades has been studying the quality of care in the nation's hospitals since 1988. This year they analyzed approximately 40 million Medicare patients' records from 2007 through 2009, and found that 1 in 9 patients developed a hospital-acquired infection.
The HealthGrades report said that "the incidence rate of medical harm occurring is estimated to be over 40,000 each and EVERY day according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement."
Another study, in 2008, by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, also reported grave evidence that something is amiss in the hospital setting in America: One in seven Medicare beneficiaries who is hospitalized will be harmed as a result of the medical care they receive in the hospital, the study said.
Authors of this study found that physician reviewers determined nearly half, or 44 percent of the adverse and temporary harm events "were clearly or likely preventable." The cost of these mistakes was estimated at $324 million in October alone. The mistakes equate to 3.5 percent of the Medicare budget.
Another study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine this year, showed that sepsis and pneumonia caused by hospital-acquired infections killed 48,000 patients and ramped up health care costs by $8.1 billion in 2006 alone. Both these infections are mostly preventable through better infection controls. The study also found that 20 percent of people who developed sepsis died; 11 percent of those who developed pneumonia died.
The authors noted that many hospital-acquired infections are super resistant to common antibiotics – and it's not just sepsis and pneumonia that they're talking about.
A different study in 2006 showed that "central-line-associated" bloodstream infections caused by catheters placed directly into veins resulted in a $26,839 loss for each patient that came down with this type of hospital-acquired infection. This same study estimated that 2 million people come down with hospital-acquired infections of any type in every year, and that approximately 100,000 die from those infections.
Medication Errors are a Major Killer
In 2000 the Institutes of Medicine reported that medical errors were the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S., killing between 44,000 and 98,000 people each year. While the number of errors today is said to possibly be the fourth leading cause of death in a hospital, health officials agree that this type of death-by-medicine is still prevalent -- and preventable.
In a June 2010 report in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, study authors said that in looking over records that spanned from 1976 to 2006 (the most recent year available) they found that, of 62 million death certificates, almost a quarter-million deaths were coded as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors. They also found that these errors spiked in July, and particularly in teaching hospitals.
There are four points in the medication use process at which errors may occur:
The June 2010 report narrowed the errors down to:
Older adults are at a higher risk of medication errors and have a greater propensity for experiencing harmful and fatal errors. The most common types of medication errors in older adults are omission and improper dose.
Nearly Half a Billion Preventable Adverse Drug Reactions
An estimated 450,000 preventable medication-related adverse events occur in the U.S. every year.
A study published in the Journal of Gerontology in 2006 showed that adverse drug reactions are very common in frail elderly persons after a hospital stay, and polypharmacy and warfarin use consistently increase the risk.
The costs of adverse drug reactions to society are more than $136 billion annually -- greater than the total cost of cardiovascular or diabetic care. Adverse drug reactions cause injuries or death in 1 of 5 hospital patients.
The reason there are so many adverse drug events in the U.S. is because so many drugs are used and prescribed – and many patients receive multiple prescriptions at varying strengths, some of which may counteract each other or cause more severe reactions when combined.
In 2009 there were nearly 3.68 billion prescriptions filled in the U.S. That averages to almost 12 prescriptions for every person in the U.S. Other interesting drug statistics are:
One thing that the drug companies don't tell you, and that your physician may not realize, is that premarketing drug safety profiles may be very narrow: most new drugs have 3,000 or less short-term patient exposures. Another fact the drug companies don't advertise is that some drugs have rare toxicity possibilities, meaning very bad side effects could occur in as few as 1 in 20,000 patients. To detect such rare toxicity, more than 60,000 patients must be exposed AFTER the drug is marketed.
49th in Life Expectancy, First in Health Care Costs
The latest study published in Health Affairs revealed that the United States now ranks 49th in the world for both male and female life expectancy, down from 24th in 1999.
In 1950, the United States was fifth among the leading industrialized nations with respect to female life expectancy at birth, surpassed only by Sweden, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands. The last available measure of female life expectancy had the United States ranked at forty-sixth in the world. U.S. infants also are in the basement when it comes to mortality rates; according to 2009 data compiled by the World Bank, the U.S. is 41 places behind other countries in infant mortality.
Is American Medicine Working?
There's no doubt that government health care officials are worried about this country's reputation for safety in the hospital setting. If they weren't, they wouldn't have set up the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, a task force charged with developing plans and strategies for making American health care safer.
The problem is that, as it always with government, things move very slowly when change is needed, so the nation has yet to have a nation adverse event reporting system for hospital medical errors. We also don't have any federal standards regarding state systems. The question is whether living the status quo is going to make us any healthier or not, and if it doesn't, what are we going to do to make a better life for ourselves?
What about Preventive Care?
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the American health care system is skewed toward treating illnesses and diseases, not preventing them. In 2003, my Death by Medicine report showed that judging by health care spending alone, the U.S. should be the healthiest country in the world with the best medicine available. But it wasn't.
And today, it still isn't.
One reason for that is because an obscure federal panel that most people never hear about not only defines what preventive medicine is, but decides what services your health care dollars will pay for. Historically that panel, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, has been accused of being ultra-conservative in the way of preventive care. But when it does approve it, the definition of preventive care means some kind of diagnostic test for a possible existing illness, not a strategy for staying well.
For example, if you take a look at the task force's website, you'll see lists of "preventive" medicine topics the group is considering that include such things as aspirin use and various types of disease screenings -- with only one mention of vitamin supplements as a possible upcoming preventive strategy.
If you click on the task force's A to Z topic guide of existing "preventive" health care, you'll see that almost every single one is some type of disease screening or counseling for a condition you already have.
And that's what's wrong with U.S. health care, whether it was seven years ago or today -- we are all too eager to embrace screenings for diseases or illnesses we may or may not have, and counseling and/or medical treatment in the form of pills and chemicals and surgeries for it, after we find out what disease it is we have.
According to the Kaiser Foundation and the CDC, the main drivers of health care costs in the U.S. are technology and prescription drugs; chronic disease; aging of the population; and administrative costs.
I agree that these are huge contributors to what is killing us as a nation financially and as a people. But I DON'T agree with the context in which they're presented. If you've followed all the information I've given you here, and even skimmed the 2003 Death by Medicine article, then I think you'll see why I think the major contributors have a slightly different paradigm -- and that the only way we are get healthier as a nation, and drive medical costs down too, is to change that paradigm.
That's because the foundational causes of what's driving health care costs in America are:
If we were only to address these issues, beginning with changing the emphasis of our well-being to health and fitness, and then following the healthy lifestyle that paradigm suggests, I promise that the issue of sickness in America and what it's costing us -- as well as the death-by-medicine events will begin to fade away very quickly.
It's time to quit bombarding your body with medical interventions and to reward yourself with the fit and healthy body that come from living fit and lean.
And until then -- until our health care system as a whole -- changes the emphasis of what we're doing to health and healthful living, exercise, proper nutrition and diet, and vitamin supplementation, we're not going to see anything in our health care system change, even if we wait another seven years to see how it's going.