An AMA Invention/Instigation!

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RubyTuesday

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Insurance is part of the problem! It gives patients [the] false impression that they're not paying for treatments, or that they're paying a lot less for treatments.

Right on Gerry! But [the] idea of insurance is so ingrained into our society that it would be impossible to remove.

I think we can safely conclude that the two posters above are not covered by health insurance.

What would happen to your net worth or your family's financial security if either of you sustained a life-threatening illness such as a stroke? Or do you think that stroke is preventable by a healthy lifestyle? What if you sustained severe injuries as the result of an accident?
 

bifrost99

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RubyTuesday said:
What would happen to your net worth or your family's financial security if either of you sustained a life-threatening illness such as a stroke? Or do you think that stroke is preventable by a healthy lifestyle? What if you sustained severe injuries as the result of an accident?
Stroke is caused by weak blood vessels (aneurysm leading to rupture) or blocked blood vessels, leading to "vascular accidents" in the brain or spinal cord. Both forms are preventable by healthy lifestyle.

Aneurysms have been shown to be caused by copper deficiency in turkeys, and has been shown to be possible in human cases, too. Dr. Rath is probably right in his use of vitamin C, lysine, proline and copper for strengthening blood vessels, as well as relieving blockage.

Blockage of blood vessels has been shown preventable with Dr. Rath's vitamin C based approach above, though I am more familiar with vitamin E, controlling blood cholesterol levels and its oxidation (by controlling blood glucose, not by limiting dietary fat), homocysteine level control, etc. or combinations of approaches.

I am for accident insurance, but this is entirely different from the "health" (disease) insurance that "pays for" "conventional" disease treatments. I am aware that many "health" insurance plans include accident insurance, but these are two different aspects.

As for my financial status, I am not rich. And I find it fortunate that my two eldest can now support themselves, and my two youngest can still rely on me and my wife, as well as on their two older siblings. 8) They are also developing and learning to be "self-supporting" as well. :wink: The best insurance I can give our kids is the education to be able to support themselves even if I am suddenly incapacitated or killed. It was the same thing given to me by my parents. I do have a little life insurance, but I find the compulsory health insurance a complete waste of money. I would rather spend such money on furthering my health, than on betting that I would get sick.

Gerry
 

bifrost99

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RubyTuesday said:
What are some therapies that Philippino doctors use that are "most effective" but are considered "alternative" by U.S. standards?
One strong proponent of laetrile for cancer was Dr. Manuel Navarro who worked in the University of Santo Tomas College of Medicine, reputed to be among the best medical schools in the world. He has "saved" quite a number of cancer patients even if they come to him as hopeless cases. I believe his son has continued his work. Unfortunately, few doctors applied this therapy, most likely because of the "western" influence.

Another doctor (I prefer not to mention his name) is renowned for his use of iridology as part of his diagnostic protocol, ending up with really accurate diagnoses.

Many doctors handling diabetics have no qualms recommending bitter gourd/melon leaves, or banaba tea -- proven by a lot of studies to control blood sugar levels in both diabetics and non-diabetics. Commercial products based on these herbs are advertised freely as control for diabetes, and they're not being hounded with legal suits.

Quite a number also include concepts of TCM, particularly acupuncture.

But more significantly, I think, doctors here are fully aware of the "unaffordability" of many "western-type" treatments, so much so that they go along the preventive route. Our Department of Health also reflects the adage that prevention is better than cure, and have programs to that end. A popular multivitamin advertisement popularized a slogan, "Bawal Magkasakit" -- loosely translated as "Getting Sick is Prohibited." And a vitamin C preparation is freely advertised as a preventive for infections. Just imagine the AMA/FDA response if such ads were aired in the US. :roll:

I'm not saying that doctors here are the best. The AMA influence is strong and getting stronger. What I'm saying is that in spite of the "conventional/alternative" division, doctors here can opt to use whatever they find useful or effective, whatever the AMA label.

Gerry
 

RubyTuesday

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The best insurance I can give our kids is the education to be able to support themselves even if I am suddenly incapacitated or killed.
That begs the question. When your children were minors and your wife a full time mother, they would have been rendered indigent had something happened to you. In this respect, it's irresponsible for anyone to have a family without adequate insurance, in my opinion. Relying on luck to keep food on the table is not "insurance" by any definition.

Some people "self-insure"--that is, they have adequate discretionary assets to cover day-to-day health care and/or a brief hospital stay and purchase far less expensive "catastrophic" insurance for the rest.

The other option is to "pass the hat" among friends, neighbors and relatives. Bake sales and garage sales are time-honored ways to collect money to pay someone to possibly save your life.
 

RubyTuesday

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Another doctor (I prefer not to mention his name) is renowned for his use of iridology as part of his diagnostic protocol, ending up with really accurate diagnoses.
If he was toiling in obscurity, I could understand your reluctance to name him, but if he's renowned, I doubt that he's uncomfortable being talked about.

My point--before I become too exasperated--is that there are many health care practitioners who do, in fact, use treatments other than those considered "standard of care." They're out there by the legions. All that needs to be done is provide a way for the information they hold in their heads to be distributed to the world at large. The information is "out there;" in fact, it's even published in peer reviewed journals. But it's artificially unknown due to the lopsided influence of Big Pharma.

The internet is fast becoming--if it's not already--the main source of information gathering and dissemination to the world. Seems to me there ought to be a way to harness this amazing tool so that doctors can speak directly to the people who need to know what do to heal that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
 

Mad Scientest

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I think we can safely conclude that the two posters above are not covered by health insurance.

Close but not quite. Being self-employed I had the privilege of buying my own insurance thus I knew exactly what it was costing me, rather then something that most people consider a freebee that an employer supposedly owe to them. However now that I am on Social (in)Security that is one less expense that I have, so long as I follow conventional medicine, and until such time when the system goes complete broke. And as far as friend wife is concerned she is uninsurable, due to preexisting conditions no insurance company wants any part of her.

Seems to me there ought to be a way to harness this amazing tool so that doctors can speak directly to the people who need to know what do to heal that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Yes and this is exactly what is happening on forums like this and others, albeit rather slowly. The only way to speed this up is to convince our brain dead legislators to break the strangle hold that the alphabet agencies have over medicine. Then if doctors can get over their fear of losing their license because they are not following the official line then maybe they will start to look into proven alternative treatments.
 

bifrost99

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RubyTuesday said:
That begs the question. When your children were minors and your wife a full time mother, they would have been rendered indigent had something happened to you. In this respect, it's irresponsible for anyone to have a family without adequate insurance, in my opinion. Relying on luck to keep food on the table is not "insurance" by any definition.
We agree completely about this. That's why I agree with (and have had) life insurance, as well as accident insurance. But these are not in the same category as "health" insurance, as it is known in the US. I would not pay a cent (unless forced to, as it is) for coverage against diseases caused by irresponsibility, including cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Gerry
 

bifrost99

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RubyTuesday said:
My point--before I become too exasperated--is that there are many health care practitioners who do, in fact, use treatments other than those considered "standard of care." They're out there by the legions.
We also agree completely about this, except that I don't think those legions would have lots of numbers in the US, or else they would have the AMA/FDA combo on their necks. Even parents are being forced to have their children undergo chemo, lest they risk their children being forcibly taken away from them. What more the doctors who are less attached to their patients?

As for those legions in other countries, my point is that they are a lot less concerned about conventional-alternative labels. As it should always have been, the main concern should be what is good for our health, not what label is attached to a certain practice. My point in all this is that "conventional" and "alternative" labels are completely artificial, and should not actually exist.

All that needs to be done is provide a way for the information they hold in their heads to be distributed to the world at large.
I agree, too, but I think the bigger issue is to have to do away with the labels, and to provide doctor protection (however possible?) against groups like the AMA and FDA who would jump all over them if they deviate slightly from the imposed protocols. By what authority can a group of people take it upon themselves to decide which is truth or quackery? And by what authority should their decisions be imposed in other parts of the world?

Gerry
 

RubyTuesday

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As it should always have been, the main concern should be what is good for our health, not what label is attached to a certain practice. My point in all this is that "conventional" and "alternative" labels are completely artificial, and should not actually exist. [...] By what authority can a group of people take it upon themselves to decide which is truth or quackery?
That's why the scientific method--to determine what is truth without anyone "deciding"--is preferable to personal bias, political agenda or one's world view.
 

RubyTuesday

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Yes and this is exactly what is happening on forums like this and others, albeit rather slowly.
Slowly and, more often, erroneously. Too many fundy wackos hang out on alternative medicine boards and, because they're the loudest, few moderate voices can stand it for very long. Here's a site, for example, that, if it had a discussion board, would be annihilated by wackos in no time flat.

Welcome to what we hope are the most-helpful alternative, complementary and preventive health-news pages on the Internet.

As journalists, we wish to provide you with news and information that will keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in this rapidly growing field.

In selecting these pages, we:

Thoroughly searched the Internet to try to bring you some of the most informative and credible sites we could find. However, we wish that some sites would have carried more scientific evidence.

Added a substantial number of excellent conventional health sites to provide a truly integrative approach.

Included a number of sites that are updated daily and weekly to keep you on top of breaking health news--both alternative and conventional.

Be aware that alternative health and healing covers everything from pure hogwash to promising and proven therapies. Also take note that alternative medicine should be considered a supplement to--not a replacement for--traditional medicine.

Also, keep these points in mind:

When viewing sites maintained by adherents of a particular alternative approach, be aware that they are going to be enthusiastic about their methods. Be skeptical, but open-minded.

Although anecdotal evidence may be valid, look for scientific evidence that a procedure works. Unfortunately, many unorthodox therapies have not been subjected to rigorous scientific testing--even though they might be effective in certain instances.

Take note that, when people believe a therapy will work, they will sometimes sense an improvement. This phenomenon, known as the "Placebo Effect," tends to confound things, especially in alternative medicine.
In all, our goal is two-fold:

To bring you a number of techniques and approaches that appear to be worth your time to investigate and to discuss with your physician or health-care provider.

To report mainly on wellness and natural approaches to staying healthy and living longer.

Categories two through five on the next page follow those of the Office of Alternative and Complementary Medicine of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, a government agency set up by Congress in 1991 to look into alternative medicine practices and integrate those that work into health and medical care.
weblink:www.altmedicine.com/Default.asp?HomePage=Yes
 

RubyTuesday

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That's why I agree with (and have had) life insurance, as well as accident insurance. But these are not in the same category as "health" insurance, as it is known in the US. I would not pay a cent (unless forced to, as it is) for coverage against diseases caused by irresponsibility, including cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
I agree that a not-so-small segment of human disease is exacerbated by lifestyle choice. I believe that insureds should receive incentives for living in such a way that they're not likely (but not guaranteed) to succumb to the diseases you list. But there are many other diseases that could strike you and that will decimate your estate if you contract them: Parkinsons, Alzheimers, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, etc. Also, the list is long of "health nuts" who succumbed to cancer and/or had a heart attack.

Here's the testimony of one such person:

www.rwood.com

Shortly after college in 1969, I relocated to Boston and the home of macrobiotic teachers Aveline and Michio Kushi. We were a school of 25 living in two large "study houses" and eating a simple, whole foods diet. As a community, we observed and discussed how diet affected physical, emotional and mental health and we explored the effects of diet on world cultures. We learned how changing our eating changed our consciousness. It was a fascinating education.

Before long I was cooking at a study house, teaching my first five-week cooking program and writing food columns. For me, macrobiotics’ most valuable gift was engendering the kind of respect for food that I’d experienced at home.

After twenty years of carefully following macrobiotics, I was shocked to have developed invasive third class cervical cancer. Fortunately, I was able to reverse the cancer by using natural methods which included adding meat and dairy back into my diet. Despite macrobiotic theory, some people do not thrive on a vegetarian diet. In all, it was an effective lesson in moderation.
 

RubyTuesday

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Then if doctors can get over their fear of losing their license because they are not following the official line then maybe they will start to look into proven alternative treatments.
Which are those?
 

Mad Scientest

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"Then if doctors can get over their fear of losing their license because they are not following the official line then maybe they will start to look into proven alternative treatments."

Which are those? Oh I don't know, how about these?

"My point--before I become too exasperated--is that there are many health care practitioners who do, in fact, use treatments other than those considered "standard of care." They're out there by the legions. All that needs to be done is provide a way for the information they hold in their heads to be distributed to the world at large. The information is "out there;" in fact, it's even published in peer reviewed journals. But it's artificially unknown due to the lopsided influence of Big Pharma." :D
 

RubyTuesday

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What's the point of pointing my own quote back to me? If they're published in peer reviewed journals from randomized double blind studies, they're not proven ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE modalities, are they? They're overlooked or under-appreciated Official Medicine modalities.

And that's MY point: what would be a way to take the greed factor out of the equation and pursue promising therapies EVEN IF no one makes any money on them?
 

Mad Scientest

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Well if “They're overlooked or under-appreciated Official Medicine modalities” then they are not part of conventional treatment, and even if they are not made up of eleven great herbs and spices this still puts them into the alternative treatment category. Because you are not likely you see them used.

Until we find a way to allow people to make money on them we are going to stay stuck right where we are.
 

RubyTuesday

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Until we find a way to allow people to make money on them we are going to stay stuck right where we are.
I don't think that's necessary. People participate in the Olympics for the sheer thrill of it. I think scientists can be encouraged to do the same. I think the thrill of victory and a chance to become legendary can be exploited.
 

bifrost99

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RubyTuesday said:
If they're published in peer reviewed journals from randomized double blind studies, they're not proven ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE modalities, are they? They're overlooked or under-appreciated Official Medicine modalities.
Mad Scientest said:
Well if “They're overlooked or under-appreciated Official Medicine modalities” then they are not part of conventional treatment, and even if they are not made up of eleven great herbs and spices this still puts them into the alternative treatment category. Because you are not likely you see them used.
Exchanges such as this show the problem: why the labels?

If we see practices as neither conventional or alternative, a big part of the problem will be removed, though still a big part will remain: money. No one will bother to spend on research if they cannot get anything back out of it.

As for the scientific method, why should only randomized, double-blind, statistically analyzed studies be considered acceptable? This is another imposition/instigation of the people who usurped the authority to define things.

The scientific method is NOT confined or limited to randomized, double-blind, statistically analyzed studies! Empirical studies are more than enough in many cases, particularly on methods that will not cause any harm, and will not cost much -- the type which no researcher would touch because of money. True and accurate testimonial evidence is entirely acceptable, though the AMA/FDA frown upon such -- but who are they to define what the scientific method is composed of?

Besides, history shows that so far, not a single important medical or health breakthrough came as a result of randomized, double-blind, statistically analyzed studies. Instead we have Vioxx, and cancer chemo, cholesterol falsehoods, hypertension ideas and a host of other wrong medicine concepts coming from such. And just lately, we have Ketek (telithromycin) -- see "It's toxic..." thread.

Most important health ideas came only from empirical data, and several are even from accidental observations.

Gerry
 

RubyTuesday

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If we see practices as neither conventional or alternative, a big part of the problem will be removed, though still a big part will remain: money. No one will bother to spend on research if they cannot get anything back out of it.
I'm trying to think of a way to get around this. There must be a way; I just don't know what it is (yet).

As for the scientific method, why should only randomized, double-blind, statistically analyzed studies be considered acceptable? This is another imposition/instigation of the people who usurped the authority to define things.
Not at all. There are several good reasons why the scientific method is used to reach conclusions. The simple version looks something like this:

1. Observe some aspect of the universe.

2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.

3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.

4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

When consistency is obtained the hypothesis becomes a theory and provides a coherent set of propositions which explain a class of phenomena. A theory is then a framework within which observations are explained and predictions are made.

The great advantage of the scientific method is that it is unprejudiced: one does not have to believe a given researcher, one can redo the experiment and determine whether his/her results are true or false. The conclusions will hold irrespective of the state of mind, or the religious persuasion, or the state of consciousness of the investigator and/or the subject of the investigation. Faith, defined as belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence, does not determine whether a scientific theory is adopted or discarded.

A theory is accepted not based on the prestige or convincing powers of the proponent, but on the results obtained through observations and/or experiments which anyone can reproduce: the results obtained using the scientific method are repeatable. In fact, most experiments and observations are repeated many times (certain experiments are not repeated independently but are repeated as parts of other experiments). If the original claims are not verified the origin of such discrepancies is hunted down and exhaustively studied.

http://phyun5.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node3.html
 

bifrost99

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That's exactly what the scientific method is.

But did you notice? There's no requirement for such a study to be double-blind, randomized or statistically analyzed! These are just tools, and they are not required for every study. So a study/research can be entirely scientific without having to be double-blind, randomized, and statisticallly analyzed.

(As a side note, evolution was never subjected to the scientific method. :wink: )

Gerry
 

bifrost99

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RubyTuesday said:
What's scientific about it, then?
From the definition you quoted, they're steps 3 and 4, which do not require double-blind, randomized, or statistically analyzed methods. They may use those tools, but just because those tools are not used does not mean that they're any less scientific.

Another method is to simply compare it with the biochemical, physiological, pathological, or immunological pathways/processes which are already established.

Some examples:

Disease and death are observed if shellfish from red tide are eaten -- no need to do double-blind, randomized, statistically analyzed (DB/R/SA) studies for that. Simply identifying and finding the toxin is enough.

DB/R/SA studies were not needed to establish orbits of planets or comets, but these are no less scientific. The same with studies on gravity, electricity and electronics, thermodynamics, propulsion and a lot of other physical sciences which are still as valid scientifically as any finding. The car, the airplane, the rocket, computers, and many other gadgets based on scientific principles were all built and improved upon without any need for DB/R/SA studies.

Penicillin was observed to kill bacteria in a petri dish. No DB/R/SA studies for that. The same with roles of various nutrients like vitamin C, D, E, etc. (well, some may benefit from statistical analysis, but DB and R not needed).

That statins are poison is obvious by the biochemical and physiological pathway (blocks CoQ10 production), so no need for DB/R/SA for that. The same with chemo, but chemo is pushed based on DB/R/SA studies dealing only with its effects on cancer and not on its effects on patient's health or longevity (a graphic example how DB/R/SA methods can be used wrongly).

So it can be quite obvious that those who impose the need for DB/R/SA studies are just doing so for the purpose of suppressing the competition. They know no one will be willing to spend for such studies if there's no return on their investment. There's a lot more to the scientific method than DB/R/SA protocols.

Free market rein on all medical approaches will easily show which are effective and which are not. But the authorities will not like that because a lot of their own "approved" protocols will fail in terms of both effectivity and safety.

I'm not saying that DB/R/SA protocols are useless, because they're not. They can be very useful. What I'm saying is that studies that do not have DB/R/SA can still be as scientific as ever.

Gerry
 

RubyTuesday

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I give up. I really do. If I cannot convince a college graduate (I presume) of the importance of the scientific method....well, I give up.
 

morgan33

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RubyTuesday said:
I give up. I really do. If I cannot convince a college graduate (I presume) of the importance of the scientific method....well, I give up.
Please do :roll:

Then we can all get back to discussing health and not get drawn in by your incessant diversions and red herrings...

Aaahh - if only :(
 

EarlyBird

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Diversions and Red herrings!

RT is taking lessons from 'W' Morgan33 :!:

Very apt student too :!: :lol:
 

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