Money & Medicine Page Table of Contents
The East West Healing Arts Center clinic, located in Oakland, California, and in Talent, Oregon (between Medford and Ashland) is the originator of MindMapping® BioImaging® which provides you with an objective evaluation of your Interpersonal strengths and MindTraps®. We provide excellent natural medical care and nutrition counseling & coaching.Contact us by phone to find out more at 541-535-4325 or email us.
1) Money Trumps Health
2) Historical Role Doctors Played
3) Drugs & Devices: the Only Allowable Treatments
4) On Becoming A Banana Republic: ADA & Mercury
5) Who is Looking Out for Your Family's Safety?
6) Collusion in a Shared Blind Spot
7) What Recourse Do We Have? Constitutional Corporate Mandates
8) The Medical Monopoly
9) Alternative Medicine Research
10) Psychology & Drugs
11) Top Down Medical Hierarchy & Drugs
To share experiences, comments, citations, constructive criticism, corrections and suggestions please email us.
Money Trumps Health
Before we jump into this controversial subject lets make some things clear.
Making money with integrity is possible. A corporation can be a viable way to organize people, ideas and resources to accomplish a profit for everyone. The word corporation comes from corpus meaning body. We are all trying to get enough profit--food, shelter, etc. to keep ourselves ahead of entropy and decay. Money is not the root of all evil. Corporations are not, by definition the bad guy. Money is not dirty. Money is an energy/resource exchange medium that was a great revolution.
Having said that, a concentration of money in the hands of those that "rig the game" and that lack an ethical compass will magnify their selfish vision. Entire segments of the economy can become corrupted. Historically this has happened time and again. The stock market of the 19th century was so corrupt the capitalist industrialization and railroad building of America might have failed.
Today, despite many amazing individual exceptions, the medical, pharmaceutical and insurance industries, taken as a whole, are rigged for their profits and for your exploitation.
A menage a tois of corporate industry, pet governmental regulators, and industrial medicine exists and effects you directly. Together they play a rigged game. When a conflict arises they act together to protect their own interest over the public good. That's you and me. Industrial medicine's role is to not stir up too much fuss about the role that repetitive motion, boring jobs without a sense of fulfillment and toxic pollution have in poor human health. The relationship between industry and industrial medicine is a mutually back scratching one, less out of conspiratorial complicity and more out of a congruent world view. Industrial medicine is a beneficiary of industrial corporate/governmental structure that economically dominates and has come to control the political, thus legal apparatus, that in turn protects the power of doctors.
Ironically, in a case of the revolution eating its children, the health care industry has determined that doctors are no longer the apex of the business of medicine, and the medical industry can be run better by the MBAs. This has led to a deterioration of the role of doctors. This has led to a different kind of bad medicine.
Suddenly the quiet doctors are making a loud fuss. About time.
Historical Role Doctors Played
Until now modern doctors have limited their role to "script writers" at the end of a chain of marketing events that starts with pharmaceutical company's R & D and ends when drugs are placed in patient's hands.
This was not always the case. In the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries many doctors were actively testing drugs, herbs, odd electrical devices, homeopathic remedies and surgical interventions. Some were an active and innovative part of much more distributed medical research enterprise. But as the patent medicine companies, building on the popularity of opiate containing bottled elixirs, gained economic power, they began the centralization of R & D for drug development into an activity that the pharmaceutical company's directed. This is an obvious conflict of interest. It would demand high moral, ethical and scientific integrity over the demand for easy money.
Now practicing doctors are not only peripheral to research and development but their role in patient care decisions has been eroded. Medicals schools are downsizing in student body size, teaching scope and academic medicine has experienced a dramatic reduction in research not directly related to the production of a drug. Ironically, although pharmaceutical company's have no lack of brain power, these MBA bean counters typically wait for public sector research to blaze the trail on new drugs only to sweep in at the last moment to commercialize the process.
The expense of bringing a drug to market and the MBA's risk avoidance has made the Pharmaceutical Industry sluggish biochemical innovators. They are riding on the laurals of publically funded research at the NIH.
The drug company MBA's are watching the quarterly returns just like the myopic bean counters at the dinosaur U.S. car companies, GM and Ford, who still fight fuel efficiency and smarter designs. These idiots, who sabotaged electric car technology, still insist, as we pass Peak Oil, on pushing high profit margin inefficient polluting gas guzzlers and SUBs, with marginal engineering, a lot of flash, hype and marketing but little real innovation. Car companies sat on their butts, throwing away the big advantage our early lead in manufacturing gave us, and milked their 2 ton cash cows into the ground. They have now allowed other better car makers to take over most of their market share.
We hope drug companies will face a similar final chapter. They waste the brain trust of their researchers and profits just as the car companies wasted their engineers and profits when they were the only game in town. They don't want to waste money making drugs for short-term conditions or low margin products for poor third world countries, like malaria. They want the big cash cow profit margin that getting people hooked on life-long drugs offers. In this they could be seen as going back to their opiate patent medicine roots--but that would be a cheap shot. In other words, the MBA's don't want to fix a problem, they want to screw a tap into your bank account like a maple tree and slowly drain sap for as long as you live. My guess is that the real researchers, who do want to cure disease, will jump ship if they see a another paradigm taking market share. Contact a new paradigm at 541-535-4325 or email us.
Drugs & Devices: the Only Allowable Treatments
The regulatory watchdogs, such as the FDA, whose workers are in a revolving door relationship to Industrial medicine, especially the pharmaceutical industry, limit the definition of what can be intellectually protected to single (or very few) chemicals and thus exclude herbal therapies from completing the process. We, as researchers of an herbal arthritis product, were involved in trying to go through the official process and found out that drugs only need apply. Drugs only please. After all money, not your health, talk. The cost of the FDA approval process has now become so high, just as in political campaign financing, only the "big boys", Big Pharma, can play.
Industrial medicine attempts to fix by drugs or replace "parts" by surgery those humans that fail to cope with the environment intoxicated by industry and made vulnerable by depleted and addictive foods that have made the corporations rich.
The symptom suppressing goal of fixing the broken individual biological cogs verses a politically risky task of challenging the powerful industries that are breaking the cogs, is an unquestioned given. Industrial medicine seldom looks to the industrial and systemic roots of many sicknesses, although exceptions occur, i.e. asbestosis. Often the challenge is spearheaded by legal action, not by mainstream medicine. Although many well meaning doctors are personally aghast at the devastation of the Love Canals and toxic waste sites their professional organizations don't encourage biting the hand that feeds it. Busy doctors writing script all too often treat the symptoms and miss tackling the cause. It is the rare and brave doctor of industrial medicine that challenges industry which has been known to play hardball against its opposition. It is the rare person in any case willing to risk being ostracized as a "whistle blower" on complicity within their own professions.
On Becoming A Banana Republic: ADA & Mercury
How long did tobacco companies lie? What carnage was created before the safe keepers of our health complained? The regulatory agencies and medical researchers knew how toxic tobacco was, yet for years our regulatory agencies and politicians did little or nothing.
They are still not doing much. The legislators in Washington, beholden to the lobbyist's campaign financing teat, are part of the problem, even today. The WHO has recently drafted a tobacco treaty designed to inform people of the risks of smoking. This is in an attempt to reduce the 15 billion cigarettes smoked every day worldwide. This creates a huge and growing medical cost. On June 16, 2004, the first day the document was open for signing 28 countries, including the European Union, signed on. The U.S. didn't. There is no significant difference between the viewpoint of powerful anti-health lobbies, such as the sugar and tobacco lobbies, and government policy.
In the past, the less tame agencies such as the EPA have tried to take the dental industry to task over the use of mercury, since the FDA won't. The American Dental Association (ADA) was the once controversial professional organization that championed mercury in the 1800's in the face of stiff opposition by doctors who were very familiar with mercury toxicity. Iatrogenic, doctor caused disease, form mercury poisoning was all too common. The ADA, although its philosophy and medical practice were wrongheaded, were quite skillful politically and became the most potent professional organization for dentists, paralleling how the AMA came to represent the professional muscle of doctors.
The term "mad as a hatter" came from the neurotoxicity of felt hat makers who used mercury in their felting process. Many doctors used mercury as a treatment. Many more saw how dangerous Mercury was and would not use such a toxic substance. Of the heavy metal elements it is 2nd only to radioactive plutonium in toxicity. Research shows that there is no safe dose. It kills your neurons and kidney cells. What happened to the "Do no harm" injunction?
The ADA refers to a long list of articles on the safety of mercury. However, they reference, not new research, but rather just citations of citations going back to a single article from the 1930's. The ADA's policy is the tried and tried refuge of politicians "deny, deny and more denial". They publicly stand self-righteous in their position that mercury, a material that is regulated poison before and after it goes in the mouth, is completely insert and safe while in the chemically chaotic and volatile environment of your mouth. Of course. Oceanfront property in Arizona, anyone? Of course, the mercury stays put in your fillings.
In sheep mercury fillings have been found to not only leave the teeth but cross the fetal barrier to the lambs. Though over half of the weight of the filling is gone a decade after placement the ADA refuses to consider that some mercury is internalized and does harm. A simple detector in the mouth reads gas concentrations of biologically chemically transformed mercury, the most dangerous variety, above the EPA limits that would instantly close a factory down. You can perform this test in your own mouth if you have the euphemistically named "silver amalgam" fillings, yourself. This aerosol mercury is rapidly absorbed into the brain and the lungs. This single test disproves decades of the ADA's "inert" and "stay in the filling" myths.
The ADA dentists and ADA scream "unfair" while they quietly train a new generation of dentists in alternative composite materials for "cosmetic" reasons. The muckety mucks in the industry know they have an exposed liability in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Deny, deny, deny.
Who is Looking Out for Your Family's Safety?
It was not doctors as a group that spearheaded the clean air and water movement. The electrical grid system may yet still prove to be an enormous source of toxic electromagnetic stress and contribute to a wide range of diseases. Science that challenges the military communications and industrial power distribution system has been censored and suppressed. Industry sponsors a pseudo-scientific journal dedicated to only negative findings of the health risks of electropollution. The other journal, which prints both positive and negative findings, has to counter the disinformation of the pseudo-science journal. These guys play dirty hardball.
Collusion in a Shared Blind Spot
Corruption is endemic to a degree everywhere. The argument here is that there are philosophical congruence that make the inbred nature of of industry and industrial medicine nearly inevitable. This lack of a philosophical check and balance allows corruption to grow almost unnoticed. The Mechanical belief system industrial doctors embrace makes it difficult for them to see the importance of the larger social and environmental causes of disease. In that way, as a profession, they are very conservative.
Public health and epidemiology, the disciplines best positioned to identify these kinds of systemic and environmental dangers, are chronically underfunded and disrespected in the hierarchal pecking order of doctor specialties and incomes. These disciplines are designed to look at the role of the environment and business and public policy on epidemiology. They are one of the few transdisciplinary specialties in industrial medicine. They often also see the areas of concern that are discussed here--albeit from a perspective of reform not revolution. Understandably, they argue for the repair of a damaged system verses a complete rethinking of the current system. We argue the current system, although is has it's strenghts, too often leaves your health in the hands of people who make more money by skimping and practices that look good on the surface, but deeply undermine your health.
The corporations even have a "fiduciary responsibility" to increase profits by skimping, even if it reduces your health and intoxicates your body. Advertising is all about 30 seconds of making "looking good", like an unreachable rainbow. As long as the financial bottom line is the only bottom line, we are going to have problems.
What Recourse Do We Have? Constitutional Corporate Mandates
The Founding Fathers, the propertied elites, and probably a few of the mothers if we only knew, were very concerned about the hegemony of the English monopoly's, the great corporation. "Our" fight for independence was largely a rebellion of the elites in these colonies against the British East India company and other corporate monopolies, based in England, whose lobbies made sure the elites here were well taxed and most revenue flowed to England. The elites here wanted the whole economic pie, not just the crumbs.
Fortunately, the Founding Fathers placed into state Constitutions the right to licence, or de-licence corporations. They encouraged us to place significant criterion, BEYOND JUST A FIDUCIARY RESPONCIBILITY TO STOCKHOLDERS, for the corporations to meet and to prove they were acting for the public good. If this was the standard for doing business in our communities, how many corporations would pass the grade?
Nowadays, the TV talking heads collapse the separate ideas of Democracy, Big Capitalism and the Free Market corporate right to extract global profits, with little regard to the harm done to people or the environment. Corporate good neighbors operate at an economic disadvantage against unscrupulous competitors willing to sacrifice our Common Wheal for their own short-term gain. As practiced now, the deregulated free market and eviscerated regulatory agencies are as toxic as the amalgam fillings they are putting into our mouths.
We can actually force all corporations to become good neighbors and a power for building community by requiring certain standards of our corporations. We can, in fact, take away the corporations right to do business in our state if they do not fulfill the standards we demand. See www.jim hightower.com. What a concept. The Founders saw we might need it. Boy were they right. We could use such foresight now. We could use a Samual Adams now too. He, or at least the popular image we have of him, would ride the current crop of politicians, thieving CEO's and pious patricians out on a rail. I am actually an optimist. I think the number of snake in the grass elites is far less than smart good people. My guess is that most CEO's are really sharp and want to do the right thing. If they can make money doing the right thing they will. If you are one of those good guys please reference the book Natural Capitalism for a view of robust economic behavior that is life affirming and will allow you to pass on your wealth and a cleaner world to healthy kids.
The Medical Monopoly
As long as mega-capitalist have only a duty to their profits, as long as fiduciary responsibility is their only legal responsibility, the current medical system, no matter what it's missings are, how high the risks are in high tech medicine, or it's inability to help us heal most chronic disease--it will not change. Ironically, this is partly because it is a subsidized and protected monopoly that fails the test of free trade. As the legally enshrined state medicine and federal research monies, it is well subsidized and not subject to market competition.
What market competition is available has not gone well for Industrial Medicine. To the degree that the people who are willing to pay cash for medical services have a vote, they are voting with their feet in droves to try and find alternatives to industrial medicine.
Alternative Medicine Research
This consumer interest does not mean open-minded research is being adequately funded for the competitors to state medicine. And this research is needed. Research is needed from the point of view of the new Knowledge-based Energetic Medicine (see below). As money is found for Knowledge-based Medical research we must begin a dialogue to find how to bring back the independence and objectivity to health practitioners that has too often been compromised in industrial medicine research which is a big money game.
Psychology & Drugs
The role that mind and consciousness play in industrial medicine are similarly minimized. They have never been subject to mechanical analysis the way the bone and muscle lever systems were. Psychiatry has been an uneasy member of the medical palette. Nonetheless, a biochemical reductionism has allowed psychoactive drugs that change consciousness to be identified and routinely prescribed. As more and more children are found to not be socializable by school they are diagnosed with various psychiatric codes with drugs as the treatment of choice. The drugs were often not tested on kids and the long-term results of this massive experiment are uncertain. Canada has seen a high drug addiction rate in adults who as kids were given ADD amphetamine stimulants.
In our practice food and drugs are major contributing factors in the development of these tragic problems. Certainly governmental policies never seriously consider the Hoffman hypothesis that psychoactive toxins created by stressed people cause many mental problems, nor looks at the toxemia model whereby altered populations of bacteria in deranged guts failing to properly digest damaged food creates endogenous psychoactive toxins that alter brain and hormonal function. Perhaps the simplest failing of most, but not all, industrial medicine practitioners is the oft cited arrogance of these doctors.
Top Down Medical Hierarchy & Drugs
The assumption of medical authority may have positive payoffs in terms of activating the placebo effect in those looking for authority and improving compliance with the doctors recommendations. But the difficulty many doctors have with listening to patients, or about other medical approaches means that industrial medicine is a top down hierarchal system with no feedback from the bottom to the top. However, the loss of prestige and the inhuman schedules doctors must shoulder is having a mitigating effect on the arrogant attitude among some doctors. As is a more informed patient accessing medical information via the net.
Double-blind studies test a drug and try to show if it is effective in treating a given problem. Once approved it can be used for anything. This diagnosis X = Drug Y algorithm, frees the doctor to prescribe quickly and move on to their next patient by abdicating the traditional time-consuming role of the doctor to listen to the details to separate clues hidden among irrelevancies. However, a system that shuts off feedback becomes less intelligent, a business that ignores the desires of the market becomes non-competitive. To compensate for this lack of medical listening the new market driven medical corporations have co-opted the warm fuzzy buzz words of concern found in the alternative medical world and have altered their marketing, while not fundamentally altering the medicine delivered. "Wellness" programs, with diet and exercise programs, are afterthoughts stitched into the periphery of practice and a more touchy feely friendly advertising campaign is the extent of emotional considerations affecting health outcomes. The overworked nurses, if it happens at all, continue to provide most of the caring connection to patients.