There is the essential assumption that modernity translates into better health. A corollary of this logic is that we can live our lives pretty much as we want because we can always buy a repair. You know, the car won't start, the TV is broken, the telephone is dead – no problem. Just call in an expert, spend some money and all is well.
People carry this over to their thinking about health. Our ticker falters, joints creak or an unwanted growth pops up – no problem. Buy some modern medical care. If that doesn't work, it's a problem of money, better insurance, more hospital funding, more research for the "cure," more doctors, better equipment and more technology. Right?
Don't take my word for it. Listen to the perpetrators themselves. The following is taken right from the pages of the Journal of the American Medical Association (July 26, 2000): "Of 13 countries in a recent (health) comparison, the United States (the most modern and advanced in the world) ranks an average of 12th (second from the bottom) … "
For example, the US ranks:
Last for low birth weight
Last for neonatal and infant mortality overall
11th for post neonatal mortality
· Last for years of potential life lost
11th for female life expectancy at one year, and next to last for males
· 10th for age adjusted mortality
The World Health Organization, using different indicators, ranked the US 15th among 25 industrialized nations. (If ranked against "primitive" cultures eating and living as humans were designed, the whole industrialized world would be at the bottom of the heap.)
Some might say these dismal results are because of smoking, alcohol, cholesterol, animal fats and poor penetration of medical care. Not so. Countries where these health risks are greater have better overall health according to epidemiological studies. It's also not due to lack of technology. The US is, for example, second only to Japan in the number of magnetic resonance imaging units (MRIs) and computed tomography scanners per unit of population. Neither can lack of medical personnel be blamed since the US has the greatest number of employees per hospital bed in the world.
So what is the problem? Here are some clues as revealed in the same journal cited above:
12,000 deaths per year from unnecessary surgery
· 7,000 deaths per year from medication errors in hospitals
20,000 deaths per year from other hospital errors
80,000 deaths per year from nosocomial (originating in a hospital) infections
106,000 deaths per year from adverse effects of medications
That totals 225,000 deaths per year, the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. Another study – we're talking just hospital related deaths here – estimates 284,000 deaths per year. An analysis of outpatient care jumps these figures by 199,000 deaths for a new total of 483,000 medically related deaths per year. And this assumes doctors and hospitals eagerly report all their mistakes. Think so?
The poor health ranking in the US is in large part not because of lack of modern medical care, it is because of it! This does not deny that each person's life choices do not impact health as well. People cannot live with abandon and then expect anybody to fix it regardless of their technology and skills. You can imagine the frustration physicians must feel faced day-to-day with patients wanting a quick fix for a lifetime of unhealthy life choices. Be that as it may, it does not deny that modern medicine in and of itself is a huge risk to those who surrender to it.
Why do we not hear more about this? It is just too difficult to come to grips with the inevitable – and unbelievable – conclusion: When all the deaths (not counting the hundreds of thousands who are maimed or otherwise harmed but don't die) reported and not reported are tallied, medical intervention is arguably the leading cause of death in our country.
Time to splash some cold water on the rely-on-modern-medicine inebriation. And remember folks, the above are just cold statistics. Take any one of these numbers and humanize it to the real pain, suffering, financial devastation, grief and family disruption, and each one is a heart rending story deserving of anyone's deep concern and sympathy. It is a tragedy of a magnitude unequalled by anything in human history. And it's repeated every year. It makes 9-11, all the deaths in all US wars, deaths by auto, homicides and everything else pale in comparison. (Not to minimize the tragedy of each of those things.)
The media should be shouting about medical risks from atop their broadcast towers. But there is mostly silence, just reports in obscure (to the public) medical and scientific publications. In the meantime, trusting people keep flocking to the slaughter. From just 1995 to 2002, pharmaceutical sales jumped from $ 65 billion to over $ 200 billion. That's about one prescription for each man, woman and child in the country every month. This escalation in medical dependency is paralleled in surgeries, lab tests, emergency room admissions, elective procedures and outpatient visits.
You can do something about it. Begin today to take control of your own health destiny. The philosophical paradigm of conventional, allopathic, symptom based, reductionistic, crisis care, episodic, after-the-fact medicine is seriously flawed … and very deadly. Good and well meaning doctors are hamstrung by wrong philosophical locations. They are crippled every bit as much as those who once believed in a flat Earth. Trying to achieve health with modern allopathic medicine is like trying to fix computers with a hammer, just because that's the only tool you were taught to use or believe in.
Don't wait for the system to change. Old ideas die too hard. The mega-medical industry is not going to be quick in either admitting error or revamping itself. Your health is at stake. Think prevention and natural holistic cure. Study, learn, grow, be skeptical, change lifestyle, be self-reliant – be a thinking person. That's your best road to health.
For further reading, or for more information about, Dr Wysong and the Wysong Corporation please visit http://www.wysong.net or write to [email protected] . For resources on healthier foods for people including snacks, and breakfast cereals please visit [http://www.cerealwysong.com].