Archive for the ‘Medical Industrial Complex’ Category

There’s no doubt good nutrition and healthy diets have been compromised by the advent of GMO’s, or genetically modified organisms. GMOs – those organisms whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques – are the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food.

 

Image result for genetically modified food

 

We address the contentious GMO issue in our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures – in a chapter titled “When did your doctor last talk to you about your diet?” to be exact.

A relevant excerpt from the book follows:

Now we can’t blame the Medical Industrial Complex for the advent of genetically modified foods, but there are some parallels as you’ll see. For the sake of this little exercise, replace the term Big Pharma with the equally emotive term Big Brother and you’ll get the picture.

Genetic modification has been around, in its modern form, since the 1970’s – and has sparked a major debate ever since. Advocacy groups and opponents of GMO have long claimed that genetically modified food presents potential dangers to the very future of Mankind’s health.

The debate is no less fierce amongst members of our ‘Underground Knowledge’ discussion group on Goodreads.com. It was prompted by one member who asked, “What’s the deal with GMO’s? Why are they banned in Europe and not in the USA? If there is nothing wrong with them then why is the government NOT requiring that food be labeled as containing GMOed items? Why is Monsanto so adamant that labeling NOT be required or permitted? Who are these people anyway? It should be my decision as to what I put in my body!”

Random samples of members’ responses follow. (Names withheld):

“Yep, the whole GM thing is scary- just like tales of chemtrails or tap water poisoning us- but, yeah, we should be able to know the truth about what GM products are in what foods, and I’ve read stuff before about even with labels, there can still sometimes be a GM product ‘through a loop hole’.”

“It’s a worrying state of affairs when we don’t know if our meat is cow or horse, and we’re digesting more and more GM products, and there never seems to be any straight answers as to who to trust with these kinds of subjects.”

“Food should just be food! Why did ‘they’ have to go mess with nature? If they could restructure the air and make a buck out of it, they would!”

“My wife and I have stopped eating anything processed and only eat organic as much as possible.”

“I saw an interesting program on TV this morning. They were talking about fortified breakfast cereal. The man ground up some of the flakes and mixed it with some liquid in a breaker and dropped in a magnetic stirrer. After a few moments he removed the stirrer and gently rinsed it off. Guess what was all over it? Iron filings! Apparently they are supposed to be in the cereal.”

You may be asking what genetically modified foods have to do with medicine. Well, technically speaking, not much. However, the point is if some of the food supply has been poisoned or otherwise become toxic and therefore is partially responsible for the dramatic recent increases of certain diseases (such as autoimmune disorders), then surely doctors would be amongst those who’d recognize this fact. But is that a fair assumption given most doctors do not seem to commonly believe what we put into our bodies matters that much?

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Returning to our original question – When did your doctor last talk to you about your diet? If the answer to that is Never, perhaps it’s time you did. Talk to him/her, that is. Be it to address high cholesterol, an excess weight problem, a heart condition, cancer or high blood pressure, perhaps it’s time to have that little chat.

If doctors are aware their patients are diet-conscious and if they’re constantly reminded nutrition is important to them, perhaps they’ll fall into line and give it (nutrition) the importance it deserves when it comes to treating people.

Hopefully, this chapter has provided you with some ammunition to fire their way.

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“I actually like how doctors talk. I like the sound of science. I like how words you don’t understand explain things you can’t understand.” –American author (Ms.) R.J. Palacio

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We must add a little footnote here and acknowledge that the inference that doctors are not nutrition-minded or, for that matter, not supportive of alternative health measures is very much a generalization; we are aware there’s a growing number of physicians (and other health providers) in mainstream medicine who are very knowledgeable about nutrition and alternative health, and who incorporate this knowledge into their everyday practice.

Unfortunately, they are very much in the minority.

 

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures  is Book #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series  and is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

 

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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The link between diet and health is well proven and, more importantly, widely acknowledged by doctors, for ailments such as diabetes and heart disease, but are roundly ignored by them in treating other human conditions – cancer being one of those. We address this in our book Medical Industrial Complex, and we ask why mainstream (Western) medicine seems to go out of its way to discourage cancer patients from making too much of the cancer-diet connection.

 

Image result for cancer diets

 

Further to our blog of October 28, here’s another excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex:

The good health site HoneyColony.com  neatly addresses this in an article quoting Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical advisory board member of the nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium Association. She says, “There are many reasons why diet is not stressed in cancer treatment” and “Most of them stem from the fact that medicine does not put any emphasis on nutrition in medical school…In about 3,500 hours of typical medical school training, maybe one, two, or three hours’ worth of classes are devoted to basic nutrition”.

So now it’s only three hours of basic nutrition at most…in a five-year course! Lordy.

The cancer-diet connection is also examined by the BBC online in an article dated May 19, 2013. Presenter Sheila Dillon, herself a cancer patient, observes, “Thousands of scientific papers have been published on the link between diet and the treatment and prevention of cancer, but in practice food is still considered a marginal aspect of cancer care”.

Ms Dillon continues, “Research confirmed that in most cancer centres in the UK, diet is still seen as almost meaningless in cancer treatment and aftercare. Yet there is good science available on the subject, though not a lot of it is what medics call ‘gold standard’ science.

“There are almost no double-blinded, large scale, studies done on people because they are expensive, very hard to do and there is no financial incentive. Who would make serious profit out of the discovery that mushrooms kill cancer cells?

“Most of the research has been done on cancer cells in the laboratory or on animals. What the best of it shows is interesting implications in a range of foods.

“One of the best-researched foods (in the US and Ireland) is the spice turmeric. Curcumin is a chemical compound found in the root of turmeric, which has a general anti-inflammatory effect and quite specific effects on several forms of cancer, including mine,” she says.

“Research has also been conducted on berries containing ellagic acid, which seems to curb cancer cells’ ability to grow their own blood supply, mushrooms (the polysaccharides), green tea, as well as the cabbage and onion families.

Ms Dillon concludes, “From my experience as a cancer patient I think many people fear that they are being ungrateful for the medical care they have had by bringing up issues such as diet”.

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“First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me.” –Steve Martin

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Still in the UK, if a report published by the British Psychological Society is correct, “too many people with eating disorders are being dismissed by doctors as simply having peculiar habits with food”.

The report, dated February 25, 2014, is based on the findings of Cosmopolitan UK  magazine and the charity Beat which warned that “around 1.6 million people currently have an eating disorder in Britain, half of whom have being diagnosed with an EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) that is separate from anorexia or bulimia”.

The article continues, “However, many of these patients could be left waiting up to two years for treatment in the form of cognitive behavioural therapy because GPs do not view their symptoms as sufficiently serious to warrant urgent investigation”.

By now it should be clear there’s a serious disconnect between (most) doctors and the role of nutrition in their patients’ health. Whether you blame those who set the already crowded curricula at medical schools or whether you blame the tunnel vision mainstream medicine has regarding diet, the fact remains there’s a problem. And in many independent medical researchers’ eyes it’s a big problemo.

TBC

 

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures  is Book #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series  and is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

 

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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When did your doctor last talk to you about your diet? We ask that very question in our no-holds-barred book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

 

Image result for overeating

 

Most are aware of the old adage, You are what you eat. It seems to us, though, that many members of the medical profession aren’t aware – or, if they are, they consider it an old wives’ tale.

In Medical Industrial Complex  we devote a whole chapter to this vexing issue. Here’s an excerpt:

We suspect that, more often than not, doctors only deign to discuss diet when a patient dares to raise the subject. And then, if your experience is like ours, you’ll be greeted with a frosty stare or, at best, a few mumbled banalities about not over-eating or the importance of a balanced diet or cut down on fats.

Which leads to more (related) questions: How long do doctors-in-training spend studying nutrition at medical school? And why isn’t nutrition on the curriculum alongside biochemistry, pathology, physiology and the like?  

These questions and more are raised in a very appropriate discussion thread on the ResearchGate.net site. A random selection of comments from that thread follows:

  • “We need clinicians to remember to consider nutrition when seeing/treating a patient rather than being a full nutritional expert. However they should know basics such as basic nutritional needs and guidelines, calculating and interpreting BMI, when to give nutritional support and be aware of the importance of using nutritional screening tools to see if referral to a dietitian is required.”
  • “I would be a staunch supporter of making nutrition a major field of study in a medical doctors pursuit of their degree.”
  • “Before health care providers can get into…details about individual response to nutrients and talk about personal nutrition, they need to establish their nutrition knowledge and clinical skills foundation. For physicians this needs to happen in medical school and requires a serious effort.”
  • “Considering the importance of nutrition for a patient’s recovery from disease and maintenance of health it is surprising that nutrition isn’t a bigger part of conventional medical school education.”
  • “It should be within the core responsibilities of doctors to address nutrition in patient care and it is essential that all doctors know the appropriate time to make a dietitian referral.”
  • “Why is it so hard to understand that robust familiarity with nutrition is equally or even more important (than surgery training)?”

To add some balance to the discussion, one contributor (from the University of Jordan) to the above thread observes that nutrition is “a specialized field and huge in its content.” He adds, “Medical students (are) overwhelmed by texts, labs, and courses. It requires an evolutionary plan to incorporate nutrition with medicine curricula”.

Medical educators at least pay lip service to the importance of nutrition, and they appear to be in general agreement that there’s not enough instruction on this topic in today’s medical schools.

For example, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) addresses this via its official online site AAFP News. In an article dated May 17, 2010, the writer reports that although most medical schools (in the US) offer some form of nutrition education, only one-quarter require a dedicated nutrition course.

The article continues, “In fact, the amount of nutrition education that medical students receive is so ‘inadequate’ that ‘medical school graduates feel unprepared to intervene in their patients’ care with regard to nutrition,’ according to the UNC preliminary survey results”.

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“I actually like how doctors talk. I like the sound of science. I like how words you don’t understand explain things you can’t understand.” –American author (Ms.) R.J. Palacio

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Another 2010 report – this one published by the US National Library of Medicine in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health – concludes that “The amount of nutrition education that medical students receive continues to be inadequate”.

That report summarizes a survey of 109 medical schools, which revealed that “most (103) required some form of nutrition education” of their students. The most disturbing revelation, however, is that “Overall, medical students received 19.6 contact hours of nutrition instruction during their medical school careers”.

19.6 contact hours of nutrition instruction? During a med school course that takes, what, four or five years at least?

Let’s face it, sensible eating is probably the best single thing we can do to help ensure a healthy future as food governs the functions of our organs and figures prominently in both the contracting of illness and disease, and in our recovery from those ailments.

T.B.C.

 

Medical Industrial Complex  is Book #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series  and is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

 

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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Healthcare is not a privilege, it’s a human right. We champion this philosophy in our contentious book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

 

Image result for health insurance cartoons

 

In a chapter devoted to the health insurance sector, appropriately titled “Health insurance – the devil’s in the detail,” we remind readers that officially, some 18,000 American citizens die every year for no better reason than not having an insurance card. Many have suggested that number is a very conservative estimate.

 

More on this in the following excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex:

Approximately 45 million US citizens, or one American in every seven, do not have health insurance and are therefore all at risk.

Here’s another statistic: besides being the number one cause in the US for bankruptcy, medical expenses are also the number one cause of homelessness.

The medical insurance system, which regularly tries to wriggle out of paying fully insured patients by using creative lawyers and loopholes buried in the fine print of contracts, is a big reason for all these horrifying statistics.

How many people have to die or suffer unnecessarily before logic finally sets in and everyone agrees too many citizens are falling thru the cracks in this corrupt user pays healthcare system?

It’s a really perverse world where we have almost unlimited military expenditure to finance wars, where our governments readily bail out privately-owned banks with multi-trillion dollar relief packages, and yet we cannot cover the measly costs of our own citizens’ basic healthcare.

People need to stop accepting the BS line that it’s all just “too expensive” for governments and that less fortunate individuals must cover every single Goddamn cost by themselves. The less fortunate individuals we refer to include the mentally ill, abuse victims, war vets, the disabled, many of the elderly, the unemployed and, in many cases, employed citizens struggling to make ends meet.

As with education, you can’t put a price on a population’s health. It should be any government’s first expenditure priority, not their last.

We will never have a civilized society until we create a fair and universal health system in which every man, woman and child – no matter their financial situation – has access to medical services when ill.

Hence our declaration that healthcare is not a privilege, it’s a human right.

 

For more on the perils of health insurance, see our blog of August 14.

 

Medical Industrial Complex  is Book #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series  and is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

 

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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“If those unnecessary medical tests don’t kill you, perhaps your medical insurance bill will!” So begins a chapter devoted to the health insurance sector in our contentious book, MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

 

 

Titled “Health insurance – the devil’s in the detail,” the chapter reminds readers that allegations of corruption have been swirling around health insurers for years. An excerpt from the chapter follows…

One who intimately knows how the health insurance sector works is American Wendell Potter, a health insurance insider who shares his knowledge of the industry in a revealing article posted on the WantToKnow.info blog site. In it, Wendell claims he was “in a unique position to see not only how Wall Street analysts and investors influence decisions insurance company executives make but also how the industry has carried out behind-the-scenes PR and lobbying campaigns to kill or weaken any health care reform efforts that threatened insurers’ profitability”.

Wendell continues, “I also have seen how the industry’s practices – especially those of the for-profit insurers that are under constant pressure from Wall Street to meet their profit expectations – have contributed to the tragedy of nearly 50 million people being uninsured as well as to the growing number of Americans who, because insurers now require them to pay thousands of dollars out of their own pockets before their coverage kicks in – are underinsured. An estimated 25 million of us now fall into that category.

“What I saw happening over the past few years was a steady movement away from the concept of insurance and toward ‘individual responsibility,’ a term used a lot by insurers and their ideological allies. This is playing out as a continuous shifting of the financial burden of health care costs away from insurers and employers and onto the backs of individuals”.

Wendell concludes that rising medical bills mean fewer sick people are visiting their doctor or collecting prescriptions, and he predicts the future for many who become seriously ill will involve bankruptcy or foreclosure on their homes.

And, of course, that’s exactly what’s happening.

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“Unless you’re a Warren Buffet or Bill Gates, you’re one illness away from financial ruin in this country.” –American primary care physician Dr. Steffie Woolhandler

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When it comes to the US medical system at least, there is no “universal healthcare” service that covers every citizen. In theory, access to cheap or else employer-sponsored private health insurance is supposed to ensure virtually everybody’s covered, but what about the uninsured and the underinsured?

Call us naïve, but it seems to us that any civilized society should at least provide basic healthcare to every man, woman and child. Relying on private insurance seems like an obvious recipe for disaster. This insurance-to-fill-the-gaps approach guarantees collateral damage, including untold deaths.

Many politicians claim it would be far too expensive to provide universal healthcare, but don’t blink an eye as they sign off on several trillion dollars annually on military expenditure to keep the perpetual war machine rolling. Go figure!

Let’s not forget that many countries – like Japan, Australia, the UK, Sweden and New Zealand to name but a few – comfortably provide free, or at least heavily subsidized, healthcare for all their citizens without too much financial discomfort. So the argument from American politicians that universal healthcare would bankrupt the country just does not hold up.

This healthcare disparity between the US and the rest of the (developed) world was covered in no uncertain terms in a June 2012 article in The Atlantic. Headlined ‘Here’s a Map of the Countries That Provide Universal Health Care (America’s Still Not on It)’ the article’s very first line says it all. It reads, “The U.S. stands almost entirely alone among developed nations that lack universal health care.”

The map referred to is a world map that highlighted those countries which provided (and still provide) free or heavily subsidized healthcare for all their citizens. Around half the world’s countries were highlighted, which no doubt surprised many American readers.

The article points out that universal healthcare is available “from Europe to the Asian powerhouses to South America’s southern cone to the Anglophone states of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The only developed outliers are a few still-troubled Balkan states, the Soviet-style autocracy of Belarus, and the U.S. of A., the richest nation in the world”.

T.B.C.

 

Medical Industrial Complex  is Book #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series  and is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

 

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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The jury seems to be out on whether those cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins are a good idea for everyone with high cholesterol. We address this in our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures — in a chapter titled “Medical tests you may not need and procedures that may kill you.” (See our blog of February 6 also).

An excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex  follows:

Returning to those “unnecessary repeat cholesterol tests” we touched on at the start of this chapter, Choosing Wisely’s  summation of cholesterol testing, and the statins used in those tests, is interesting. It reports that statins are drugs that lower your cholesterol, but if you are age 75 or older and you haven’t had symptoms of heart disease, “statins may be a bad idea”.

The writer points out that many older adults have high cholesterol and their doctors usually prescribe statins to prevent heart disease even though, for older people, “there is no clear evidence” that high cholesterol leads to heart disease or death.

“In fact, some studies show the opposite—that older people with the lowest cholesterol levels actually have the highest risk of death…Statins can cause muscle problems, such as aches, pains, or weakness (and) may increase the risk of diabetes, cataracts, and damage to the liver, kidneys, and nerves”.

This is reinforced by the Reuters  report also referred to earlier. It quotes Dr. Michael Johansen, of the Ohio State University in Columbus, who says doctors may order more tests to meet or even exceed performance measures “and because they get paid for running a cholesterol panel”.

The report refers to a US study, led by Dr. Salim Virani, of the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Houston, which tracked over 35,000 people with heart disease, and found all had their LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol under control even though they hadn’t recently started taking any new cholesterol drugs.

“Over the 11 months after patients’ most recent cholesterol test, one in three underwent a repeat test. Very few of those patients – about six percent – had any changes made to their treatment regimen as a result of the second test…People with additional health problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, were most likely to get their cholesterol panel repeated…The average cost of a cholesterol test is about $16…That works out to almost $204,000 in early tests in their study population – not including the cost of both patients’ and doctors’ time”.

We haven’t devoted much space in this chapter to the unseemly subject of money. (Unseemly in this case because certain factions in the Medical Industrial Complex are clearly creaming it financially while many of its customers/patients are struggling to pay for, or meet, the cost of their healthcare).

However, the Reuters  report referred to above reminds us that someone is paying for every doctor’s appointment, test and screening. Throw in the cost of unnecessary tests and repeat tests (around $16 in the case of a cholesterol test) and you begin to understand the amount of money we are talking about. It’s huge!

Thankfully, as we’ve shown, the medical profession acknowledges there’s a problem, but it will be interesting to see what the powers-that-be do about it. As per usual, we suspect it will be left to us (Joe/Jo Citizen) to keep them honest.

T.B.C.

 

Medical Industrial Complex  is Book #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series  and is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

 

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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In our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures, we remind readers that hospitals can be dangerous places.

We draw attention to this disturbing state of affairs in a chapter titled “Medical tests you may not need and procedures that may kill you.” (See our blog of December 28). And we refer to an article the Huffington Post  ran on April 3, 2013. Quoting the Institute of Medicine, it reports, “100,000 people die every year due to medical error — more deaths than from car accidents, diabetes, and pneumonia. Far more patients are victims of medical error”.

The report also quotes “a stunning” 2011 Health Affairs article in which researchers apparently discovered that medical errors occurred in one-third of all hospitalized patients. “A separate study of Medicare patients found that one in seven people in the hospital experience at least one unintended harm”.

Further excerpts follow from Medical Industrial Complex:

The Huffington Post  report identifies the following as “the 10 common medical errors that can occur in the hospital”: Misdiagnosis, unnecessary treatment, unnecessary tests and deadly procedures, medication mistakes, ‘never events’ (events that should never happen), uncoordinated care, infections (from hospital to patient), not-so-accidental ‘accidents,’ missed warning signs and premature discharge (from hospital).

According to the report, misdiagnosis is the most common type of medical error in a hospital; $700 billion is spent every year on unnecessary tests and treatments; medication mistakes affect 1.5 million Americans annually; ‘never events’ (such as scissors being left in patients’ bodies) happen all too often; hospital-acquired infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control, affect 1.7 million people annually and cause nearly 100,000 deaths every year; and malfunctioning medical devices cause tens of thousands of “accidents” in hospitals every year.

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“Whenever a doctor cannot do good, he must be kept from doing harm.” -Hippocrates

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Choosing Wisely, that worthy medical initiative referred to earlier, reports that “three out of four US physicians say the frequency with which doctors order unnecessary medical tests and procedures is a serious problem for America’s health care system—but just as many say that the average physician orders unnecessary medical tests and procedures at least once a week”.

If that admission (by US physicians) has been accurately reported – as appears to be the case given Choosing Wisely’s impressive credentials and reputation for accuracy – then that raises alarm bells. We suspect the estimates are very conservative and the actual incidence of doctors going overboard on medical tests is even higher. Possibly much higher.

T.B.C.

 

Medical Industrial Complex  is Bk #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series  and is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

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