The Role of Medicine

In 1979 Dr. Thomas McKeown published THE ROLE OF MEDICINE–Dream, Mirage or Nemesis. Dr. McKeown stated that 92% of the increase in longevity achieved in the 20the century came not from Medicine but from improved sanitation and adequate food and protein! A review of the book by Dr. Franz Inglefinger, editor of THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, concluded that, after allowing for errors and complications, “We wind up barely on the positive side of zero.

In July, 2000, THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION stated that the Medical System was the third leading cause of death in the United States, with at least 225,000 people killed each year. Several others have stated that this UNDERSTATES the toll by two thirds! Any way you look at it, one has to be circumspect when choosing any drug, surgery or hospitalization.

In general, it is my impression that in many acute illnesses, especially trauma, American Medicine may be essential; but in chronic problems it is often not as good as a wide variety of alternative approaches. Since the founding of The American Holistic Medical Association in 1978, we have seen the blossoming of a wide variety of alternatives, including acupuncture, and at least a token of Integrative Medicine approaches. The biggest question for the average patient is When do I use Conventional Medicine and When do I opt for Alternatives? I can answer that only for myself.

With trauma, fever above 103 degrees, significant acute changes in neurologic function/consciousness, seizures, active bleeding, severe shortness of breath, and severe acute pain, I would opt to seek conventional medical care.

With a diagnosis of cancer or inability of conventional physicians to make a clear cut diagnosis, I would seek alternative opinions. Fortunately, I am a pretty good diagnostician myself and I have knowledge of the broad range of alternatives and alternative practitioners.

For most people, if in doubt and in non-emergency situations, I suggest you seek two or three independent opinions from competent physicians. I also think you should read widely to know what might be available. If you have not read it yet, I suggest you start with my book, ENERGY MEDICINE. Also, always search on the internet for ALL the complications of recommended drugs and surgery. Start NOW with optimal health habits and your need for medical intervention will be far less.

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