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Thread: Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science page

  1. #1
    Franklin Mason's Avatar
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    Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science

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    A very provocative little article just appeared at the Atlantic titled Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science.

    How much does your doctor really know about the effect of diet on health? Damned little. He or she will likely just push Conventional Wisdom, but much of that has either been refuted or is based on highly questionable research.

    We really have no choice but to strike out on our own.

  2. #2
    PatrickF's Avatar
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    I don't think the take-away of that article is to stop listening to doctors.

    It's just a reminder that doctors are human too, science isn't always right at the first take and medicine in general isn't very scientific. Not exactly provocative in my opinion.
    Last edited by PatrickF; 10-16-2010 at 09:26 AM.

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    avocado's Avatar
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    Excellent article. Proves that you can be direct and critical without being one-sided or sensational.

    Should be required reading before anyone takes pop news blurbs about this or that research and thinks we should, OMG, stop eating cilantro or what have you.

  4. #4
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    Great article. Yes, a lot of research yields bogus results. A lot doesn't. Yes, a lot of physicians give some improper care--some inadvertently, some unintentionally due to a lack of real knowledge, some intentionally due to fraud. Then a lot of physicians give good care. I believe that most of the physicians that give bad care really want to do things right, but just fail in knowledge. An honest physician will admit that they don't cure, they provide comfort while the body heals itself.

    **********

    Inadvertent-----Chinese medicine, for example, recognizes that every person is different. Two people presenting the same symptoms will often receive a different Rx. Western medicine tends to be symptom oriented, so if you have this set of symptoms you receive this type of treatment. Gross and foolish example---one with a broken leg and one with a badly sprained knee. Neither ambulates well if at all. Both are given a cane and a pain pill. Now remember, I said this was a foolish example. In this example one will do fairly well with the cane and pain meds, but the other is going to develop a bigger problem.

    Lack of real knowledge.---Your physician treats you with the procedures he or she learned in med school. They don't always keep up with what is new and current. Possible bad care. Now suppose someone presents with a problem grasping things and having pain in the hand. What if the honor grad physician just had one week of problems in med school and that was the week that they were taught about hands? Possible bad care here too.

    The fraud is the bad part. Example--someone has pain and goes to a medical facility. It is determined that they are trying to pass a kidney stone. There are urologists who will schedule surgery to place a stent, and send the person home with some pain pills for a week or so. Then have them return for another surgery to remove the stent and "eliminate" the problem kidney stone. Two surgeries when one would have done it. More surgeon's fees, more hospital fees. What they won't do is send the person home with some pain pills and instructions to take a tablespoon of vinegar a few times a day. That is a viable treatment.

    When I was a nurse, we had an elderly woman--well into her 90's who had a severe intestinal bleed. The physician ordered a transfusion. That transfusion went right through her. It was a waste of time, but a reasonable thing to do ---the first time. What was wrong was a full weekend of repeated transfusions. They didn't stop until the nurses started refusing the doctor's orders. The woman was allowed to finish in peace and comfort instead of having to endure the discomfort of both the treatment and her condition. That, too, is a case of medical fraud in my mind. Things like this happen too often.

    What does it all say? Educate yourself and take responsibility for your own care. Treat your relationship with your doctor the same way you act with your mechanic. You go with some knowledge of the problem and how to care for that problem. You ask questions and check answers. You ask about prescribed meds and see what they do before you fill prescriptions. You do a little research on the options to care for your problem.
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  5. #5
    cillakat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickF View Post
    a reminder that doctors are human too,
    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by avocado View Post
    Excellent article. Proves that you can be direct and critical without being one-sided or sensational.

    Should be required reading before anyone takes pop news blurbs about this or that research and thinks we should, OMG, stop eating cilantro or what have you.
    +1



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  6. #6
    Hilary's Avatar
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    Really good article, agreed. This is what makes me happy about paleo/primal - it makes sense as a whole, and provides a context within which to understand the details of the latest nutritional whatever-they've-come-up-with.

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