Today's Sunday Star Times, has a letter penned by Paul Rutherford, Karori, Wellington. It's tragic that Rutherford (hopefully) "believes" the words he actually penned; sobbingly sad that the Sunday Star Times printed them at all, and indicative of the appalling state of knowledge in the media today, when editors and journalists at the Sunday Star Times, can't see how off the mark the letter was in the first place, and award it the "winning words".
I can't find any online letters to the editor, so I'll reproduce this gem below:
alternative medicine: more than faith needed.
Why do we spend millions on so-called alternative medicine each year? An excellent question, although not ocmpletely answered by your article (Focus, August 24).
Results as reported from your online Belief survey suggest that "94% had faith in traditional medicine", which seems a rather careless use of terminology. It is not actually necessary to have faith in science-based procedures and products. it is necessary only to have an understanding and critical appreciation of the (hopefully) rigorous processes involved, including of course those large-scale, randomised, placebo-controlled, published and critiqued clinical trials. This should really be referred to as "evidence-based medicine".
By comparison, "alternative medicine" such as homeopathy, which is based more on belief than quality clinical evidence, should really be referred to as "faith-based treatment".
I know which one my taxes should be spent on.
Paul Rutherford Karori, Wellington.
Well, Paul, I'm not sorry I don't have comments allowed on blogs but you are welcome to email me if you wish to rebut anything I'm about to say below, and I will cut and paste it below this blog should you so wish. I will leave aside your placement and use of the word "hopefully" which betrays that you do not have an understanding or critical appreciation that you just might be wrong.
As someone who has "studied" the medical profession's version of "evidence based medicine", for the last 26 years, in particular with regard to vaccines, the above letter is the most sweeping statement of "blind belief" I have seen for a very long time.
When Paul was a bit younger, on 5 October 1991, to be precise, the British Medical Journal (volume 303) published an editorial called "Where is the Wisdom ...?" with a subheading of "The poverty of medical evidence."
In the text was this: "There are perhaps 30,000 biomedical journals in the world, and they have grown steadily by 7% a year since the seventeenth century. yet only about 15% of medical interventions are supported by solid scientific evidence... this is partly because only 1% of the articles in medical journals are scientifically sound, and partly because many treatments have never been assessed at all."
No doubt Paul will say that THAT was in 1991. The same facts still exist in medical journals today, and anyone who can mouse hunt on google scholar, and take a deep look at this topic in all areas of medicine, will be truly shocked at the level of deception perpetrated on the average person. For a start, have a look at how FEW drugs which are prescribed to neonates, and children are even tested properly.
Much of what is presumed to be "quality clinical evidence" with regard to children, is nothing more than a drug prescribed off-label, on the basis of anecdotal medical observation, and medical hunches. Peer review is a sick joke.
Ask the question as to why it is the influenza vaccine is still used.
Cochrane Reviews constantly "condemn" the lack of proper scientific studies, and constantly tell us that the influenza vaccine doesn't work in the elderly.
Lots of medical articles also tell us likewise.
Yet, far from causing the demise of the influenza vaccines, the "answer" we are told, is not to abandon a vaccine that doesn't work, but to insist that it be given annually to everyone under 19 years of age, to "prevent" it's spread to the vaccinated elderly, in whom the vaccine doesn't work in the first place.
It won't matter a prune to vaccine defenders that the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, September 2008, just published an article which went through previous "scientific research" showing that the so-called "impressive" 50% reduction in deaths from any cause in the elderly who got the flu shot, was actually a load of rubbish. Commonsense told us mere mortals that at the time, but since we didn't go to medical school, what would we know?
Seemingly, the decrease was because primarily "good" patients get the flu shot. The ones who exercise regularly, don't smoke, eat properly and always get jabbed for their own "good" were biassing the study. Apparently,"such attributes are almost impossible to capture in large scale studies using administrative databases." There's a whole raft of other "attributes" which are deliberately ignored, particularly when it comes to vaccine trials. When the data, which New Zealand media hailed as such a wonderful achievement) was reworked using other cofounders the statistical benefit disappeared.
People who write study protocols, often suffer from their own inbuilt biases, which they don't like admitting to, because that would blow the illusion that ALL modern medicine is "evidence based".
But here's the funny thing.
The Reuter's article started out saying... "while influenza vaccination does provide protection against catching the flu,..." which is a total oxymoron. I guess they HAVE to say that, since that is the mantra that must be adhered to. After all, the influenza vaccine isn't about fact, it's about Marketing.
The people who annually have the flu shot, swear that it prevents them from getting the flu. Fogeys like us, who never have the flu shot and never get the flu, wonder exactly WHAT prevented the vaccinated from getting the flu. Quite apart from which many of them do get the flu, but are told by their doctors that it was another strain. When I ask them whether a sample was tested to see if that was proven, they blink, and open and close their mouths in silent strangulation...
The rest of the Reuters story shows quite clearly how stupid that statement is. If the vaccine protected against flu, then elderly wouldn't die from (bacterial complications of) the flu. Also, as you will have noticed in my earlier flu blogs, if the flu vaccine worked in healthy people, (which it doesn't) there might be something worth talking about. EVEN the Sunday Star Times Guru of "know-all", Dr Paul admitted that the flu vaccine doesn't work in healthy people. How than can it then "work" in the sick and elderly? Is their immune system better? Well, it doesn't, and never has; a FACT which is proven consistently in the medical literature... but let not facts get in the way of one of the world's biggest money rakers. And the flu vaccine isn't the only vaccine that has nothing to do with "evidence based medicine" but everything to do with "marketing".
So why is it that doctors continue to push the flu vaccine, and people continuing to "believe" that without their annual flu jab they would be dead in their cots before the year is out? It's the modern day "belief" that modern medicine is scientifically based. That everything that comes out the mouth of the doctor is based on proven fact. Hah! That 94% of people believe in modern medicine is staggering, and simply reflects modern day flat earthers at their ignorant best.
The next myth to dispell is that large studies are placebo controlled, and randomised.
Remember Vioxx? it's "placebo" was Bextra. Don't die laughing, look it up. And it was presumed that because the two came out equal, they were equally as good. Except the reality was that they were just as bad as one another, on top of a whole heap of fraudulent book cooking and money making ghost writing. SSRI's anyone? There are a multitude of other scandals which are sometimes known about, but about which most people are ignorant. For the last two decades NO vaccine trials have had a true placebo arm. All have used either equivalent vaccines, or excipients, which are the stuff like aluminium, phenol, formaldehyde and other junk, but not the virus of bacteria which is the "infectious target".
In the Gardasil trial there was a small placebo arm using saline, the larger "placebo' arm used excipients including aluminium. Gardasil has far more aluminium in it, than most other vaccines. Interestingly, the aluminium arm had more side effects than the saline, but in the final analysis, the two groups were added together. Which is a shame, because it leads to the question, "What was there to hide?"
Most people have no clue that medicine is not, and never has been "evidence based" even though some doctors pretend it is. And that's the sick joke.
The "rationalists" and "atheists" who wrote in to the Sunday Star Times, and one who mentioned the discreditted quackwatch have no idea that their assumptions about medicine today are pretty much on par with the assumptions of those who would have killed Copernicus, Semmelweis, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Pillemer, and a whole host of other highly intelligent scientists, because the truth they spoke wasn't to their liking.
Some non-medical scientists, like Marconi, and Barnes Wallace, got the last laugh. Tragically, medical innovative thinkers like Semmelweis, Pillemer and 'astronomer' Copernicus, died first.
The tragedy of the current situation is that medicine, assumed to be "evidence based" science, has intruded into certain areas from which it should have stayed away, and could well be responsible for the ultimate demise of the human race. And that's not "my" opinion. It's the opinion of some very sober, sane and worried scientists who have looked at themselves, (one of whom was on the radio this morning) and their peers, who have all seen the writing on the wall. They tell me that the real tragedy is that most people who "believe" in modern medicine, won't realise the truth until that temple of belief comes crashing down around their own ears.
For parents, the difficulty is knowing which part of the medical profession is worth patronising and whether it's even safe to do so. That's because some doctors have halo complexes, are judges, jury, prosecution and defence, believing that it's either their way or the by way. Real choice or democracy for parents mean nothing to them. They are the breed who consider that any parent who don't take all their "beliefs" on board, should be chucked in the clink:
"to deliberately give a child measles in this day and age is not only inappropriate, but it actually might be considered to be criminal, because it's preventable."
They have no concept as to how hypocritical that is when they are the same people who put the medical profession so high on the list of deaths, because throughout the world, over a million people die each year from a combination of preventable medical error, drug side effects and iatrogenic or nosocomial infections caused by both the overuse and abuse of antibiotics and sloppy hygiene standards by the medical profession. And that's all well laid out in peer reviewed medical journals as well.
Talk about pot calling kettle black.