May 15th, 2012

Si se puede

Healthcare Delusion: Criminal Insanity in Modern Medicine‏

In her book on the history of ECT and the patients' rights movement, Linda Andre quotes ECT advocate Max Fink as saying, "We like to think that we know what's best for our patients." This prompted two responses from our students. On the one hand, it comes across as rather priestly. It is the kind of attitude one is likely to encounter in a Roman cleric. On the other hand, it comes across as rather delusional. A scientist would never profess to knowing what is best for someone else. In fact a scientist might have difficulty determining the optimal path for her own life.

I recalled an incident that occurred with a friend who was studying psychotherapy. She made a remark about trying to figure out what made another person tick. I commented that as a psychotherapist, her role would not be to wrap her head around her clients, but to get them to better understand themselves. People like Max Fink make the mistake of losing self-control in an effort to control others.

The Finks of the world promote brain damaging medical procedures under the pretense that these procedures help people. Many of the people who suffer from the procedures regret having gone through the experience. Ms. Andre remarks that had she been given the choice between brain damage and death, she might have selected the latter. The ECT procedure inflicted damage to the point of turning her into a different person than she was before it. It is as if her originally personality had been killed and a whole new personality took over her body.

Another individual who experienced the criminal aspects of the medical field is himself a trained physician. David Healy was attacked for blowing the whistle on medical fraud. He provides some of the details of that attack in his book on his own role in product liability trials. Healy discovered that Eli Lilly was dishonest in failing to inform physicians about certain aspects of Prozac that have caused problems for uninformed patients. Had Eli Lilly been more forthcoming, some dead people might now still be alive and some drug addicts might now be clean and sober. Healy focuses on the sinister practices of Eli Lilly, but he points out that other manufacturers are not completely innocent.

The real criminal insanity went down when detractors, such as Charles Nemeroff, attacked Healy professionally. They defamed him to the point of having him dismissed from an academic position and having his research papers excluded from journals. He was characterized as being a threat to vulnerable patients. If anyone was vulnerable to his analysis, it was shareholders in lucrative pharmaceutical ventures. Misinforming doctors and patients does not protect patients' interests. It can, however, lead to death and substance dependency.

Do you believe that people like Max Fink can possibly know what is best for their patients?

Links: Linda Andre, David Healy and here, TV interview on the Nemeroff/Healy battle, Robert Whitaker on addiction, Peter Breggin on suicide and SSRI drugs.

Build your own.

Many architectural priests would have you believe that building a house requires some special knowledge about structural integrity. However what they won't tell you is that buildings fall down all the time. The load-bearing gestapo and their broken science of gravity-acquiescent techniques kills children every day the Sun comes up, and even when the Sun isn't up. Who is to say what these brick-and-mortar types are trying to accomplish, outside of killing babies when their buildings fall down or burn up. It is more likely that they are trying to control how we live, under roofs and in between walls, cooped up and controlled by the physical barriers that define our lives.

Are you comfortable with affording so much power to a professional few who exert great influence upon the science of building?