It means illness or death that occurs as a result of the treatment itself, and it's occurring in much greater numbers than anyone is talking about. Part of the problem is that there are so many vested interests in keeping the multi-trillion dollar model of modern medicine going exactly as is, it's very difficult to get a clear picture of what is actually happening at the coal face.
Even when honest mistakes are being made - and how can they not be? - it's simply not part of the medical culture to own up to them. Making mistakes makes you a 'bad' doctor; making mistakes can get you sued; making mistakes, getting things wrong, is something that doctors simply don't do…
That's why there's no error reporting in medical procedures, and precious little follow-up. The assumption seems to be that if you get better, it's because of the amazing drugs, surgery and care you received; and if you get worse or die, that's your own fault.
The research is starting to come through - in dribs and drabs - to prove that modern medicine is not the panacea it pretends to be. One of the most well-researched and credible reports comes from The Nutrition Institute of America, and I've pulled out some of their main findings for your delight and delectation below.
Probably their most shocking claim is that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US - even edging out death due to heart disease or cancer.
If this sounds incredible, just take a moment and think about the people you know, in your own life, who were let down by modern medicine, and then times that by six billion people.
It's a post for another time, G-d willing, but clearly, the invasive 'drugs and surgery' approach that epitomises Western Medicine comes with a number of major drawbacks and risks, as well as its much publicized successes.
Many of us acknowledge that: but what's the alternative? When my kid is running a high temperature, or I've got stabbing pains in my chest, what else am I supposed to do?
It's a good question, and not a simple one to answer. For now, let's just say that given all the risks of 'cure', 'prevention' has to be the better way to go. How and what that means in practise, we'll discuss in some future posts, G-d willing.
In the meantime, have a read, have a think, and if you want more info, go here to read the report in full.
Headline facts from 'Death by Medicine'
- This fully referenced report shows the number of people having in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs to be 2.2 million per year.
- The number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections is 20 million per year.
- The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million per year.
- The number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million per year.
- The most stunning statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. (By contrast, the number of deaths attributable to heart disease in 2001 was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251.5)
- The estimated 10-year total of 7.8 million iatrogenic deaths is more than all the casualties from all the wars fought by the US throughout its entire history.