KILL or CURE

I’m no medical insider, but it’s my belief that, some time during the last 25 or so years, the medical profession got taken over by a bunch of antismoking, healthist zealots. I read a news report to that effect about 10 years ago, saying that the BMA had been taken over by a new breed of radicals. It doesn’t seem to have been reported very much.

Before they showed up, the medical profession’s primary concern was the care and rehabilitation of the sick. But now the primary aim is to prevent people getting sick in the first place. Prevention is better than cure.

And if disease is to be prevented, then the causes of disease have to be addressed. And in the view of the healthists, it’s people’s lifestyles which are the cause of most disease. People get sick because they smoke, drink, overeat the wrong sort of food (food with fat, sugar, salt, etc), don’t get enough exercise, etc, etc. In short, people are their own worst enemies. And if they get sick, it’s invariably their own fault.

I can help but think that, once prevention becomes more important than cure, the care and rehabilitation of the sick must be placed in abeyance. And that, if there’s anything in the stories I read about the decline of the NHS over the past 20 years, it may simply be because prevention has become more important than cure. So while there have been mounting numbers of antismoking campaigns, anti-alcohol campaigns, anti-fast-food campaigns, and so on, there has been a corresponding decline in the care and rehabilitation of the sick in hospitals and surgeries.

I don’t have a doctor these days. I only ever used to go to them to get sleeping tablets. But I found out, when the smoking ban came into force in 2007, that I didn’t need sleeping tablets anyway, and a few slugs of whisky was just as effective. So I haven’t been to a doctor for about 6 years. And it will take something very serious (like one of my legs falling off) to ever get me to go to a doctor nowadays.

But, in my past experience of doctors, hardly any of them ever seemed to be ‘healthists’. None of my doctors ever told me I should stop smoking or drinking or eating fast food. In fact, my last doctor complained about the new “evidence-based medicine” (i.e. healthism) that was coming in.

The only doctor I ever knew who was an antismoking zealot was Dr W, about whom I have frequently written. And he wasn’t a practising doctor for much of his life. I came across his obituary (he died over 10 years ago) a little while back.

Interesting date on which he died. I can only suppose that it was his annual thimble-full of sherry that finished him off.

It seems to have been the likes of Dr W, and Dr  Richard Doll, and the infamous Dr George Godber (they probably all knew each other well) who took over the medical profession. And now that these are all dead, they have been replaced by doctors cast in the same mould: Sir Liam Donaldson, Sir Charles George, Sir Ian Gilmore, Dr Vivienne Nathanson, Dr Elaine Murphy, etc and so on. They were probably all greatly assisted by the rise of the antismoking healthist environmentalist politician Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland to Director-General of the WHO in 1998.

These people seem to come from a different background than the ordinary common-or-garden doctor. They have relatively little hands-on medical experience, but are instead mostly bureaucrats of one sort or another. They don’t deal with people, but with policies and programmes. And they believe that prevention is better than cure. And their word is now law, all over the world.

So what happened to all the family doctors and nurses who just want to, y’know, cure people? Most likely something like this:

A retired GP has been suspended from the BMA Welsh Council until 2014 after he questioned the evidence behind the BMA’s campaign to ban smoking in vehicles on BBC Radio.

Dr Brendan O’Reilly, a retired GP, has also had his BMA membership suspended until he provides ‘an acceptable written apology’ to four named BMA members, including Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of the BMA science and ethics committee.

In a hearing held yesterday a BMA Council panel said they considered Dr O’Reilly’s language when describing his opposition to the BMA’s use of statistics on the risks of passive smoking in cars as ‘unacceptable’.

If you don’t toe the party line, you’ll get your BMA membership suspended or revoked by people like Dr Vivienne Nathanson (see right).

And so, while (in my experience) something like 90% of real working doctors aren’t much bothered about smoking, drinking, eating, and exercise, they are represented in the BMA and RCP by a minority of doctors who are very greatly bothered about exactly those things.

And wouldn’t it be nice to know to which camp your prospective doctor belonged? Wouldn’t it be nice if they had their own medical association which was primarily devoted to curing disease rather than preventing disease. In fact,  the association might even be called CURE.

What’s to stop concerned doctors (like Dr Brendan O’Reilly) from starting their own medical association?

Plenty, most likely. Because if the likes of O’Reilly were suspended simply for voicing dissent, then they’d probably have their BMA membership entirely revoked if they joined an outfit like CURE. And steps might even be taken to get them fired from their jobs as well.

Most likely, your average family doctor is trussed and bound like a chicken. There’s nothing that he or she can do. They just have to suffer in silence, while the likes of Gilmore and Nathanson pretend to be their representatives, and to speak on their behalf.

If so, then help must come from outside the medical profession, beyond the reach of those tyrants.

As far as I can see, there’s nothing to stop anyone starting up an association like CURE, and inviting doctors to join it. It might even have its own newsletter. It would be somewhere where the Brendan O’Reillys could go to speak their mind, and meet other like-minded doctors.

And, if respect for the medical profession is tanking like I suspect it is, such doctors will soon be wanting to voice their dissent, even if they daren’t do so now. But right now it would seem that most doctors are simply too frightened to do any such thing.

The other possibility is for people to set up a website called KILL or Name Your Local Nazi Doctor. Founder members would include the usual suspects that I and other bloggers write about. But readers would be invited to submit their own candidate Nazi doctors, and in that manner a dossier of names would gradually emerge. So if the ‘good’ doctors decline to join CURE out of fear of recrimination, the ‘bad’ ones would be publicly named and shamed.

It might help, when people visit their doctors, if they ask them what they think about the prevailing healthist preventionist dogma, and whether they think there’s anything they can do about it. If they think it’s awful, but there’s nothing they can do, they get handed an invitation to join CURE. And if they’re all in favour of it, their names get forwarded to KILL. In this manner, the chaff will gradually get sorted from the wheat.

Something is going to have to be done. In the long term, the medical profession is going to have to be reformed to drive out the healthist tyrants, and prevent (as far as it is possible) the medical profession ever being taken over by their likes again.

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39 Responses to KILL or CURE

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank as always right on target! CURE an excellent name…….But I still believe its been planned all along from the UN down. From way back to the first progressive movement and league of nations attempt at one world government. It failed but the UN from its inception and its mandates pretty well redefined Wilsons progressive points and takeover via a world body.

    Lets not forget where the ”Precautionary Principle” began in a RIO summit in the 1970s where by the principle no proof suddenly gained the respect and standing as to having real proof!

    Todays healthist medical community is based upon the no proof dogma and it fits quite well in their propaganda movement. They can make any claim they want and no media group questions it. Those who do as we know all to well get CANNED!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Another name for the precautionary principle is the ”DO NO HARM” doctrine that Ive heard many times from tennessee legislators when a new public health law or regulation is proposed! Trust me some of these legislators are actual doctors trained before the healthists got control and know full well what B.S. it is yet they still fall in line after making public statements in televised comittee meetings about what B.S. it is!

    • churchmouse says:

      Agree with your hypothesis — population and personal control one way or another.

      There is also big money to be made by forcing people to take vaccines, scans, pills, etc. Big Pharma and related companies make out like bandits.

      The healthists and Pharma are projecting their own desires on tobacco companies.

  2. WinstonSmith says:

    Dr. W’s picture is priceless. He looks just like the picture I had in my head from the way you’ve always described him.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’m glad I got it right. But I must say that I had forgotten his eyebrows.

      And in this photo, when I first saw it, he almost looks like he’s nearly managed a smile. But the next time I saw it, I didn’t think he had. I never saw him laugh or smile in the entire time that I knew him. But I suppose that this photo was taken by a photographer, and they probably tried to get him to smile or “Say cheese.” And he managed one of his winces. It was all he could do.

    • churchmouse says:

      Same here — thanks, Frank, for posting that! The eyebrows!

  3. PJH says:

    It would appear, from that photo, that Dr Vivienne Nathanson’s BMA is well above the proscribed number of ’24.9′ (probably above 35 at a guess.)

    Perhaps she should get some exercise and stop eating so much before preaching to the rest of us….

  4. jaxthefirst says:

    I confess that I heard with great suspicion a suggestion on the radio recently that doctors should be “re-tested” for “competence” on a regular basis in order to retain their licence to practise. Whilst there were many good points made about many other professions, from taxi drivers to teachers, who have to undergo some kind of re-test, or health check, or ongoing training to keep their jobs, I immediately thought what a heaven-sent opportunity this would be for the Healthists to “weed out” all those doctors who didn’t adhere to the prevailing orthodoxy on smoking, drinking, eating etc – who tended, by and large, to be the older ones with many years of medical experience under their belts – and thus to ensure that the only ones who remained would be the younger ones, who would be either too brainwashed or too frightened for their relatively-new careers to speak out against the all-powerful BMA and their ilk.

    This is precisely what the antis have done in the field of science and research – weeded out all the real scientists and left themselves with a bunch of compliant youngsters whose only way of gettng funding for research is to undertake projects which are specifically designed/expected to confirm the already-held opinions of the powerful, whether those opinions are correct or not. Now that that task is done, they’ve turned their attention to the remaining peskily resistant doctors in the medical profession.

    I think your suggestion of a new organisation devoted to curing people rather than telling them how to live their lives is an excellent one. Perhaps, being Internet-based, it could be anonymous (after off-line verification of potential applicants’ medical credentials by the organisation, of course) to “protect the innocent” who didn’t want the BMA coming down on them like a ton of bricks, as they have done with this poor doctor in Wales. And the “name a Dictator-Doctor” is a good one, too – one of those ideas which takes the power completely out of the hands of doctors themselves and puts it squarely in the hands of the patients.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Cures require proof,that destroys their only tool statistics for propaganda and lies.

      The ACS used a cure in your lifetime to fool a country and the fools running in relay for life still buy the propaganda. But no doubt those in the relay for life runs are also NAZIS!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Patient independence is totally illogical in a socialist medical plan of forced participation like obamacare……..to the GULAG if he refuses the peoples death panel choices!

    • Frank Davis says:

      Perhaps, being Internet-based, it could be anonymous

      I suspect it would have to be. In fact, it would have to almost be a secret society, with all its members sworn to silence and secrecy.

      And of course the BMA would want to get hold of a list of its members’ names, so as to expel them for “unacceptable and inappropriate conduct”. Computers would be seized. Homes would be raided.

      I thought about it for a while last night, and I thought that one approach would be to have lots of lists of ‘members’, some of which would include the names of prominent antismokers. These lists would fall into the hands of the BMA, and sow discord in their ranks.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        And of course the BMA would want to get hold of a list of its members’ names, so as to expel them for “unacceptable and inappropriate conduct”. Computers would be seized. Homes would be raided

        Yep Hitler must be smiling seeing his designs and Modus operandi being used today with such effect and to silence the opposition thru FEAR TACTICS!

    • lleweton says:

      The same thought occurred to me about the ‘competence’ checks, jaxthefirst.

  5. margo says:

    Yes, as I see it too, the shift of emphasis from cure to prevention is a big part of the ‘progress’ -since the formation of the NHS – away from doctoring as a vocation to doctoring as a business. We’ve gone from the ‘family doctor’, who knew his patients and their lives, delivered their children and might well have been among the mourners at the grave when a patient died, to the modern GP who gets ‘target-driven’ pay (through the Quality Outcomes Framework) and doesn’t know the patient from Adam. The patient doesn’t know the doctor, either. The ‘doctor-patient’ relationship doesn’t seem to exist any more.
    Being a GP, which used to be about understanding and trying to cure illness, now seems to be a lot about screening, scanning and vaccinating healthy people and badgering them about smoking, drinking and weight.
    Your CURE idea exists, in a way, in ‘alternative’ medicine. Now and then, if I don’t feel well (usually it’s sinusitis, insomnia or general tristesse), I see an acupuncturist. He’s highly trained and very experienced. He learnt more about me in my first session than my doctor learnt in 20 years. His treatments work as well as or better than anything the doctor can offer, without side effects. I’d go more often if I could afford it.

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Smoking lowers skin cancer risk

    In what at first seems like a bizarre twist, lighting up a ‘cancer stick’ lowers your risk of melanoma, new US research confirms.
    Men who had ever smoked had a significantly lower risk of melanoma (relative risk 0.72) compared to men who had never smoked, and current smokers had an even lower risk (0.52), according to the study involving 145,709 people pooled from two large national cohorts.
    The same could not be said of women, the researchers from Harvard Medical School said, but when male and female data was combined, compared with never smokers, ever smokers had a lower risk of melanoma.
    “We detected trends between lower melanoma risk and longer duration of smoking, intensity of smoking in current smokers and…

    http://www.6minutes.com.au/news/latest- … ancer-risk

  7. margo says:

    I meant to say, as well, that I agree there must be a lot of GPs who are not happy with things as they are. But the financial incentives to go on toeing the line are very tempting. Also, the medical training seems to encourage and breed a kind of arrogance and sense of superiority, which a lot of them would need to sit and think about before they could begin to break away and choose a path with more integrity.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Concerns raised over pro-smoking phone apps

    Anti-smoking campaigners have raised concerns about pro-smoking phone apps, which may be getting around strict laws that ban tobacco products from being advertised.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-23/concerns-raised-over-pro-smoking-phone-apps/4330280
    A study has found there are more than 100 such apps on offer from Google and Apple.

    Tobacco companies deny any involvement, but the Federal Health Department said it would investigate the retailers of the apps.

    “Once you open the app there is different brands of cigarette packs, so you pick your favourite one and then you light it and smoke it virtually,” said University of Sydney researcher Nasser Dhim.

    “People want to try different things and these apps are distributed in various categories in the app store – entertainment, games, health and fitness. So everywhere you find them.”

    Mr Dhim’s study claims it has identified a new trend of promoting tobacco products in a medium with global reach, a huge consumer base of various age groups and less strict regulation policies.

    “Some of these apps have shown explicit images to some brands of tobacco, such as Marlboro; we have found three apps actually advertising Marlboro,” he said.

    “Some of the other apps do [show] other brands and some of them resemble these brands in a smoking simulation.”

    However, Mr Dhim admitted this was far from a smoking gun linking tobacco companies to the products.

    “Tabacco companies could actually investigate those who publish explicit images to their products and if they think they have violated their copyright they could issue legal suits on them,” he said.

    “So we cannot tell for sure if the tobacco industry is behind that. But it’s a suspicious situation.”

    British American Tobacco would not comment on the research but said it was not involved in any of the apps.

    Philip Morris, which owns the Marlboro trademark, was also contacted for comment.

    ‘Perfect pitch’
    The Federal Health Department, which regulates tobacco advertising, said in a statement it was generally an offence to publish a tobacco advertisement on the internet.

    “Potentially, many of the apps identified in the study may be tobacco advertisements under the Act, particularly if they promote smoking,” the statement read.

    “However, the Act only extends to tobacco advertisements published in Australia.

    “This includes advertisements that originate in Australia or which, for example, are published by an Australian company or an Australian citizen.

    “The Department will be contacting the retailers of apps to ensure they are aware of the new legislation.”

    Professor Simon Chapman, an anti-smoking campaigner from the University of Sydney, said he was worried because apps were used mostly by younger people.

    He said it was a perfect way to pitch cigarettes.

    “I think that you first of all commence the debate about the importance of not closing down freedom of individual speech, which would be very important,” he said.

    “But if there is any trail or any trace of it being a commercially motivated activity, then that’s a different matter altogether.”

    Google and Apple were asked for comment but neither company responded to emails.

    • nisakiman says:

      Idiots. They still haven’t realised that all their efforts to denormalise / criminalise smoking merely serves to add a frisson of danger and rebelliousness to the whole idea of smoking. Of course Crapman can’t believe that anyone other than those evil tobacco companies are behind these apps, but I would wager that they are all produced by geeks with time on their hands.

      I had to laugh at the opening comments by the newsreader, about these apps which depict virtual !!SMOKING!!

      Oh, the horror! Will Australia survive this evil and pernicious onslaught? Come, let’s all wring our hands and self-flagellate together in an effort to expunge the deep shame brought upon us by these apps…

  9. mikef317 says:

    Frank, I suspect that you and many of your readers will know this book. For those who don’t, it has a lot to say.

    How far back in history was cancer recognized as a disease? How many really smart people tried to discover the cause? Certainly many, many centuries, and many, many people (and within the past 40 or 50 years many, many billions of dollars for research). Yet the cause of cancer remains a mystery. Except lung cancer. That problem was easily solved in the 1950’s / 60’s by nothing more than a few statistical studies.

    Your critique is nicely stated. (Equally the comment by jaxthefirst.)

    My rough timeline.

    1950-60: scientific debate. Zealots were very good at propaganda.

    1960’s to 1980’s: gradual triumph of propaganda over science (on many issues [salt, cholesterol, the environment], not just tobacco). In particular, for smoking, reports by the Royal College of Physicians and the U.S. Surgeon General.

    1990’s: secondhand smoke! Most “real” scientists had died or were marginalized; zealots had control of most government agencies, “charities,” “scientific” journals, etc.

    2000’s: zealots pushed their agenda with fanatical zeal.

    2010’s or earlier: typical of zealots, their claims became more and more extreme, and more and more “normal” people began to question the dogma. I think people who do this (myself included) are really re-discovering arguments made by scientists from the 1950’s through the 1980’s. Personally, for all the critiques I can make of currently accepted “facts,” I don’t think I’ve ever had a truly original idea.

    Whatever happens in the future, reform will not come from within the medical profession.

    P.S.: I have a doctor who believes in “minimally evasive” medicine. He has never hassled me about my bad habits. In return I take his medical advice quite seriously. I suspect that many general practitioners (those who see the same patients year after year) know from observation that conventional medical wisdom is not as accurate as many people believe. I’m sure that “elite” practitioners (government bureaucrats, university professors, etc.) would say that these doctors need remedial education.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS”
      7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
      November 2004.

      http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/cotstatementtobacco0409

      “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

      In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

      The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

  10. Tony says:

    On the subject of bullying ordinary doctors, Banzhaf wrote this extraordinary response to a letter in the tobacco control journal on Dec 2006. He is refering to the idea of suing doctors who fail to tell patients to quit smoking everytime they visit them. The original seems to have vanished but it can be found on the wayback machine here:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20070203003605/http://tc.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/15/6/447
    This is a brief extract:
    “1. To survive the initial motion to dismiss – where the defendant asks the court to throw out the law suit so that defendant (and his insurance company) will not be put to the burden of defending it – the judge must assumes all allegations in the legal complaint are true unless they are clearly impossible on their face. Thus a judge would refuse to dismiss any law suit which alleged that the plaintiff would have quit if the physician had warned him to do so, even if such a proposition were clearly against the great weight of evidence. This refusal to grant the motion opens the door to pre-trial discovery – including depositions, demands for the physician’s time, documents, and records, etc. – places a blot on his record, and perhaps interferes with his ability to obtain malpractice coverage at favorable rates. That threat alone may motivate many physicians (and their medical organizations and insurance companies) to settle or – better yet – to follow the guidelines next time.
    My bolding

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