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THE MARCH OF MEDICAL PROGRESS – BUT TO WHERE?

by David Osborn, MH, L.Ac
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Diogenes

The evolution of medicine and healing down through the ages, and through various civilizations, cultures, and traditions is indeed a spectacular and panoramic thing to behold.  It is forever spurred on by man’s persistent drive to find new ways to relieve suffering and disease, and to heal the afflicted.  One can only marvel at the amazing ingenuity and resourcefulness of man in his attempts to find new cures and treatments for old, and even new, diseases and infirmities.  Almost everything you could imagine has been used as a medicine or therapy.  Some of the avenues pursued, and some of the things tried, have turned out to be misadventures or blind alleys, and others have turned out to be real winners – and many things have even fallen somewhere on the broad spectrum in between these two extremes.  Hopefully, being Homo sapiens, or Man the Wise, we hold on to that which works, and discard or toss out that which doesn’t – or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Yes, that’s the way it’s supposed to be, and the way that many apologists for modern medicine would have you believe.  These apologists for modern medicine paint such a dark and gloomy picture of pre-modern medicine that you sometimes wonder how the human race ever survived; then, in contrast, they paint a rosy and upbeat picture of the progress of modern medicine.  If you listen to them, a doctor’s office before the twentieth century was a pure disaster zone, and it’s a wonder that anyone ever got out alive.  People lived woefully short lifespans – some have said 45 years or so, others have said even as low as 25!  Then we hardly had any grandparents at all back then?  And how is it that Hippocrates ever, as it is written, lived to a ripe old age, dying in his nineties?  And if the medical profession was such bad news back then, how could doctors have ever made a living, or how could they ever have had a new generation who would have considered it worthwhile to learn the knowledge they had to pass on?  Surely, only the very naive would believe such a simplistic portrayal of things, yet it does seem to have become incorporated into modern mythology and popular “wisdom”.

A particularly fertile era that these apologists for modern medicine like to mine to buttress the points they are making is the nineteenth century, and perhaps back into the late eighteenth century as well, which could be seen as the transitional period towards modern medicine.  Modern orthodoxy in medicine had not gelled yet, and there was a lot of wild experimentation in the air.  Society at large had not yet come to a firm consensus as to which drugs it would approve of, and which would become illicit, and so, opiates like Morphine and Laudanum were even in things like babies’ teething lotions and cough syrups; Cocaine, which had its staunch advocate in none other than Sigmund Freud, the founder of modern psychiatry, was touted as a great tonic, stimulant and pain killer.

Even worse than this, perhaps, was the love affair that the conventional doctors of the day had with Mercurials like Calomel, which would now make one shudder.  Even I, as a child, had over thirty Mercury amalgam fillings in my mouth, which I had all removed and replaced with plastic composite resin back in my thirties, thank God!  All that Mercury has definitely taken its toll on my health, and it has also probably been the cause, or at least a co-factor with, my immunological sensitivity to Thimerosal, the Mercurial preservative commonly used in vaccines, as well as my immunological intolerance of every metal used in dentistry except Titanium.

Thank God that modern dentistry has now found filling materials that are relatively biocompatible and nontoxic to replace Mercury amalgam fillings!  Mercurial compounds like Thimerosal in children’s vaccines have been linked to autism spectrum disorders, but this continues to be controversial, with opposing camps, or schools of thought, battling fiercely back and forth.  Obviously, not all children who get vaccinated develop autism spectrum disorders.  Could it be that only the children who have an immunological reactivity to Thimerosal develop these disorders?  It would be a relatively simple matter to give children serum antibody reactivity tests for Thimerosal before vaccinating them, and to withhold vaccination from those who test positive, or give them Thimerosal free vaccines.  But the medical authorities insist on taking a “one size fits all” approach.  Is this “Man the Wise”?  Or Man the Compassionate?

The whole “Thimerosal wars” over childhood vaccinations could be resolved fairly easily by simply having every child undergo a serum antibody screening test for immunological tolerance and reactivity to Thimerosal.  Yet the two sides of this war continue to “duke it out”, with each side refusing to budge, and  above all, the medical and pediatric establishment refusing to yield or give an inch on anything that would put a chink or a dent in what they feel is their armor clad entitlement to their professional “gravy train” of profits via forced mass vaccinations.  It seems like the people involved, mainly young children, have taken a back seat to the profits that can be made off of them.  The Thimerosal wars could easily go the way of the Mercury amalgam wars, and the march of medical progress could take a heroic step forward, but as it is, everything is stuck in gridlock.  Just as the multinational oil corporations want to squeeze every last drop of oil out of the ground in their own mad drive for maximum profit, so does the medical establishment want to squeeze every last penny of profits from vaccinating as many children as possible.

Traditionally, the medicinal herb Mistletoe (Viscum album), which is one of Nature’s finest anticonvulsants, has been used to treat epilepsy and other seizure disorders.  In fact, Mistletoe is so efficacious and effective for this that, in 18th century England, it was a standard medical treatment for epilepsy, according to Mrs. M. Grieve, in Volume 2 of her book, A Modern Herbal, on page 548.  Mistletoe is a very potent medicinal herb, and should only be prepared and taken under medical or professional supervision; when this is done, the treatment is safe and effective, producing virtually no negative side effects.  Another thing that should be paid attention to is that the European Mistletoe is taken, and NOT the American Mistletoe, which has totally different properties and effects entirely.

So, here we have a traditional or pre-modern medical treatment for a rather serious and difficult condition, namely epilepsy and seizures.  I decided to see what modern medicine has to offer for treating the same condition, and found that the main older medication for treating it was Dilantin, but nowadays, doctors are turning more to newer medications like Keppra.  I decided to look up Keppra’s negative side effects online, and found that a full listing of them numbered, in my estimation, around a hundred, including the very seizures they were supposedly taken to treat!  And as I scrolled down and down through the voluminous listing of negative side effects, a pop-up window appeared from the side of my computer screen, with a friendly and obliging pharmacist – or more precisely a pharmaceutical pimp and drug pusher – trying to initiate a live chat with me to get me to place my order for this pharmaceutical crap!

With modern, state of the art science and technology to back them up, and all the latest scientific equipment, it’s a real wonder that the modern pharmaceutical industry has not found anything better to treat epilepsy, or a whole host of other medical conditions, for that matter, that work any better than they do.  Let me just put it plain and simple – if most other major industries or businesses tried to sell products that had as many major defects – and I am counting negative side effects as defects – as modern pharmaceutical drugs, they would be laughed out of town, and no one would buy their junk!  But the pharmaceutical industry, in collusion with the governmental powers that be, have so perverted things and rigged the system that this is simply shrugged off as being normal!

Put another way, is it really medical progress to abandon a natural treatment for a medical disorder like epilepsy that works very well and satisfactorily in favor of a synthetic drug with a hundred-odd negative side effects?  Heck NO!  Yet the spin masters of the pharmaceutical industry’s PR team, in collusion with government regulatory agencies that they have subverted, and with doctors and pharmacists standing by to fill your order, are trying to convince you that somehow, indeed it is, and are really anxious to sell you the stuff.  If we were really interested, as a society and as a nation, in true medical progress, and serving the needs and quality of life of the patient above our own profits, we would be investing everything we could in further refining and upgrading many of these traditional treatments and therapeutic protocols, like Mistletoe for epilepsy.

The degree to which drugs and medicines that are so obviously full of negative side effects as the one I just cited, and which are somehow shrugged off as being normal, or even desirable or in demand, is a good reliable indicator of the degree to which our medical establishment, and our whole society and its governmental system, have become corrupt and self-seeking.  And so, I will echo the words of the old philosopher and cynic Diogenes:  Is there an honest man left out there?

SOURCES:

A Modern Herbal, Volume 2 by Mrs. M. Grieve, page 548.  Copyright 1971 by Dover Publications, Inc., New York, NY

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/keppra-side-effects.html

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