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Editorial Issue 131

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 131 - January 2007

By the time this January ‘07 issue of Positive Health is published a few days prior to Christmas, we will all, hopefully, be having at least a bit of a rest over the holiday season. Or, at least those of us who are fortunate enough to be healthy rather than ill, and don’t have to work over the entire period.

Whether you are a practitioner or serious general Positive Health reader, this seasonal break during the shortest days of the year is superb for rest, reflection and rejuvenation of spirit, enabling us to recapitulate over the past obstacles and achievements and plan campaigns for the following new year.

However, despite the apparent progress which makes it seem as though complementary approaches to healthcare have become more substantiated by research and more acceptable to the medical profession, we will all need to be vigilant about the battles looming on the horizon.

Arenas which need support and attention are the tiers of legislation regarding Nutritional and Herbal Supplements. These include EU, as well as Codex Legislation. Organizations such as the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) which is committed to challenging these threats and to making sustainable healthcare a reality, deserve our support – www.anhfund.org/.

The present day health and safety obsessed medical culture seems to be intent on restricting and banning natural remedies used historically, largely without mishap. Perversely, this has arisen more from shocking statistics from pharmaceutical and medical mishaps rather than the comparatively safety of complementary medicines.

Clinical misjudgments or mistakes mean that the odds of dying as a result of being treated in hospital are 33,000 times higher than those of dying in an air crash, according to the chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson. “In an airline industry, the evidence ... from scheduled airlines is the risk of death is one in 10m. If you go into a hospital in the developed world, the risk of death from a medical error is one in 300,” he said.[1]

Yet another sector which requires our scrutiny are the impending [primarily] Voluntary Regulation Registers of certain Complementary Practitioner Professions, about to or recently announced as coming into force. Certain practitioners may have direct experience of the last 3-4 years within the various complementary professions. This has been a fairly protracted process in which the various associations and organizations have been meeting to discuss and agree common educational and training standards to bring together each complementary discipline, which will eventually come together with other medical and healthcare professionals.

Just as it is never advisable to take one’s eye off the ball in sports nor politics, this is certainly not a process with which to lose touch at the present moment; at the stroke of a pen, professional rights earned and practised over many years could be lost in the impending bureaucracy of Regulation. Be warned, keep up-to-date with events2 and support your professional associations.[3]

Of the many high quality features published in this January Issue of PH, including the Cover Story Importance of Obstetric Knowledge for Complementary Practitioners by Denise Tiran (see page 17), perhaps one of the most poignant stories is that of Nicola Wicksteed: Remission from Breast Cancer: Diet, Mistletoe, Carctol and Park Attwood (please see page 36). Here is a woman who, because she did not wish to submit to the full programme of conventional treatments (mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and 5 years of Tamoxifen), was refused a mastectomy by her local hospital. In the end she was vastly assisted and eventually experienced a full remission following the varied treatment approaches of Park Attwood Clinic, as well as their assistance in referring Nicola to a surgeon at another NHS hospital who was prepared to allow patient choice. I arrived for my appointment on December 1, 2003 and was relieved to find that my treatment decisions were to be respected. At his own instigation, the surgeon had even arranged for my vegetable juicer to be installed in a little side-kitchen!

This all goes to prove that it is worth fighting for what you truly feel that you need.

There is but one more plea to voice: in an attempt to de-clutter our lives, many of us make New Year Resolutions to reduce our commitments, to increase our free time, even cancelling subscriptions to professional journals. I for one rarely have any free time, and I know that I am not alone in this increasingly frazzlingly busy world of work and other commitments. However, many of the organizations doing the finest and most important work in the world of complementary medicine are small, under-resourced and desperately in need of your support. This includes Positive Health and other quality publications and organizations, who survive entirely upon subscriptions, advertising and selling their information products. Although you may feel tempted to cancel your membership, subscription or support, please be reminded that these independent publishers and organizations will not survive without your help.

Happy New Year!

References

1.    www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1941120,00.html
2.   www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/HealthAndSocialCare
Topics/ComplementaryAndAlternativeMedicine/fs/en
3.    www.fih.org.uk/aboutus/Regulation/FederalApproach.htm

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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US. She has focused upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993.

 

In publishing in Positive Health PH Online authoritative articles and book reviews by leading proponents of numerous alternative cancer treatment approaches, Dr Goodman has demonstrated her passion about the necessity of making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, considerable clinical expertise in areas of Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. She is a member of the Therapy Advisory Panel of the Penny Brohn Cancer Care, Scientific Expert Committee member of the Alliance for Natural Health and a Patron of the Avalon Complementary Medicine Trust in Wells, Somerset. Nutrition and Cancer.

 

Dr Goodman and Mike Howell, her long-term partner, seek individuals with the resources, structural organization and interest to continue and expand the legacy of Positive Health PH Online forward into the 21st century, adding facilities to conduct online seminars, fund raise for alternative cancer research, as well as to promote leading holistic organizations and businesses internationally. Follow her Blog and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  Dr S Goodman may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via: sandra@drsgoodman.com     www.drsgoodman.com  sandra@positivehealth.com   and www.positivehealth.com

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