The top two causes of death in the United States are heart disease and cancer. But few people realize the third leading cause of death: medical treatment.
Iatrogenesis is harm caused by doctors. It’s not a word most Americans are familiar with, because they trust doctors to make prudent health decisions. But if prudence were happening, iatrogenesis would not be the third leading cause of death.
Truthfully, 225,000 annual deaths caused by doctors is low-balling (Starfield 2000). Much heart disease and cancer has been caused by medical treatment but the difficulty of proving that leads to undercounting. If we could magically trace people’s cancer and heart disease to the original damage, medical treatment would probably be the leading cause of death in our country. In fact, a group of doctors already believes this; that conventional medicine is causing over 780,000 deaths a year (Null et al 2004).
Medical treatment can hurt you in many ways but the most likely way is through pharmaceuticals. Prescription drugs kill 106,000 Americans a year (Lazarou et al 1998). And they cause serious reactions in more than twice that number. Numbers that large indicate prescription drugs act as mutagens inside us, damaging our DNA and degrading our health towards cancer.
Unfortunately, our medical-industrial complex has lost sight of Hippocrates’ mandate, primum non nocere, or “first do no harm”. Today’s mandate is “first make money!” This new mandate has become particularly insidious in the past 10 years as the medical lobby’s power to define health and healthcare have grown and grown.
No industry killing 225,000 people a year should have the political power to dictate what health and healthcare means. No government should allow such an industry to hold power over an individual’s freedom of choice with his health.
Declining healthcare is often the healthiest choice. Our doctors are so narrow with the chemicals they prescribe, they are often fighting our body’s native attempt to heal. A better approach: give benelles (good cells) a healthy supportive environment and empower them by leaving them alone. A healthy supportive environment means a lack of radiation and chemicals, so doctors can’t provide healthcare. Leaving benelles alone is a foreign concept to conventional medicine, whose premise is knowing better than nature.
To restore balance to healthcare, two things must happen. First, people have to fight the urge to “do something” when they get sick. This is because doing something has become synonymous with going to doctors and pharmacies. Rest, proper nutrients, and time need to be seen as doing something. This will also free the placebo response from corporations and chemicals.
Second, the government needs to provide individuals freedom to pursue health. There should not be financial or legal repercussions against individuals who abstain from healthcare. Certainly, the government should not allow an industry causing over 225,000 deaths per year to define what health is.
In the long run, the solution is for the government to broaden the definition of healthcare. Instead of funneling our national treasury towards paying for pharmaceuticals, healthcare insurance money should also cover organic foods, natural medicine, or simply time to rest. This approach would spread tax dollars across a greater number of health-supporting industries instead of concentrating all dollars on “the” healthcare industry; the one specializing in radiation and chemicals. Moving tax dollars beyond mutagens would create broad spectrum middle class opportunity.
Look, I get it. If we look too closely at what’s going on in conventional medicine—or broaden our society’s view of medicine—then some elites in the status quo will lose money. Ok, fine; let them compete in the marketplace against natural health providers. Med school, pharma sales, and finance shouldn’t be the only paths to wealth in the country.
In my opinion, benelles are the foundation of health. They should be protected at all costs, which I feel means general avoidance of doctors and a broader view of health.