Jose Mario Bergoglio in Chile 2018:
To believe in us you have to have Faith, but for me to believe in you you have to bring me proof
Over 150 years ago, describing most of the medicines then available as junk, Oliver Wendell Holmes came up with one of the most famous phrases about medical practice, when he said that:
If all the materia medica (drugs) could be sunk to the bottom of the sea it would be all the better for mankind, and all the worse for the fishes
Recently in Belfast, at a BMA meeting, medical delegates discussed the issue of doctors committing suicide. There was panic in the air. Doctors it seems need support. They should not have to take on an occupational risk like this, delegates said.
There is no evidence that anyone at the meeting was willing to look in the mirror. Its highly likely most if not all of these medical suicides happened to doctors on pills, a high proportion of which were likely caused by the meds these doctors were on.
A post here some months ago Even Doctors also get killed by Akathisia raised this issue. There have co-incidentally been a number of penetrating comments about this post recently.
The people who are most to blame for this are doctors. Its doctors who have been handing out these pills and ignoring if not ridiculing patients when they report back that the drug has made them dysphoric, akathisic, suicidal or even homicidal.
Or the treatment has hooked them – See Welsh petition.
Or has caused permanent sexual dysfunction – See Encountering Doctors
A huge proportion of the drugs that every doctor has prescribed during the last ten years have been prescribed on the basis of Fake News – ghostwritten articles and without access to the data from the trials of these drugs. Doctors could have refused to prescribe without access to the data – but haven’t.
Life expectancy is now falling in America and Britain. This was entirely predictable given that the science behind prescribing is all Fake Science and given that doctors have been willing to put their patients on 5, 10 or more Fake Medicines every day – where in the 1980s few people were on more than 1 and we had the data behind the one that people were on and the literature was written by who it appeared to be written by.
But there are no BMA resolutions about what we are going to do about our patients’ falling life expectancies. Doctors are worried about themselves – not apparently aware that their patients might hold the answer to what is killing them.
This point can be pushed further. The last year has seen increasing anger about abusive priests and the Church that has sheltered them. This crisis began in Ireland in the 1980s and came to a head in Chile last year. The Church has been scrambling ever since to manage the fallout. Jose Mario has managed fairly well since his slip in Chile with occasional flips into blaming some of his critics as enemies of the Church.
Its not clear that many people would shed too many tears about the death of an abusive priest or the death of a bishop who had knowingly moved that priest around from parish to parish without getting to grips with the issues.
What is much less well known is that medicine has its share of abusive doctors. The best known is Harold Shipman but there have been lots of others. Robert Kaplan’s book Medical Murder tells some of these stories. A recurrent feature in these cases has been the facility with which the medical authorities have quietly moved doctors from one jurisdiction to another without investigating too closely.
Its not just doctors. The psychologist James Coyne is a very recent example of someone whose shocking behaviors several universities chose to turn a blind eye to and hoped to solve by facilitating a move elsewhere.
But doctors are more dangerous than priests or psychologists. They openly kill us like Shipman or as Oscar Wilde might have said – lose us carelessly.
The question is how best to treat the profession’s nervous breakdown? Counselling or mindfulness or even higher rates of pay seem to be the options doctors are lobbying for.
A better bet in terms of restoring morale might be if someone could get the profession to take on a mission – demand access to trial data, believe patients when it comes to adverse events and engage with our falling life expectancies rather than the stressful burn-out inducing handing out meds you don’t believe and wouldn’t take yourself and then ignoring the evidence of harms – because to do otherwise would be “suicide”.
Short of doing this you’d have to say it were better for mankind if doctors were sunk to the bottom of the sea and better for the fishes.
Its not as though anyone will have to push them overboard with their feet encased in concrete to ensure they sleep with the fish – they are busy slipping their own feet into the concrete mix as is. If medicines are so effective and safe then nurses and physicians associates and pharmacists and robots soon will be a lot cheaper prescribers than doctors