Friendship is a wildly underrated medication — Anna Deavere Smith
“Unless we put medical freedom into our constitution a day will come when medicine will organise itself into an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to doctors and deny equal facility to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic.” Benjamin Rush wrote this in 1776, but did not get enough support to enact this as law. The world is paying for that today as medicine with the tacit help of the drug barons who seem to run the medical establishment has become not just an underground dictatorship but also the protector of drug company interests even against the hapless patient and his safety. Naturally today America has become the big brother for all nations to follow them; American drug lords run the world medical establishment.
The man on the street and even the educated lot blame the poor doctor who works at the front line. He is the bad face of medicine. But the poor doctor is being controlled by big sharks that are not seen by anyone. Some doctors might be greedy but the majority of them are honest and want to do good to patients. The poor chaps are brainwashed in medical school to begin with. Little do they realise that the scientific basis of their craft is faulty. Time honoured western dead sciences of physics and chemistry are used to explain the biological processes in a dynamic human system which works as a whole and as a part of this universe. Biotechnology is the biggest joke. While there are trillions of chemical reactions in every single cell every second, we dabble with a few that we seem to understand and in the bargain we lose the woods for the trees and get into trouble.
While the human system is a closed one with an inbuilt mechanism to correct most ills, the doctor is never ever taught this in medical school. S/he is taught to think that only our outside drugs and surgery are the panacea for all ills. Medical research is not interested in finding the root cause of many ills while it spends all the time in drug discovery or vaccine manufacture. Natural remedies, of which there are thousands, the medical establishment shuns with all its might as they cannot be patented to help one company and its shareholders. Potent chemicals in sub-lethal doses are being pushed down the gullible patients’ throats. While chemicals could possibly help relieve symptoms they can never heal the patient. Most of our drugs are only capable of relieving symptoms. This is most dangerous in the field of mental illnesses. Whereas the human mind is not in the human brain chemical psychiatric drugs act on the human brain producing two important side effects-provoking suicidal tendencies and eventually resulting in dementia which is reaching almost epidemic proportions. When we are confused and are not sure of the cause of the symptoms we suppress that with heavy doses of steroids. What on earth is the rationale? Steroids have so many side effects, some of them are even deadly.
There were more than 4.6 million visits to emergency services in the USA in 2009 alone, most of which were a result of legally prescribed drugs by the establishment, making street drug peddlers pale into insignificance. Someone rightly but jokingly wrote, “These days the drug peddlers don’t seem to work from street corners; they occupy top chairs in the drug industry.” The unseen hand that makes the health workers-doctors, nurses and the rest dance to its tunes like the puppeteer seems to be very powerful.
They are neither seen by the patients nor do they let the truth about their intentions come to light. Unfortunately today the medical establishment seems to be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the hospitals. Many of the surgical procedures have not had their proper audit before being let loose on poor patients. Many corporate hospitals survive on income from surgery, indicated or otherwise. English physician Thomas Sydenham’s advice of ‘above all first do no harm’ — Primum Non Nocere — has been forgotten by all doctors and their masters. The common saying that a man becomes a patient when he sees a doctor has now been stretched to man goes to heaven if admitted to the intensive care unit of a large corporate hospital.
Now that we know the disease what is the treatment? First and foremost is to educate the common man and demystify diseases so that the patient gets empowered to be a partner in his own management. The misinformation that one gets on the internet is another enemy of man as most of that enhances his/her anxiety levels and make them succumb to fear of death and disability. Last and most important is to remodel medical education based on health and health preservation in place of diseases and drugs. Doctor should be trained to preserve the health of the people. The disease model of medical education which starts with illness and ends with disease is not healthy for society. Doctors should be trained to encourage health and preserve health of the populace. The faulty scientific base of medical education needs a complete overhaul based on a quantum world view and evolutionary systems biology.
As Mark Hyman said, “Lifestyle change and changes in diet work faster, better and more cheaply than any medication and are as effective or more effective than gastric bypass without any side effects or long-term.”
B M Hegde is a cardiologist and former V-C, Manipal University