BIG medical blunders
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2012/01/25
When I first realized that published, peer-reviewed mainstream data clearly show — and have shown all along — that there is no evidence that HIV causes AIDS while there’s convincing evidence that it doesn’t, I thought this was an extraordinary, unique instance of modern medical science and modern medical practice going so drastically wrong with untold damage to untold numbers of individuals.
Over the last few years, however, I’ve seen that what’s wrong with the HIV/AIDS scene is part and parcel of the Big-Pharma-influenced, money-dominated, research-hothouse, cutthroat state of medicine — American medicine in the first place but infecting the rest of the world at an increasing pace.
Last April I noted (“The drug business”, 2011/04/25) that the AZT scandal is actually quite a typical instance of what’s wrong with the drug-centeredness of modern medical theory and practice — albeit AIDS and AZT were responsible for the beginning of one of the worst aspects of drug-centeredness, the practice of “accelerated approval” of drugs by the FDA that has led to the marketing of increasing numbers of drugs so toxic that they are withdrawn just a few months or years after being approved, having in the meantime killed enough people to demonstrate how inadequate the initial Pharma-controlled clinical trials were.
I listed in that blog a number of the solidly documented books that have, for a couple of decades now, pointed to this dangerous and scandalous state of affairs. Among those books is Robert Whitaker’s Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill (Basic Books, 2nd ed., 2010) and Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (Crown, 2010) with the astonishing evidence that drug-based treatment of mental illness has actually brought an epidemic of chronic mental illness, with far more Americans permanently disabled than were ever hospitalized in asylums before drug treatment became the standard.
One of the crucial flaws was taking an occasional correlation as proof of causation, creating the “chemical imbalance” theory of mental illness and bringing the avalanche of new drugs launched on the basis of that theory. There was from the beginning no evidence for it, and indeed very soon direct evidence against it, for instance that depression seemed to respond both to reducing serotonin uptake but also to increasing it. Nevertheless, psychiatric practice has continued (though not in Japan) to prescribe for treatment of depression the SSRIs — selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors.
Now there has come an extraordinary public acknowledgment by prominent psychiatrists that they knew all along that this was not a valid treatment — together with a perhaps even more extraordinary rationalization for using an invalid treatment because of its “metaphorical” value — see “Psychiatry’s Grand Confession” and “Science Isn’t Golden — Matters of the mind and heart — Powerful psychiatrists push false theory on unknowing souls — NPR broadcast reveals shockingly demeaning views of patients”.
The NPR story is “When it comes to depression, Serotonin isn’t the whole story”.
Evidently psychiatry has secretly remained all along in the authoritarian paternalist Freudian mode supposedly superseded by “scientific” “medical” psychiatry.