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Death by Medicine

by Gary Null PhD with Martin Felman MD, Debora Rasio MD and Carolyn Dean MD ND

listed in drugs

[Image: Death by Medicine]

Death by Medicine the book is less than 250 pages, yet speaks volumes; its message is shocking, persuasive and speaks for itself through the more than 360 references to the published scientific and medical literature.

The authors, Gary Null, PhD with co-authors Martin Felman MD, Debora Rasio MD and Carolyn Dean MD ND have meticulously reviewed and compiled the scientific published evidence regarding the scale of unnecessary hospitalizations, in-hospital adverse reactions to prescribed drugs, unnecessary and/or inappropriate antibiotics prescribed, unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed each year and perhaps the most shocking statistic of all - the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine – nearly 800,000 people per year. The American medicine system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US – 800,000, compared with heart disease – 652,091 and cancer – 559,312.

The book's chapters cover the following Topics:

Drugs including medication errors, adverse drug reactions, underreporting of side effects;
Specific Drugs including Antibiotics, NSAIDS, Cancer Chemotherapy;
Failures of Healthcare, including unnecessary surgical procedures, high mortality rates. Surgical errors, unnecessary x-rays, hospitalization, infections;
• Women's medical procedures including hysterectomy, caesarean section
Elderly Lack of Care including bedsores, malnutrition, overmedication
Medical Ethics and Conflicts of Interest including campaigns to discredit nutritional and complementary medicines.
• References: over 364

Snapshot Snippets from this Authoritative Reference:

2.2 million US hospital patients experience adverse drugs reactions (ADRs) to prescribed medications, causing over 106,000 deaths annually;
• Additionally, 350,000 ADRs occur in US nursing homes each year;
• About 90 million antibiotic prescriptions are written; about half are either unnecessary or inappropriate;
• About 7.5 million unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually; 8.9 million Americans are hospitalized unnecessarily;
• Nearly 100,000 patients die in hospitals each year due to medically errors, three times more than the number who die on the highways;
• Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths per year;
• Ten-year projected total of 7.95 million iatrogenic deaths; more than all casualties from all wars fought by the US throughout its history;
Women who took NSAIDS had an 80 percent higher risk of miscarriage;
• The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults: estimated at 2.1% in the USA;
• The dose of radiation to the lung or stomach from a single full-body CT scan is estimated to be 14-21 milligrays, which corresponds to a dose region of about 1.5 miles from the blast of an atomic bomb, which is equal to 100 chest X-rays or 100 mammograms;
• In 1981 the drug industry "gave $292 million to colleges and universities for research. By 1991, the figure had risen to $2.1 billion". The far-reaching arm of the pharmaceutical company's influence even extends to the falsification of nutrient studies; there is currently a systematic program to defame natural vitamins, supplements and health foods throughout the world.

One would have to ask how earnest doctors, researchers, scientific journals, even government bodies such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) could acquiesce to a medical system which is clearly killing people and allegedly doing more harm than good. This is down to a complex, interwoven set of circumstances in which there is manipulation and deception of the funding, reporting and even misreporting of drug studies, payment of vast amounts to doctors, researchers, journals and journalists. Roadblocks and various obstacles are set in place to obfuscate and make almost impossible publication of negative results, there are powerful disincentives for exposure of negative and harmful results, and punishment for whistle blowers. At the same time, campaigns are mounted to denigrate nutritional and alternative medicine products whose actions are aimed at prevention.

The tour de force of this book is that it has put together in one place the results, many of which are known individually by fragmented professionals and groups. Researchers and publishers such as myself have always found it impossible to understand how the respected and voluminous body of evidence behind most nutritional supplements and treatments of clinical conditions can be rubbished and ignored by the medical community. It seems impossible that this kind of information, available in the public domain can be side-stepped and somehow put down to the ignorance of individual doctors who are not taught anything other than drugs. However the financial and career incentives furnished by the pharmaceutical companies in all aspects of research, manufacture and publication of drug-based medicine are very powerful and difficult to resist, especially if at the same time natural and alternative medicines are defamed.

Much of this information has been leaking out in recent years: the bed sores and poor care suffered by the elderly, widespread medical errors and infections, the side effects of many common drugs and the poor results of chemotherapy for cancer. A widely reported survey of oncologists from McGill Cancer Center cited in Reclaiming Our Health by John Robbins (HJ Kramer, 1999). revealed that 75% of cancer doctors would not submit themselves to chemotherapy. It is, however, difficult to stomach that contrary to our ingrained notion of medicine, that doctors who are dedicated first and foremost to do no harm, could be complicit in such dirty tricks and corruption by the huge pharmaceutical companies. Even the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), the independent organization charged with reviewing the state of healthcare in the USA, was disbanded by Congress after it released a report showing how entrenched financial interests manipulate healthcare practice in the USA. There is little wonder therefore about the political divide and vituperative fireworks in the USA over healthcare reforms, although this is difficult to comprehend when almost 50 million Americans have no access to healthcare.

The authors deserve great credit for digging up and compiling the references which confirm and consolidate these massive statistics which have been hithertofore  lying buried and gathering dust behind smokescreens of bureaucratic reporting procedures. Death by Medicine will definitely claim its place on one of my most current bookshelves and hopefully be widely read by all interested in medicine and healthcare.

Further Information

Available from all good bookstores including Amazon.

Sandra Goodman PhD
Praktikos Books

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