The Deified Doctor Syndrome (DDS)
Gurli Bagnall

“My whole thrust is to tell people about inappropriate prescribing. And to get people to stand up for their rights as patients.”
South Africans especially, she says, suffer from DDS, that’s Deified Doctor Syndrome.
(Felicity Bielovich, author of  “The Judas Window”)
I would like to add to the argument presented by Marshall and Williams in their excellent response to the letter published in the Times (23 May, 2006), which attacked the widening use of alternative therapies.
My problem as I sit here at the  keyboard, is how to keep my piece to essay rather than tome size.  What, from the extensive files I have amassed during the past 15 years, should I present?  
Perhaps the bottom line should come first:
“The most stunning statistic however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine, is an astounding 783,936 per year.  It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US.”  (Gary Null, PhD et al.  Death by Medicine.)
Please note: (A)  Iatrogenic statistics are compiled from hospital records only. GP statistics are not kept.  (B)  Iatrogenic statistics (as far as they are known) are consistent throughout the western (civilized?) world.
Can the situation get any worse?  Of course!
“Right now, the Food and Drug Administration is considering a petition from the drug lobby to get rid of the warning in drug ads.  The Coalition for Healthcare Communications -  which sounds a lot nicer than ‘The Pushers’  Union’ -  says that alerting people to side effects ‘over warns’ consumers…. Drug companies are pushers, and Congress and the FDA are the cop on the beat who’s been paid off to look the other way.”  
(Bill Maher, Opinion Piece, Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2006)
For a small country, New Zealand seems to have a disproportionate number of medical scandals.  One incident that I find particularly hard to forget took place a few years ago when vocal protest at the brain damage, sometimes fatal, that occurred in premature babies grew so loud, it could no longer be suppressed.  
A TV documentary showed a tiny scrap of humanity lying on the lap of a therapist who was demonstrating a commonly used technique for loosening mucous in a baby’s airways. Judging by reactions to the programme, many viewers were left wondering who, in their right minds,  would recommend a method which entailed thumping the back of a tiny, fragile body with such  force that the entire body and in particular the head, jerked about violently and caused clear distress.
It was of course, the “experts” who devised the method.  Experts who expected to be revered and praised for their brilliance.
Ironically, at the same time this “treatment” was in favour,  the judiciary were busy imprisoning parents for the crime of shaking their babies.
But it gets better -  or worse, depending on how you look at it.  Even as the number of  sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)  were dramatically increasing, young mothers were being taught by the “experts” to put their babies to sleep on their stomachs. While the cause of SIDS may be multi-faceted, any idiot could see this was an open invitation to a smothering.   
And then along came the notorious Roy Meadow with his MSbP diagnosis to testify against mothers in the main.  As a result a number of innocent women were found guilty of murder and sent to  prison where they had to try and deal with their grief, the trauma of their family situation, and the injustice  of it all. Yet this man continues to preach his poison and other die-hard colleagues are still defending him.
One case in New Zealand which shook the establishment, was that of three year old Liam who had developed a neuroblastoma.  Medicine versus  freedom of choice turned into a nationwide debate. The family went into hiding so their child could receive the alternative therapy of their choice. And all the while, they were hounded by police as if they were common criminals.  With the aid of complete strangers around the country, the family stayed under cover  for three months, during which time, supporters opened a bank account into which donations poured.
Finally the medical establishment realized they were the losers in this fiasco.  Their efforts to punish the parents and to force their obedience had backfired.  They were, with considerable discomfort, feeling  the resentment and the strengthening resolve of other parents around the country who could see themselves facing the same situation.
See BMJ rapid response “A wake-up Call” for the full story.
These incidents don’t even scratch the surface of medical abuse, torture, deception and outright lies.   While free and easy with using words such as “safe”,  “unsafe”,  “proven”, “not proven”,   no statistics of adverse reactions to alternative therapies are ever given.  That is because there are none,  incidents of this nature being so rare.
Compare that to the figures that say medical treatment is the biggest killer and cause of injury in the US.
Health is supposed to be the medical profession’s business. Reason tells us that whatever is called for, be it drugs, acupuncture, herbs, supplements etc.  the medical profession should be able to respond. Yet the statistics leave us in no doubt that instead of curing us,  they are either killing us off, making us seriously ill or not making any difference at all.
Stories of cancers that have disappeared while undergoing one of the alternative therapies are studiously ignored.  Patients are given to understand that the physicians who  failed them abysmally, have no interest whatsoever in their  cures.  
This arrogant and ignorant behaviour in conjunction with conflicts of interest, have rendered the profession  on the one hand,  largely ineffective,  and on the other hand, highly dangerous.  
Given their track record, one wonders how those who are part of this wholesale muggery can have the gall to lobby for alternative therapies to be limited and even banned. How dare they continue to demand the right to destroy our lives and health by removing our freedom of choice in order to amass personal wealth and undeserved, inflated status?
Gurli Bagnall
25 May, 2006

See Also:

Response to Doctors’ Campaign Against Alternative Therapies


And from the Times Online Website:

Full letter: doctors' campaign against alternative therapies

From Professor Michael Baum and others


NHS Told to Abandon Alternative medicine By Mark Henderson, Science Editor


Physician, heal thyself By Jerome Burne