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Biblical Reflections on Modern Medicine

Vol. 8, No. 6 (48) 

Contents:


Heinous Exploitation: One Criminal and Another Legal

or

Becoming a Victim: Twice

Beginning when she was 13 years old and continuing for 18 months, Betty Doe (not her real name) was seduced by a public school teacher. When he "demanded" that she use some kind of birth control, state laws and federal money allowed a local clinic to provide Depo-Provera (a hormone shot that lasts three months and is an abortifacient) without her parents' knowledge and consent. 

The crime and exploitation by this teacher is apparent, and he is being prosecuted. A parental-consent amendment to Title X is being proposed in Congress. Title X is federal funding for "family-planning," that is, contraceptives for teenage girls and treatment of their sexually transmitted diseases without parental consent. The program is a dismal failure by its own standards. By Biblical standards, it is anathema to moral sexual conduct and the integrity of the family. The teacher's crime and Title X are the focus of the article from which this case is presented here.1

However, there is another heinous exploitation that is described in the next to the last paragraph.

"... Betty (not her real name) began to get better. The road back has been difficult, her father says, often discouraging, and extremely expensive. For weeks, she went to therapy for five days a week. She now goes three days a week (some of that therapy included the rest of the family). She has reported suicidal thoughts, but those are getting a little less frequent. She still locks herself in her closet and cries, but that, too, is becoming less common." 

Perhaps, I am the only reader of 40,000+ to focus on this paragraph, but one of my major concerns about modern medicine is its capitulation of every life situation to the provinces of psychology and psychiatry. The problem in evangelicalism is little better.

This girl was savagely duped and degraded (by the teacher and by the state), but her "therapy" only reinforced it "daily." And, it was "expensive." What can be the focus of 5 times or even 3 times weekly "therapy," but reinforcement of the trauma that this girl had been through? By this process, her experience is more firmly fixed in her mind and likely to disturb her in the future.

The article gives no indication that members of the family were Christians. If not, their discernment and resources were quite limited. (Even had they been, similar "therapy" would have been likely.) However, the damage done by the "therapy" is possibly greater than her sexual molestation and statutory rape, because it only reinforced her experience as it was addressed over and over.

The perpetrator is being tried for 10 counts of criminal sexual assault, eight counts of child pornography, and two counts of official misconduct. The "therapist" likely receives praise and thanks. Yet, here was further complicity under the laws of the state that granted licensure to such "therapists." Too few people are upset by this state sanction.

Once, pastors and priests were the therapists in such situations. In a fallen world, savagery and tragedy occurs. Are these events better understood as random violence or God's Providence? Are victimization and "emotional support" (whatever that is) better than love, forgiveness, and putting on righteous thoughts (Philippians 4:8)? 

Tragedies of our time have become double tragedies. First, by the events themselves and then by the "therapy" that has become legion after the events. We are not better off because of this godless "therapy."

1. Roy Maynard, "A Public School's Private Shame," World, August 23/30, 1997, pp. 12-15. My article is by no means a criticism of World which recently (November 1) praised my work. However, the place of psychology in our society is also a great problem and an even greater problem in the Church.

Terrell's Treatise

Fascism in Medicine?

The American Medical Association recently has been trying to recover from the debacle of its offering its imprimatur on private products for a fee. Perhaps the organization should not apologize. None other than the federal government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) is doing a similar thing. Bearing a Department of Health and Human Services return address, the CDCP sent out a slick "fact sheet for physicians" and other material urging us to treat a stomach infection with a combination of medications. 

The infection, known as Helicobacter pylori, is associated with peptic ulcer disease and some kinds of gastritis. The bacterium is as common as dirt, infecting about "two-thirds of the world's population." About a tenth of the U.S. population has or has had a peptic ulcer. A little arithmetic reflection indicates that having this bacterium in the stomach is usually NOT associated with a peptic ulcer. It may be a necessary condition for having a peptic ulcer, but it surely is not a sufficient one. 

This consideration has not deterred the CDCP from stating that "infection causes ulcers." Yes, and water causes drowning, so let's drain all the ponds. One wonders what the reinfection rate is once the germ is eliminated with one of the extended period two- to four-drug regimens. They confess that "the source of H. pylori is not yet known." How many drained ponds will fill up with water again?

The CDCP is "conducting a national education campaign to inform healthcare providers and consumers of the link between H. pylori and stomach and duodenal ulcers." The federal agency is performing this service "with partners in other government agencies, academic institutions, and industry." Ah! Follow the money trail when something is puzzling. Is there research money in this thing for academics? Is there money in this for the regulators? And, not least, are there sales in this for the makers of all that medicine? Has the CDCP been duped into becoming a sales arm of the pharmaceutical industry? I doubt it. Substitute "connived" for "duped" and one might get close.

I seem to recall that the technical definition of fascism includes a tight relationship between big industry and civil government, in which the former accepts heavy regulation in return for government benefits. "Partnership" is a much nicer word than fascism. I wonder if Annie's Apple Stand could "partner" with the USDA for some mutual benefit. Nope. Big Government only sleeps with Big Industry.

"Chemicals Might/Can't/Won't Cause Breast Cancer"

A recent study checked blood levels of PCBs and DDT in women who had breast cancer and a comparable group who did not (The New England Journal of Medicine, October 30, 1997). The women without breast cancer had slightly lower levels, but the difference was not statistically different. The following is how three news groups reported the study.

"The Associated Press .... headlined 'Study Refutes DDT, PCB Cancer Link'.... a new study offers the strongest evidence yet that lingering traces of the banned chemicals... do not cause breast cancer.... The overwhelming weight of the evidence now is that exposure to these particular chemicals is not associated with risk of breast cancer.

"The New York Times ran the headline 'Study Discounts DDT Role in Breast Cancer.' Challenging the convictions of many advocates for patients, a large study has found no evidence that exposure to chemicals... increase the risk of breast cancer.

"The Washington Post read 'Breast Cancer-Pollutant Link Unproven; Study Fails to Resolve Whether Exposure to PCBs, DDT Increases Risk'.... Other scientists noted that similar studies have come to the opposite conclusion.... This study certainly doesn't exonerate these chemicals" (Vital Stats: The Numbers Behind the News, November 1997, pp. 1-3. Statistical Assessment Service, 2100 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20037)

Commentary: "Refutes," "Discounts," and "Fails to Resolve" shows considerably different slants to the same report. These reports are examples of the biases inherent in the reporting of medical science. Many readers' opinions will be shaped by the particular slant given by that news group. Herein is the difficulty that the public has with at least one "filter" between them and the facts.

However, the medical profession is no better. Studies like these will often have editorials that give the opposite point of view to give "balance." The case is no different with global warming. You have scientists on both sides with different biases and different "facts." 

And so the band plays on. Knowing the validity of modern science is difficult at best and sometimes just impossible.

There is an important lesson here - the validity of Revelation. We really don't know that is certain about either every day life or the most rigorous of scientific studies. However, God's Word is truth, not facts and not scientifically formulated. In a real sense, it is the only truth that we have. "All other ground is sinking sand."

(Ed's note: I have provided the address of this little newsletter. What it lacks in length -- 4 pages -- and scope, it makes up in astute analysis. For those who want thinking reviews of the news, Vital Stats provides that analysis, often with a humorous slant. Website is http://www.stats.org and email: STATS2100@aol.com.

Brief Reports with Commentary

Drugging Our Intelligent Children!

A study found that over 25 percent of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder had intellectual levels that qualified them for gifted programs. ("The Doctor Laura [Schlesinger] Show," October 24, 1997. Also, see "Prescriptions for Children," below.)

Commentary: There are major problems with the public school system. The egalitarian error that all people (children) are virtually the same is one. Everyone knows that children have vastly different IQs, yet our school systems (including many Christian ones) persist in canned programmed instruction for all students. The smarter students learn the basic curriculum almost at the moment that they are exposed, then they are bored, fidget, get labeled ADHD, and then get drugged to slow them down!

Of course, these smarter students from disciplined families will behave, in spite of boredom. So, discipline in the home is a problem as well. (So is discipline in the schools with today's threat of legal action and "pop" psychological applications.) ADHD is a multi-faceted problem that I cannot fully address here.

The question is, "Is there truly a medical diagnosis that is ADHD?" Frankly, I don't know. I am doubtful. What is clear is that perhaps more than 90 percent of children with this label neither deserve the diagnosis nor drugs. And -- education must become more individualized (along with solutions for its other problems). Drugging children is not the answer. 

Don't Put Patients First, Put Them in Their Place

(Allow me a pet peeve, please.) In this day of medical marketing and re-structuring, the phrase (or a variant of it) "Putting Patients First" is often used. Christian psychologists and psychiatrists often go further, offering their clients/patients "Unconditional Love."

Commentary: When I hear such things, I become nauseated. They are nonsense. If corporations and physicians put patients first, they would never eat, sleep, go home to their families, have time for recreation, or worship on Sundays. As for unconditional love, I am waiting for the "psych" who is willing to have his clients/patients go home with him and care for them around the clock. To let them phone him at any time night or day. Etc., etc.

I equate these verses with Jesus' admonition against swearing falsely, "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil (one)." 

We can "highly esteem" patients. We can see them as "made in the image of God." We can see them as "a little lower than the angels." But, patients are first only when I am available for their care. I have other (more important) firsts, God and my family for example. No one should have "unconditional love" for another, not even a spouse. Divorce is Biblically permissible for desertion and adultery (I Corinthians 7). 

Two points. Words influence behavior and we are not to "bear false witness." When I see patients, I make every effort to give them the best care that I can. However, I go home eventually. If my wife or child calls with an emergency, I may have to give that patient's care to someone else. Patients are not first, and I do not love them unconditionally. Let's be done with this nonsense that falsely aggrandizes the services that we provide and breaks the Ninth Commandment! 

"Patients' First" distorts Biblical priorities. The opprobrium of I Timothy 5:8 is not fastened on physicians for failing to attend their patients above all else, but in the context, for exactly the reverse!

Followup: Brain Death

D. Alan Shewmon, M.D., has written, "Recovery from 'Brain Death': A Neurologist's Apologeia." (Linacre Quarterly, February 1997, pp. 30-96. For reprints, write them at 850 Elm Grove Rd., Elm Grove, WI 53122.) This article is a journey by a an insightful and reflective neurologist of Roman Catholic persuasion. It is a delightful article in its rare understanding of factual empirical science vs. opinion and group-think. For example, Shewmon concludes at one point.

"That such a notion of "brain death" should represent the pinnacle of ontological profundity, emanating as it did from one of the most prestigious medical schools (Harvard) and elevated to the "Medical Progress" section of one of the most prestigious journals (The New England Journal of Medicine, suffices to prove the extent of the conceptual anarchy prevailing at the time (and still today)" [p.41].

A giant step toward his rejection of brain death occurred when he was confronted with a first-hand experience of two children with hydroencephaly who had a total absence of their cerebral cortex, yet were "conscious, adaptively interactive with the environment and quite sociable" (p. 57). 

"The hydraencephalic children proved that the cortical doctrine of consciousness was simply not true in congenital situations.... if we could have been so wrong about the congenital case, what was the guarantee that we might not also be wrong about the "fact" in the adult case (i.e., brain death)" [p. 59].

He ultimately concludes that death is an irreversible failure of the integrative function of the brain and the rest of the body. These other function include the beating of the heart, the transfer of oxygen from the lungs to the red blood cells to the rest of the body, the complex interaction of the adrenal and other glands that produce hormones, the liver and kidneys to excrete waste, the gastrointestinal tract to digest and absorb food, the immune system recognizing and fighting infection, etc., etc.

He is not quite willing to disallow heart and liver transplantation with the more recent advent of heart-beating-cadaver-donors called the "Pittsburgh Protocol." Under this system, two minutes pass after the heart stops beating before organs are harvested.

For those who think closely on the matter of organ transplantation and brain death, this extensive article (66 pages) is a must-read and a classic.

Can You Answer This Question?

"As a matter of national policy, and to the extent that a nation's health system can make it possible, should the child of a poor American family have the same chance of avoiding preventable illness or of being cured from a given illness as does the child of a rich American family?" 

This question is asked as an introduction to an article entitled, "Wanted: A Clearly Articulated Social Ethic for American Health Care" (The Journal of the American Medical Association, November 5, 1997, pp. 1446-1447). Can you answer the question substantively?

The question is framed as are many for public opinion polls -- to trap the answerer into only one answer. To answer it in the negative is to paint oneself as anti-children, a position that no one wants to be in. To answer it in the postive is give considerable impetus to the socialist, totalitarian state.

I present this question because it is adamantly proposed by The Journal of the American Medical Association with all the clout and prestige that it carries. It is the current wedge for increasing socialism. 

Here are some issues to ponder. Why are children considered more important than adults? Is it even possible to give the same preventive and curative care to the poor as it is to the affluent? What is the cost in dollars, and more importantly freedom, to gain the ends implied in the question? Are children, just because they are poor, deserving of such help? What is the biblical construct to answer this question?

The answer to the Journal's question has been answered in whole and in part repeatedly on these pages, so I won't do so now. However, we must learn to answer this question positively and forcefully because it is one of several that will determine the future of government and society in America.

National Coalition for Patient Rights

"The National Coalition for Patient Rights (National CPR) is a national non-profit organization comprised of medical professionals and concerned citizens dedicated to restoring confidentiality to health care. We work to raise public awareness through advocacy and public education, prevent infringements on privacy and pass true confidentiality legislation." (pamphlet of this organization, 405 Waltham St., Suite 218, Lexington, MA 02173)

Commentary: I present this organization for those who may be interested in this issue. Indeed, patient records are open to many prying eyes, and with an increasing computerization, access will be easier and more complete. I am not reassured by naive spokesmen who claim restricted access to this information. 

The patient ought to be responsible for his own medical records and no one else!

Alternative Medicine Moves Towards the Mainstream

"The extract of Ginkgo biloba (EGb) is one of the most popular plant extracts used in Europe to alleviate symptoms associated with a range of cognitive disorders. It has recently been approved in Germany for the treatment of dementia."

"EGb was safe and appears capable of stabilizing and, in a substantial number of cases, improving the cognitive performance and the social functioning of demented patients for 6 months to 1 year." (The Journal of the American Medical Association, October 22/29, 1997, pp. 1327-1332)


"A federal advisory panel strongly endorsed the ancient Chinese medical practice of acupuncture for treating certain conditions, including nausea and post-operative dental pain." (The Augusta Chronicle, November 6, 1997, p. 1A)

Commentary: Extract of Ginkgo biloba appears in one the five most "prestigious" medical journals in the United States? Acupuncture approved by a federal panel? What is becoming of medical "science"?

The blurring of lines between alternative medicine and orthodox medicine continues, as if there were ever any difference other than "orthodoxy" as determined by state licensure.

Unfortunately for alternative medicine, the more they campaign for and achieve "orthodoxy," the more they will be regulated, and therefore limited, in their own practices! I would recommend that they stay outside of the mainstream. They already have 1/3 of the adult, English-speaking population in the United States.

Smoking vs. Divorce: Majoring on Minors

I recently attended a cardiology meeting in which there was a great deal of hype over prevention, especially with the new "statins" (cholesterol-lowering drugs). For several decades, cigarette smoking has known to be another risk factor for heart attacks. 

However, I came across an older reference that includes divorce as a risk factor. Harold Morowitz of Yale University concludes that "being divorced and a non-smoker is slightly less dangerous than smoking a pack or more a day and staying married." (Quoted by James L. Lynch in The Broken Heart: The Medical Consequences of Loneliness, Basic Books, 1977, 45-46.)

At the conference that I attended, there was no mention of divorce as a risk-factor. And, reflecting on all the articles that I have read on heart attack prevention recently, I don't recall one that mentioned divorce either. Dr. Lynch's book (above) is one of the few references to the health advantages of marriage.

This omission is one more example of the godless biases in modern medicine. Physicians (specialists, no less) will hype the (usually minimal) benefits of drugs, while ignoring the much greater health benefits of marriage. It is the same bias that ignores the health and spiritual benefits of good marriages for children. 

This bias is not only because of the godless bias, but personal action as well -- many of these experts are divorcing and remarrying themselves. One rarely condemns one's own behavior.

Modern medicine, as materialism, is spending a trillion dollars a year for medical care in the United States, but it is majoring on minors. The greatest health benefits will not come from medications or psychiatry (includes psychology) but a change toward Biblical behavior. When God goes, so does the health of a people.

54 Million Disabled People?

A recent report by the Census Bureau (derived from the Survey of Income and Participation) claims that over 20 percent of all Americans (50 million) are "disabled." There were those who "used a wheelchair" or "had difficulty with one or more functional activities (seeing, hearing, speaking, etc.). Then, there were those who:

"Had difficulty with ... keeping track of money and bills?

"Had difficulty with ... taking prescription medicines in the right amount at the right time.

"Were limited in their ability to do housework.

"Were 16 to 67 years old and limited in their ability to work at a job or business." (Vital Stats, November 1997, p. 2)

Commentary: The sinful nature of people is such that many will use any excuse to avoid responsibility at home and at work. However, in our culture, the government and "do-gooder" agencies make it much easier. With such categories, I am surprised that all 260 million Americans were not listed. Perhaps, the "researchers" stopped short of that number because it would have indeed shown the silliness of their categories.

I am not disparaging those with actual disabilities. But, you know what? Many of our most crippled do quite well with advanced educations, successful businesses, and vigorous recreation -- all without the help of the government -- gasp!

But, I fear the situation is changing. More and more of the disabled are affected by the entitlement mentality of our society. And, the lazy and the cheats join right in. 

Don't Eat Butter, Eat Margarine, Eat ...?

"Ordinary stick margarine, as well as anything baked and fried with shortening and other kinds of hardened vegetable oil, appear to be the worst foods of all for the heart." 

"Health experts emphasize that the new data do not mean that foods high in saturated fat are suddenly a healthy alternative. Indeed, some nutritionists may have been reluctant to acknowledge the hazards of trans fats because of fear that people would simply switch from margarine to butter and lard.

"'The real important message is people should decrease their intake of saturated fat and trans fat, period. No one recommends either butter or stick margarine at this point.'" (The Augusta Chronicle, November 20, 1997, p. 6A, from research in an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine, November 20, 1997, pp. 1491-1499).

Commentary: For more than 30 years, people have been told to switch from butter to margarine and from animal fats to vegetable oils. Now, this research shows that that advice was bad. Now, "experts" don't know what to advise.

One would think that repeated reversals, such as this one, would make "health experts" more cautious in their recommendations. Such is not the case.

With all the "scientific" data about diet, it is hard to improve on the Apostle Paul's advice, "All things in moderation." My advice: do aerobic exercise of 20 minutes 3 times a week and eat anything that you want (just include a variety of fruits and vegetables, milk, and keep your weight at or slightly under tables for your age and height). Simple.

Is the FDA Responsible for the Cancer Epidemic?

This question with its implied (and later stated answer) is part of another diatribe against modern medicine and for alternative medicine (The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, November 1997). One stated goal of the Food and Drug Administration (in that newsletter) is an intentional war to suppress marvelous cures that are available in the alternative ranks. That is, our government wants you to have cancer to protect the $40-50 billion that goes to the "medical establishment."

There are two lies here. One is the (falsely) stated intent of the FDA above, and the other is the cure offered by alternative medicine. While I am no friend of government regulation (as readers well know), I am a friend of the facts. The FDA does need to be abolished, placing responsibility upon individual patients and professionals associations to discern who can be trusted for medical care of patients.

At the same time, there are not these marvelous cures for cancer in alternative medicine. Most (all?) that have faced rigorous study (e.g., laetrile) have not been effective.

Two wrongs don't make a right. While dismantling the modern medicine juggernaut, let's not jump into the exaggerated claims of alternative medicine!

More Government Exacerbation of Health Care Problems

"Effective Jan. 1, 1998, businesses can no longer offer lower annual or lifetime caps on mental health benefits than they do for physical ailments.

"Many states are drawing up their own -- often stricter -- parity rules.... Result: Many employers will decide to drop mental health benefits. (Business Briefing, November 10, 1997, p. 2)

Commentary: Why does medical care cost so much -- government regulation! This law about mental health benefits is one more example. By this edict, costs for medical insurance will increase and skyrocket in some cases. And, some employees will lose coverage altogether. 

Now, has the government really made most people better off? Not at all! It has been convinced by the plight of a few and the wallets of their therapists that the lack of mental health coverage is a national disgrace that will be rectified by law. Once again, the effect is disastrous: further loss of coverage and higher prices. And, I have not even mentioned the miserable efficacy, and even harm, of "mental health" treatments.

From Cradle to Empty Grave

"A new law declares that all Brazilians are potential organ donors. The measure, signed in February by President Fernando Enrique Cardoso, lets federal authorities take possession of organs from people who die without their or their relatives' consent unless the deceased specifically state on their official identity cards that they oppose the practice." (Bloomington Voice, July 31-August 7, 
1997, p. 3)

Commentary: Americans beware! We are only one step removed from this edict in the United States.

Stress Affects Height of Children

"Children who live with warring parents or come from broken homes are more likely to be shorter.... And children who grow slowly may suffer from psychological problems caused by stress that have lifelong consequences according to a report in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, the journal of the Royal College of Pediatrics." (The Augusta Chronicle, October 16, 1997, p. 8A)

Commentary: Ho, hum. Add this study to the hundreds, if not thousands, that associate childhood injury and disease with disharmony in the home. And still, the medical establishment in the United States will not endorse the traditional (Biblical) home as the most healthy environment for children. Indeed, medical leaders do the opposite with endorsement of laws that isolate children from their family, identify spanking with child abuse, and allow easy divorce.

Prescriptions for Children

Leading medications prescribed for children each year:

            * Antibiotics.................47,787,000
            * Antihistamines...............7,279,000
            * Ritalin......................1,596,000
            * Antidepressants................670,000
            * Anticonvulsants................606,000
            * Chemotherapy....................73,000

(National Center for Health Statistics, 1995, reported in Parade magazine, October 12, 1997, pp. 4-5)

Commentary: The title of the article in Parade was "Are Our Children Overmedicated?" My answer is a resounding, "Yes!" You have heard my views on antibiotics, most of which are for "colds" and hay fever. Antihistamines may be legitimate, as they do alleviate nasal congestion and discharge. Ritalin is greatly overprescribed. (See "Let's Drug Our Intelligent Children" above.) Antidepressants are definitely overprescribed. Anticonvulsants for seizures are likely legitimate. Chemotherapy is sometimes legitimate and sometimes not, but discussion of that issue is more complex that can be presented here.

In many ways, modern medicine works against the good that it can do. Overmedication of children and adults is one way. It is not altogether the physicians' fault, as patients pressure us for medications. It is amazing to me that my prognosis that "What you have is harmless and will resolve in a few days on its own in 90 percent of cases" is futile. Patients still want potent medications that are more likely than their illness to cause harm. Strange!

If You Take Pills, You Are More Likely Not to Need Them!

"Among 12 studies that compared hospitalization rates and mortality between adherers and nonadherers, 7 showed a significant relationship between medication and adherence and outcomes. Three studies showed that adherence to placebo was associated with improved outcomes, suggesting that adherent behavior may be a marker of better prognosis or confers a protective effect on patients with coronary heart disease." (Archives of Internal Medicine, September 22, 1997, pp. 1921-1929)

Commentary: This review challenges many other studies in medicine. Most trials of new drugs are designed "double-blind": neither the patient nor the researchers know who is taking the actual drug and who is taking placebo. Even blindly, however, those who don't take the drug are eliminated from the study, since not taking the medication eliminates its effects. Thus, adherers (those who take the drug properly) are often compared with the whole group of those who took placebo.

As this study points out, however, those who take medication regularly have a better outcome based on this factor alone. To assume that effects in the adherent group are due to the medication alone is false. Adherers in both the drug group and the placebo group must be compared.

One wonders how many drugs have been falsely determined to be efficacious simply because the adherers to the protocol had a better outcome regardless of the medication.

Government Dependency Illness

"The accurate diagnosis (for this patient) is Government Dependency Illness (GDI). The government has determined that this gentleman is 'disabled' because of chronic alcoholism and has sent him a check every month for years to pay for his addiction. These government checks have allowed him to purchase a pint of good quality whiskey every day or two.

"After a long counseling session, this gentleman has agreed to give up alcohol, but is reluctant to enter an alcohol rehab program because of his other more powerful addiction. He is afraid that if he goes to a rehab program, the government won't send him his monthly checks." (Lawrence Huntoon, M.D., AAPS News, September 1997, p. 2)

Commentary: Millions of Americans receive billions of dollars for this GDI. Perhaps, the worst abuse is payment for alcohol and drug "addiction," but virtually every diagnosis from A to Z has some government money to support it. The usual diagnosis for third-party payers is the disease itself. However, Dr. Huntoon has gone beyond the symptom to the real diagnosis: GDI. I will go one step further: laziness, greed, and theft.

Telling Physicians How to Treat Patients

I recently received a letter from BlueChoice about a survey concerning treatment for depression of patients treated with an SSRI (a type of anti-depressant medication). It seems that "better than 70% of patients who were prescribed this drug were on it less than 6 months. Much of today's literature shows that patients who require an antidepressant, should take it for at least 6 months."

Commentary: The clear implication here is that I am a bad physician if I do not have patients on this medication for 6 months. The next step will be a requirement that every patient, once prescribed, be on this drug for six months or your name will go on a "bad physician list." The next step will be requirement that upon any diagnosis of depression that this six-month therapy will be completed. 

And, thus, the freedom in the practice of medicine continues -- even more so by government regulation where the force of law motivates. All these changes and requirements are not bad, strictly by the criteria of orthodox medicine. The practices of physicians frequently do not comply with the best scientific evidence available. These third-parties are merely catching them with their own failure to practice scientific medicine.

However, the threat to the freedom those who see through the sham of modern medicine is severe. Soon there may not be room for those of us who do not prescribe anti-depressants and antibiotics almost indiscriminately. We heretics will be cast out of the Church of Modern Medicine and those left in it will face rituals that are not of their own choosing.

Work Excuses: A Physician's Responsibility?

As many as one in five patients that I see ask for a school or work excuse. Now, that is not a great inconvenience, but is it my responsibility? I think not. Thirty years ago, this excuse was not required: why now?

It seems the physician is supposed to ensure the honesty of the one missing work or school. However, the system is deviant in itself. The contract is between the employee and his employer and the child's parents with the school, not with me. If neither can trust the other, what can I do to solve that problem?

I can only poorly judge a patient's inability to work. I don't know how much his head hurts, how long his fever will last, or when he will get over his back pain. I don't know his ability to work with pain and discomfort. Certainly, I don't know that the five previous days that he took off for some illness were actually because of that illness.

The practice of medicine today has many irks. This business of providing excuses is one of them. I am not omniscient for the employer or teacher to guarantee that an absence is legitimate. I don't want that role. I do it only because the patient is caught in a system not of his own choosing. One caveat: I don't legitimize days off that were not of my direction. I have no idea what that person was doing and won't be a party to tricking his employer.

AIDS: Issues and Answers

Vol. 11, No. 6 (73) November 1997

The "Experts" Can't Agree on Homosexuality

As a followup to her interview with Ellen Degeneres and her "lover," Anne Heche (April 30, 1997), Oprah Winfrey invited "expert" and pro-homosexual guests on her program (May 5, 1997). It seems that the first program brought serious questions about the origins of sexual orientation, so Oprah wanted closure on the issue. She didn't get it.

Her panel included Jackie Black, a lesbian activist and therapist; JoAnn Loulan, lesbian and psychotherapist; Chandler Burr, homosexual activist and self-proclaimed "science journalist"; Charles Lopresto, Ph.D.; Judy Wieder, Editor-in-Chief of The Advocate, a national homosexual magazine; John De Cecco, Ph.D., Director of Research and Education in Sexuality, San Francisco State University and editor of the Journal of Homosexuality; Michael Bailey, Ph.D., who did a study on homosexuality in identical twins; and Jonathan Ned Katz, a homosexual activist who thinks the "gay gene" is irrelevant.

"Quite a crew, and yet, with all the so-called experts, still they could not come up with anything substantive about sexual orientation."

Then, the June 24th edition of The Advocate carried an article by Ted Gideonese, entitled "The Sexual Blur... with straights falling for gays, lesbians dating men, and gay men in love with women, is anybody anything anymore? Just how important is sexual identity?" (The Bell Ringer, Fall 1997, pp. 9, 11)

Commentary: The acceptance of homosexuality is central to its politically protection. The above events are major holes in the supposedly united front of those who are pro-homosexuality. Yet, the juggernaut of homosexual acceptance and favoritism continues. (They don't want equality, they want superiority. That's a core belief of activists.)

Such dissension in their own ranks ought to be used at every occasion of public or private controversy. Any erosion of their power base is another obstacle for homosexual activists to overcome. 

Most People Infected with AIDS Already Know It

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that about 775,000 Americans carry HIV, and at least 500,000 of them have been tested and know their status. This estimate is considered to be "conservative." The information came from 25 states in which physicians are required to report the names of patients who are infected. (The Augusta Chronicle, Sept. 29, 1997, 3A)

Commentary: There are two dimensions to this report. First, the emphasis since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic has been that most people who are HIV-positive don't know it. Thus, most new infections come from sexual liaisons in which the infected person knows, but is not telling his/her partner. The blatant example is the man in New York state who traded drugs for sex. But, from this report, his actions is only the tip of the iceberg. Such behavior is only consistent. If one is willing to break the 7th Commandment, why not the 9th Commandment, also?

Second, the information comes from states that require reporting of HIV-positive patients. All of the more serious sexually transmitted diseases before AIDS were required reporting, but HIV became exempt because of the homosexual lobby. As this study shows, important demographic information about HIV continues to be lacking because of this decision. And, now "officials" regret their original decision because research shows that drugs can prolong survival of AIDS patients (at least that's the prevailing opinion among "experts" in the field -- I remain skeptical).

Risking One's Life for Fornicators and Criminals

Fifty physicians are willing to be infected with a live (but weakened) strain of HIV. Members of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care are willing to test this vaccine which is the "most impressive protection against disease (AIDS) so far." They are even willing to proceed even without FDA approval. (Chicago Tribune, September 21, 1997, Section 1, pp. 1, 14)

Commentary: The almost exclusive reason for an AIDS vaccine is to protect homosexuals, IV-drug abusers, and their consorts. HIV-infection from other sources (other than pregnant mother to unborn child) is rare today. This situation is strange, but indicative of our time that is living out the reality of the first chapter of Romans in which perversions are not only prevalent, they are condoned by many in authority.

Indeed, the people of our time want to use modern technical wizardry to avoid the consequences of their perversions. Knowing what these perversions are today with the removal of any restraints of conscience, I shudder to think what they would be with the restraint of the fear of disease removed.


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