If you are like most people, you have probably never even heard of Iatrogenic Disease. Make no mistake, however, this “disease” is very real. In 2003, heart disease accounted for approximately 700,00 deaths per year and cancer deaths were around 550,000. Iatrogenic Disease, however, accounted for a little under 784,000 deaths, which made it the leading cause of death in the United States in 2003.
Basically, Iatrogenic Disease is sickness and death caused by the medical system itself. A large portion of it is caused by pharmaceutical drug negligence on the part of prescribing doctors, but surgeries gone awry and dirty hospital conditions have their share of representation in this decades-long “hidden epidemic.”
The Government Has Known About Iatrogenic Disease for over 20 Years.
The federal Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) was created in 1972. Its job was to provide oversight and accountability regarding technology and the well-being of the country’s citizens. In 1995, the OTA published a report on the state of the U.S. healthcare system.
They came to a pretty shocking conclusion. According to the OTA report, “only 10-20% of all procedures used in medical practice have been shown to be efficacious by controlled trial.”
This means that up to 90% of all conventional medical procedures at the time were unnecessary! Ironically, the year that their report came out, Congress disbanded the Office of Technology Assessment.
The “Death by Medicine” Report
The OTA report was just the tip of the iceberg though. In 2003, the Nutrition Institute of America and four key doctors—Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, Dorothy Smith PhD and Gary Null PhD—came out with a report of their own entitled “Death by Medicine.”
In their comprehensive analysis, they discovered that the state of the country’s medical system was in a more dire situation than the OTA had reported. The “Death by Medicine” report was the first study to determine in a big way that the medical system itself was actually making people sick. Here are just a few of the highlights of the report, based on 2003 statistics:
1. Adverse drug reactions accounted for 106,000 deaths annually.
2. Bedsores and infections while in the hospital or another care facility accounted for 203,00 deaths annually.
3. There were 7.5 million unnecessary medical procedures, including surgeries, performed in 2003 alone.
4. There were 8.9 million unnecessary hospitalizations.
5. “Adverse Drug Reactions” (ADRs) were experienced by 2.2 million people, while they are in the hospital.
6. Only about 20% of “iatrogenic events” wind up getting reported, so the numbers presented in the report could be much higher, according to the authors.
No Improvements Since
Sadly, the situation may have gotten worse over the last 15 years.
Eighteen percent of patients are still harmed in some way by the American medical care system each year, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010. A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) discovered that close to 50% of all hospital deaths are linked, surprisingly, to sepsis, or acute infection.
It also seems that the poorest members of society suffer the most at the hands of the medical establishment. One in seven hospital patients on Medicare are affected health-wise in some way by mismanagement, according to a 2008 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report.
The practice of emergency medicine, long considered the “shining star” of the American allopathic medical system, has taken a nosedive at the expense of the consumer as well. A mere 4% of doctors practice emergency medicine these days.
The American College of Emergency Physicians also rated emergency medicine programs globally in 2014 and gave the US an overall grade of D+. Major issues of concern stated in their report were access to emergency care, the quality of health care facilities, the practice of “defensive medicine,” overcrowding and not enough time taken to review patients’ medical records, especially their use of pharmaceuticals. The report emphasized that in 2011 there were 1.5 million visits to the ER due to prescription drug misuse. They urged ER doctors and nurses to better regulate prescription drugs.
Keep Your Immune System Healthy and Seek Other Options!
Given all of the above, it is safe to say that the local hospital or your conventional doctor’s office may not be the best place to turn to for help managing your health.
However, by boosting your immunity through right eating and lifestyle, managing stress, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly and taking key supplements, the odds are that the times you do have to step into an ER or primary care office will be few and far between.
On the other hand, we all know how things happen. So if you do have to go to the Emergency room or visit a traditional doctor, it is up to you to be your own advocate. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor attending to you about specific procedures. Most importantly, be sure to ask him or her about any medication prescribed.
According to statistics gathered by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, slightly over 4 billion pharmaceutical drug prescriptions were filled at retail pharmacies in the U.S. in in 2012.
That is 13 prescriptions for every single American, but it doesn’t have to be you! The good news is that there are MANY modalities, including lifestyle and diet changes, that you can employ to help you heal naturally… and stay healthy!
Time for a New Medical Model
There are also more MDs that are seeing the writing on the wall when it comes to the medical paradigm they have studied so hard to be a part of. They realize, as you do perhaps, that the current model is simply not working. These forward-thinking professionals have received extra training and are operating as functional or integrative MDs, RNs, PTs, etc.
There are also many more of “NDs” (naturopathic doctors) coming out of the seven officially accredited naturopath schools” in the US and Canada each year. These schools are registered with the U.S. Department of Education and NDs who come from them have just as much (and sometimes even more) knowledge about how to heal the body than regular MDs do, minus training in extensive surgery.
Many integrated MDs, NDs and other health professionals make it a priority to stay up to date on the latest trends and natural protocols for the most prevalent diseases. They also take training in these modalities in order to offer them to their patients.
One current hot topic that many health professionals are receiving additional training on has to do with a very special and even “sacred” plant. Those who have gained the knowledge to incorporate its use into their recommended protocols are truly on the cutting edge of preventative health. If you wish to know more about this sacred plant, click here.
Imagine if enough people took it upon themselves to learn about their own health, become knowledgeable about natural healing modalities like the sacred plant and demanded their rights to true health…
Indeed, enough empowered patients would inevitably change the medical system for the better– and for good!