Can Iatrogenic Disease Really Be the Leading Cause of Death in the US?
I normally don’t like to focus on the negative side of health. I would much rather talk about how YOU can experience vibrant health through embracing natural healing, which is what I teach through the 7 Essentials System.™ That being said, there are some things that simply MUST be talked about − like Iatrogenic Disease. Iatrogenic Disease is illness (and death) caused by the medical system itself.It can come in the form of too many pharmaceutical drugs, hospital infections, botched surgeries, and more.
Just the fact that we have a name for this kind of thing surprised me when I first heard about it. What was even more shocking was when I learned that the leading cause of death in the United States is not cancer, not heart disease, but medical negligence.
Our Broken Healthcare System
But don’t take my word for it. A LOT of experts over the last fifteen years or so have put countless hours and effort into researching medical system-caused disease and death.
For over 20 years, the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), created by Congress in 1972, conducted studies relating to the health and well-being of American citizens. In 1995, the OTA issued a scathing report on the state of the country’s healthcare system. Here’s what they found:
- Life expectancy in the US was one of the lowest in developed countries and infant mortality was amongst the highest;
- Technology in the US was overly expensive and the drug industry was inflating healthcare costs overall;
- 67% of physicians in the US were not general MDs but specialists; and
- The FDA did not consider alternatives to drugs for treating disease.
The conclusion the OTA made was that “(o)nly 10-20% of all procedures used in medical practice have been shown to be efficacious by controlled trial.”
The same year the report came out, the OTA was disbanded by congress. Interesting timing, isn’t it?
Iatrogenic Disease: “Death by Medicine”
A few years after the OTA report, a study came out that really broke the silence about what was vastly wrong with our healthcare system. It was a comprehensive review of government-approved medicine funded by the Nutrition Institute of America and was researched and written by five health experts: Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, and Dorothy Smith PhD. This ground-breaking study was entitled “Death by Medicine.”
What Null et al discovered was that the state of affairs of modern medicine was a lot grimmer than had been previously reported. Not only were patients not being given quality care, but the care given to thousands of them each year was making them sick.
Here are some of the highlights from the 2003 “Death by Medicine” report:
- The number of people who experience adverse drug reactions (ADR) to prescribed medicine while in the hospital is 2.2 million
- The number of unnecessary surgical and medical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million
- The number of people hospitalized unnecessarily annually is 8.9 million
- “Tens of millions” of unnecessary antibiotics are being prescribed for viral infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control acting director at that time, Dr. Richard Bessel
- The number of deaths caused by adverse drug reactions annually is 106,000
- The number of deaths caused by bed sores and infection is 203,000
- The total number of iatrogenic deaths annually is 783,936
At the time of the report, heart disease deaths were at around 700,000 per year and cancer deaths were approximately 550,000. At close to 800,000 deaths annually, this made the American medical system itself the number one cause of death in the country.
The report also noted that up to a mere 20% of adverse iatrogenic events ever get reported, so this number could, in fact, be much higher.
Have Things Improved Since the “Death by Medicine” Report?
Here we are almost 15 years after the “Death by Medicine” report and unfortunately the medical system does not appear to have improved in that time. According to a 2010 analysis written in the New England Journal of Medicine, 18% of patients were still harmed in some way by the American medical care system. In 2.5 million of these cases, iatrogenic complications led to death and eight percent experienced “life-threatening” complications directly related to medical system mismanagement and/or neglect.
In addition, in 2008 the US Department of Health and Human Services issued a report that found that hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries are harmed by the medical system at a rate of one in seven. A 2014 report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that up to 50% of all hospital deaths are linked to sepsis, i.e. complications of severe infection.
Drug-related death and illness are no better a decade later either. This is mainly due to the fact that Americans are currently being prescribed pharmaceuticals at a higher rate than ever. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2016 there were a little over 4 billion pharmaceutical drug prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies in the United States—that equates to 13 prescriptions for every single American!
4 Actions You Can Take to Protect Yourself from Modern Medicine
Here are four actions you can take NOW to prevent iatrogenic disease from ever happening to you:
#1 – Boost Your Immunity! This just makes common sense. If you eat right, manage your stress, detoxify regularly, and get plenty of sleep and exercise, then chances are the times when you do have to interface with a conventional hospital setting or doctor’s office will be minimal.
That being said, things happen. If you are injured or in a health emergency, then you will probably go to the emergency room.
Unfortunately, emergency medicine (a practice that for years was the “shining star” of the American allopathic medical system), is apparently now on par with the rest of conventional medicine. A report released by the American College of Emergency Physicians rated emergency medicine programs worldwide and gave the United States an overall grade of D+ for 2014. Only 4% of doctors currently practice emergency medicine, and over-prescribing of medications in Americans ERs is a major cause for concern.
Your job, if you ever get admitted, may be to get cleaned up and stitched up and be on your way out of there as fast as possible. Having a strong immune system can help you do that!
#2 – Ask questions about medication interactions and side effects. A study conducted in the 1990s found that seniors especially often receive multiple drug prescriptions from multiple doctors and pharmacies. According to the study, the average senior receives 25 prescriptions each year. A total of 7.9 million “medical alerts” were detected in 1999; 2.4 million of those alerts were issued for drugs suspected as not being intended for elderly use.
If you receive a prescription from a doctor, be sure to ask for the drug’s contraindications and side effects. Tell the doctor the other medications you are taking. Bring an advocate with you for support. Finally, if the doctor is unwilling to discuss these items with you, find another medical professional who will. Remember that drug interaction is a serious issue. Negligence in this area on the part of the medical system leads to thousands of deaths each year.
#3 – Take a support person with you to medical appointments. Whenever you must see a conventional doctor or go to the hospital or ER, be sure to take a supporter with you. Even the most clear-headed individual can become confused when faced with a health crisis. This could be a family member, close friend, or other advocate. Ask that person to be your “eyes and ears” and to take notes of all that transpires.
#4 – Seek other options outside of conventional medicine. The evidence is mounting. It indicates that your local MD or specialist’s office within the conventional medical model may not be the best place to turn for help with preventing and managing chronic disease. There are so many modalities out there (including help with the right kind of nutrition) that can help you heal naturally.
The good news is that there are an increasing number of MDs that are also trained in natural health. They are called functional or integrative MDs. They, and the multitude of other natural health professionals, can guide you in the direction of lasting health.
Sadly, iatrogenic disease and death continues to this day. It is up to consumers and patients to be proactive with their health and well-being. We must ask our doctors the pertinent questions and educate ourselves about our particular health issues if this dire situation is ever going to change.
I believe that if enough individuals demand vibrant health throughout their entire lives, then change will indeed come!
This information is being suppressed from you by the mainstream media and the medical establishment. Be notified each week when cutting-edge articles are added by clicking here. You’ll be glad you did.
- Iatrogenic Disease is illness (and death) caused by the medical system itself. It can come in the form of too many pharmaceutical drugs, hospital infections, botched surgeries, and more.
- The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) was created by Congress in 1972 to conduct studies relating to the health and well-being of American citizens. In 1995, the OTA issued a scathing report on the state of the country’s healthcare system.
- A few years after the OTA report a comprehensive review of government-approved medicine was released entitled “Death by Medicine.” The researchers found not only were patients not being given quality care, but the care given to thousands of them each year was making them sick.
- At the time of the report, heart disease deaths were at around 700,000 per year and cancer deaths were approximately 550,000. At close to 800,000 deaths annually, this made the American medical system itself the number one cause of death in the country.
- According to a 2010 analysis written in the New England Journal of Medicine, 18% of patients were harmed in some way by the American medical care system. In 2.5 million of these cases, iatrogenic complications led to death and eight percent experienced “life-threatening” complications directly related to medical system mismanagement and/or neglect.
- Americans are currently being prescribed pharmaceuticals at a higher rate than ever. In 2016 there were a little over 4 billion pharmaceutical drug prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies in the United States which equates to 13 prescriptions for every single American!
- Here are 4 actions you can take to prevent iatrogenic disease from ever happening to you:
- Boost your immunity
- Ask questions about medication interactions and side effects
- Take a support person with you to medical appointments
- Seek other options outside of conventional medicine