Medical doctors give an oath to “first do no harm”. The modern medical system fails to reflect that oath. Hippocrates was the founding father of modern medicine. His philosophy was “you will exercise your art solely for the cure of your patients, and will give no drug, perform no operations, for a criminal purpose.” He also believed that “the natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food.” Modern medicine has moved so far away from those basic principles. Despite its major flaws, modern medicine is essential for emergency care, surgery and pain management. Advancements in technology have led to earlier and better diagnosis. Many incurable conditions are also now better managed with drug therapy which in most cases supress symptoms to improve quality of life. Western Medicine should also practice preventative medicine through nutrition, non-toxic natural therapies, root cause analysis and helping support the body’s innate ability to heal itself.
Lack of Nutrition Training
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published an article on the “status of nutrition education in medical schools” stating that only 30% of the 106 American Medical Schools surveyed required a nutrition course and students only received an average of 24 hours of nutrition instruction. Instructors voiced that there is a need for more nutrition instruction at their institutions. Graduating medical students also rated their nutrition training as poor. Despite the fact that poor nutrition is a known risk factor in the top leading causes of disease and death, health care providers are not adequately trained to recommend diet and lifestyle changes. 1
The role of drug companies in medical school training has increased as medical schools and hospitals have become increasingly financially dependent on industry support. Pharmaceutical representatives are involved in educating medical students, resulting in more of an emphasis on drug therapy for treating chronic diseases. As a result, doctors don’t identify the underlying root cause and fail to prescribe non-toxic diet and lifestyle interventions as a first line of treatment. Drug companies being involved in medical education and practice is a conflict of interest due to their ulterior motive of making profit. The influence of drug companies has driven the focus of modern medicine away from prevention and managing disease with diet and lifestyle to supressing symptoms with toxic drugs.2
A 2009 article published in the New York Times revealed that some medical school professors are paid consultants to drug companies. This leads to the biased promotion of drug therapy in medical school. It is unethical and unscientific to allow drug companies to influence medical education. Some Harvard Medical faculty members received hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from the pharmaceutical industry from consulting and speaking. The drug industry is biased in research and publishes false marketing claims. When we donate to the fundraisers and runs the money goes to more drug research and not a cure. The public is better off putting their time and money into supporting non-toxic therapies and preventative medicine that are not money driven.5
Drug companies fund the education of medical professionals in order to promote product sales instead of help improve public health. There are hundreds of drugs and medications that were taken off the market due to the high risk to patients. It is unethical that toxic drugs are prescribed to patients before enough evidence is collected to ensure the drug is safe. Drug companies fund the drug testing and skew the results in favor of the drug in order to make profits.3
For example, Vioxx was one of the most commonly used anti-inflammatory pain-relief drugs used from 1999-2004 in the U.S. It was later discovered that the manufacturer failed to disclose the clinical trial data and trained the sales representatives to avoid discussing the drug’s cardiac risk. The drug resulted in many heart attacks, strokes and deaths as a result. When side effects became clearer and other adverse reactions were exposed, the drug was taken off the market when it should not have been deemed safe to use in the first place. This scandal makes you wonder how many other drug companies are also suppressing information about dangerous side effects. Toxic drugs like statins are still on the market as one of the top selling drugs despite the known side effects such as liver toxicity, muscle inflammation, gut problems, cataracts and more and without conclusive evidence that statins prevent cardiac events. Drug therapy has many side effects but is still used due to the enormous profits that drive the pharmaceutical industry. Big Pharma’s drive for profits is at the expense of public health and innocent people hoping to improve their health.3
Medical school courses downplay the negative effect of drugs and emphasize the benefits. Ghostwriting has become more common when faculty members sign as authors of studies conducted and written by pharmaceutical companies without contributing to the research. Pharmaceutical sponsored literature cannot be trusted and research should be done independently so that it is unbiased.4
The flaws of modern medicine should drive us to take control of our health and do our own research to decide the best treatment approach without risks and side effects.
By Dana Garcia