|Ever wonder why so many
people are interested in alternative medicine? The reasons are as diverse
as the people who believe in them. Millions of people in the United States
are cut off from conventional medicine because they simply cannot afford
it. Between soaring physician fees and astronomical insurance rates,
middle-class America is being left behind in their quest for proper medical
attention. Another reason is mistrust of conventional medicine and those
who practice it. Consider these quotes:
"150,000 to 300,000 Americans
are injured or killed each year because of medical negligence (i.e., mistreated
diseases, surgeries, drug reactions, misprescribed drugs)." -- Wall
Street Journal, Jan. 13, 1993
"Latrogenic diseases, generally
defined as diseases that result from a physician's action or in response
to a drug, are believed to be a major problem in terms of morbidity and
hospital expense." -- Journal of the American Medical Association,
"Over a million patients
are injured in hospitals each year, and approximately 180,000 die annually
as a result of these injuries. Therefore, the iatrogenic injury rate dwarfs
the annual automobile accident mortality of 45,000 and accounts for more
deaths than all
other accidents combined."
-- Journal of the American Medical Association, July 5, 1995
"Current research suggests
that 36% of physician visits are unnecessary; 36% of hospital admissions
are caused by side effects from other medical treatments; 53% of surgeries
are unnecessary; and half of all time spent in hospitals isn't medically
indicated." -- Let's Live, February, 1995
"Each year, nearly 2 million
people in the United States come down with an infection in the hospital
they didn't have when they entered; more than 80,000 of these die."
-- Let's Live, June, 1995
"Errors in judgment or technique
concerning either the anesthesia or the surgery, or a combination of the
two, contribute to close to 50% of the mortality in the operating room."
-- Dr. James Mannis, "Cheating Fate," Health, April 6, 1992
"Stanford University doctors
compared the effects of chemotherapy to doing nothing in patients with
slow growing tumors of the lymph nodes. The patients whose treatment was
deferred for years did just as well as patients who immediately recieved
expensive and unpleasant chemotherapy. Nineteen of the 83 (or 23%)
remission lasting four months
to six years. A review of the study in the New England Journal of
Medicine concluded, "... deferring treatment ... may allow
for spontaneous regression of the disease." -- "Cheating Fate," Health,
April 6, 1992
"Chemotherapy and radiation
can increase the risk of developing a second cancer by up to 100 times,
according to Dr. Samuel S. Epstein. -- Congressional Record,
Sept. 9, 1987
"Of every 1000 American women
getting mammograms each year between the ages of 40 and 50, 345 will recieve
false positive results, often with unnecessary intervention as the result."
-- New England Journal of Medicine, Feb. 11, 1993
"Harvard researchers studied
hospital records from the state of New York over a one year period.
They estimated that more than 13,000 New Yorkers were killed and 2500 were
permanantly disabled due to medical care. More than 51% were blamed
on medical negligence." -- New England Journal of Medicine, Feb.
"During 1983-1992, between
90,000 and 110,000 Americans died from reactions to prescription drugs,
320 from over the counter drugs, and three from all dietary supplements
combined, including contaminated L-tryptophan, and zero from herbs.
-- Sources: American Association of Poison Control Centers, FDA, AAPCC,
USDA, JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine.