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"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Curran


Who Are the Real Quacks?

Are doctors beneficial to society? Of course. But they aren't gods. Sure, they have an expensive education, but that only means that they paid a lot of money to have someone else tell them what to think and how to act—and then we pay them a lot of money to tell us what to think and how to act.

The sad thing is that very few doctors are in the business of healing people. Their hands are tied by pharmaceutical and insurance companies, not to mention the government. That's why when you go to a doctor for treatment, the main course of action is to either give you a drug or cut off some part of your body—and that's modern medicine in a nutshell.

Keep in mind that doctors do not have a monopoly on knowledge and common sense. They fall for medical and dietary fads just like everyone else.

Case in point: Do you slather gallons of sunscreen on your kids before sending them outside to play? If you do, it's probably because your doctor warned you of the risks of skin cancer. He or she may have even shown you disgusting pictures of what melanoma can do to your skin.

Unfortunately, that sunscreen you were told was absolutely necessary just may be doing more harm than good. Consider this article from The Independent:
    A growing body of evidence in recent years has shown that lack of vitamin D may have lethal effects. Heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis are among the conditions in which it is believed to play a vital role. The vitamin is also essential for bone health and protects against rickets in children and osteoporosis in the elderly.

    Vitamin D is made by the action of sunlight on the skin, which accounts for 90 per cent of the body's supply. But the increasing use of sunscreens and the reduced time spent outdoors, especially by children, has contributed to what many scientists believe is an increasing problem of vitamin D deficiency.
Believe it or not, this medical "discovery" is old news to those who operate outside the mainstream. There are some who have known this for years.

Dr. Joseph Mercola points out that sunblock might actually increase your risk for skin cancer: "Although most sunblocking agents seem to prevent burning, they are not very good at blocking the UVA that causes skin cancer. Unfortunately, they are effective at blocking UVB, the wavelengths our bodies need to produce vitamin D."

Dr. William Campbell Douglass agrees. He notes: "A deficiency—not an excess—of full-spectrum sunlight is what's clearly linked to melanoma."

Naturally, doctors like Mercola and Douglass are considered quacks by the medical establishment. They are fringe extremists who are just using scare tactics to sell more books.

But are mainstream doctors any better? Remember, they graduated from the same schools of higher learning that teach that we humans evolved from single-cell organisms purely by chance, that global warming is a scientific fact and that pumping toxic chemicals into our water supply is vital for good health.

I'm not saying that doctors don't know what they're talking about or that we should never listen to them. What I am saying is that you should keep an open mind when it comes to your health. Don't just assume your doctor knows everything. When you consider that nearly 100,000 people die every year as a result of medical errors, a small dose of skepticism might actually be good for you.

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Blogger Carmon Friedrich said...

Great post, Lee! We really like Dr. Mercola and Dr. Douglass, but I think our family is considered a bit out of the mainstream, too. Happy New Year!

12/28/05, 12:22 PM  
Blogger Lee Shelton said...

Thanks! I started reading Mercola and Douglass about a year ago and found them to be a breath of fresh air.

Happy New Year to you and yours, too!

12/29/05, 10:01 PM  
Blogger greasy joan said...

Of course you are right on. Our family has been on the receiving end of ire for close to two decades for refusing unproven, expensive treatment like hospital birth and vaccines.

2/3/06, 11:02 AM  
Blogger Code Blue said...

As a practitioner of the healing arts, I take exception to your notion," . . .that very few doctors are in the business of healing people." If that is the perception you hold of your physician, why do you use them? If you would try to say that you cannot find one who cares about the patient, then you haven't looked very hard. The doctors and nurses who are committed to the welfare of their patients are legion. There are some stinkers out there but do not paint us all with such a broad brush. Even the two "doctors" you cite tend to undermine your own argument. Are they competent and credible? Did they come from traditional medical training or did their medical degrees come from the bottom of a box of Cracker Jack? I assume you believe that they are,". . .in the business of healing people." If they have a traditional medical education, how did they get a monopoly on caring and insight into new things? Do you embrace the therapy of someone whose hands aren't "tied" because they advise modalities not approved by the FDA? I went to their sites. They are short on double-blind studies and long on advertising and sales.

Do not get me wrong. I do not believe that the medical establish has," . . .a monopoly on knowledge and common sense." The healing arts are called "arts" for a reason but I am very wary of putting any kind of stock in snake oil salesmen of uncertain credentials hawking their advice along along with opportunities to buy their book and their products. Practitioners of "alternative medicine" with convincing-sounding pseudoscience who purport to have insights and knowledge that the traditional medical community does not have or does not want you to know have been fixtures on the scene of human suffering since the Serpent in the Garden. I tend to believe that most of these are less inerested in healing their patients than in becoming "well-healed" themselves.


Code Blue, CRNP

2/6/06, 9:15 AM  

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