[Take note, pill popping America: More than 3 decades ago Iatrogenic Illness (caused by doctors, hospitals and medications) was made public but nobody seemed to care. TMR]
by Jon Rappoport
July 4, 2017
You can have Obamacare. Or you can take the current Republican re-do. Have you read it? Do you know exactly what’s in it? Of course not.
I can tell you this. Every possible healthcare bill has the same flaw. It’s called death. I’ll explain in a moment.
But first I want to mention that, for the past decade, as a working reporter, I’ve taken many actions to put a piece of medical information in front of mainstream news media, and they won’t bite. No matter what. I’ve published the information, backed it up seven ways from Sunday, and it doesn’t matter. No dice.
Here it is. Again. Every year, like clockwork, the US medical system kills 225,000 people. That’s a mainstream conclusion. A conservative conclusion. By extrapolation, that means the US medical system kills 2.25 MILLION people per decade.
Therefore, any new law that places more Americans inside the medical system through insurance plans will increase those death numbers. The death numbers will rise to new heights.
Where does the 225,000 death figure come from? A review in the July 26, 2000, Journal of the American Medical Association, titled: “Is US Health really the Best in the World?” The author was Dr. Barbara Starfield, a revered public health expert at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
When I interviewed her in 2009, not long before her death, I asked whether the federal government was doing anything to comprehensively fix the medical horror show, and whether any official from the government had approached her to consult on that fix. To both questions, she emphatically answered: “NO.”
In her Journal review, Starfield broke down the ongoing medical tragedy this way: annually, 106,000 Americans die from the effects of correctly prescribed, FDA approved, medicines. 119,000 Americans die as a result of mistreatment and errors in hospitals.
Again, it doesn’t matter what kind of national health insurance plan you prefer. As long as it puts more Americans under the umbrella of the medical system, the death figures will rise.
Starfield was not the only person to blow the whistle. I’ll give you two more examples.
Consider this article, “The Epidemic of Sickness and Death from Prescription Drugs.” The author is Donald Light, who teaches at Rowan University, and is the 2013 recipient of ASA’s [American Sociological Association’s] Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology. Light is a founding fellow of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2013, he was a fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard. He is a Lokey Visiting Professor at Stanford University.
Donald Light: “Epidemiologically, appropriately prescribed, prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death, tied with stroke at about 2,460 deaths each week in the United States. About 330,000 patients die each year from prescription drugs in the United States and Europe. They [the drugs] cause an epidemic of about 20 times more hospitalizations [than the deaths: 6.6 million hospitalizations annually], as well as falls, road accidents, and [annually] about 80 million medically minor problems such as pains, discomforts, and dysfunctions that hobble productivity or the ability to care for others. Deaths and adverse effects from overmedication, errors, and self-medication would increase these figures.” (ASA publication, “Footnotes,” November 2014)
One more. The journal citation is: BMJ June 7, 2012 (BMJ 2012:344:e3989), “Anticoagulants cause the most serious adverse events, finds US analysis.” Author, Jeanne Lenzer.
Lenzer refers to a report by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices: “It calculated that in 2011 prescription drugs were associated with two to four million people in the US experiencing ‘serious, disabling, or fatal injuries, including 128,000 deaths.'”
The report called this “one of the most significant perils to humans resulting from human activity.”
As alarming as the study sounds, it’s a limited hangout—I’ll explain
By Jon Rappoport
It turns out every new medical drug should contain a warning: “The FDA approved this medicine. Watch out.”
Perhaps the warning should be more extreme: “If you’re taking this drug, have an emergency medical crew on stand-by.”
A new study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, examined all 222 drugs approved by the FDA between 2001 and 2010. The finding? Years after approval, roughly a third of the medicines were then labeled with warnings about serious adverse effects; and some of those warnings indicated life-threatening complications. For example, cancer and liver damage. For example, death—which, the last time I looked, is life-threatening.
The Washington Post reports: “Among the drugs with added warnings [years after the drugs were approved, as safe, for public use]: Humira, used for arthritis and some other illnesses; Abilify, used for depression and other mental illness; and Pradaxa, a blood thinner. The withdrawn drugs [taken off the market] and the reason: Bextra, an anti-inflammatory medicine, heart problems; Raptiva, a psoriasis drug, rare nervous system illness; and Zelnorm, a bowel illness drug, heart problems.”
A pharma trade-group spokeswoman told the Post: “Even with rigorous clinical studies and regulatory review it may be impossible to detect certain safety signals until several years after approval, once the medicine is in broader use.”
No doubt. And that’s why the public is subjected to the luck of the draw, a roll of the dice, a spin of the roulette wheel.
Of course, as I never tire of pointing out, a landmark review (July 26, 2000) in the Journal of American Medical Association, by Dr. Barbara Starfield, found that, every year in the US, FDA approved drugs kill 106,000 people. Extrapolating to a decade, that would be a million deaths.
The new study confirms only a small part of the overall problem.
And the overall problem is what major media don’t want to report on—and what the federal government doesn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole.
The new study is what intelligence agencies would call a limited hangout, which is a public admission of part of a problem or scandal that is, in fact, much bigger. The huge scandal, in this case, is the routine death-by-medicine numbers every year—which is ignored by the press and the government.
106,000 Americans killed by FDA approved medicines every year. That’s the big one. That remains hidden and unacknowledged.
The US press is aware that medically caused death is the third leading cause of death in America. But nothing happens in their elite corner of the “information age.”
For years, I’ve been pointing out that the medical apparatus is best-protected structure in the US and the world.
One piece of evidence for that statement: we haven’t had, symbolically speaking, a medical Edward Snowden. Indeed, if you go to WikiLeaks or some other source that routinely exposes leaks, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything substantial about the inner workings of what I call the medical cartel.
And when I say inner workings, I mean memos, emails, and other documents that irrevocably reveal:
* How medical studies are routinely twisted and cooked to achieve a predetermined outcome in contradiction to the facts;
* How virus-hunters casually claim to have discovered “the virus” that causes a disease, when they have not followed standard procedure, and are merely making insupportable and self-serving assumptions;
* How researchers ignore evidence that a “new disease” is indistinguishable from an old disease that has been on the scene for decades or even longer; there is money in new diseases;
* How medical drugs are having grave toxic effects on patients and delivering no visible results;
* How government health officials are conspiring with drug companies to bring medicines to market, despite the fact that there is every reason to assume the drugs are worthless and destructive;
* How public health agencies, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies cover up the widespread harm vaccines are causing;
* How fake epidemics are launched to convince the public that they must follow prescribed vaccination schedules.
These are just a few of the many issues we would expect an insider to expose in blowing the whistle. We would expect to see these issues (crimes) revealed in numerous and detailed and irrefutable paper trails.
What the CDC whistleblower, William Thompson, exposed in 2014 (see the film Vaxxed) mainly concerned one study that falsely exonerated one vaccine (the MMR) from a role in causing autism. That is just the tip of the iceberg.
Over the years, I’ve gone after the medical cartel from many angles. There is a surprising amount of open-source material. I have also interviewed medical “dissidents,” doctors who have left the fold and are ready to talk. And using straightforward logic, I’ve discovered deep flaws in spurious medical arguments, and those flaws have led to deeper flaws and lies.
I could easily do a week-long course for honest and independent medical reporters on what I’ve found and how I’ve found it. Connecting the dots often requires a prior knowledge of basic fallacies in the medical framework of “knowledge.”
I have never encountered a medical insider who had access to miles and miles of damning data and was prepared to release it to the world.
Understand: I’m NOT talking about practicing physicians who are willing to talk about medical lies. I’m talking about people who are buried deep in the heart of the pharmaceutical/government agency/research establishment, who are ready to step forward with documents that turn the establishment upside down, as a matter of duty to their various oaths.
This absence of deep insiders speaks to the wall that has been built around the medical cartel. We’re not just talking about insiders’ fear of going public. We’re talking about more. For example, the refusal of major media to cover deep revelations that threaten to torpedo the whole medical structure. A potential whistleblower pauses for thought in the face of that. He could risk everything, and then—silence from the press. No “Snowden coverage.” There would be unanimous press attacks on his person, accusations that the documents are forged or inconclusive, and he is mentally unbalanced. Accusations that he is preventing people from believing in a system that saves lives every day. And so on and so forth.
But that isn’t the end of it. The wall around the medical cartel is, in its origin, a Rockefeller wall. Modern medicine is a Rockefeller production, jump-started in the early 20th century with the famous Flexner Report. On the basis of the Report, medical systems devoted to discovering and treating disease were gradually transformed into a machine that routinely kills 225,000 Americans a year—and that is a conservative estimate.
Rockefeller influence is no small thing.
The march to include every human on the planet under the umbrella of modern diagnosis and treatment is relentless. It is part and parcel of an agenda to weaken, debilitate, confuse, control, and destroy populations. I do not make that statement lightly.
I have shown, in past investigations, that medical-cartel players are surely aware of the damaging effects of their drugs, and yet, for decades, they have stood by and done nothing. The profit motive is one thing; but this is, at the least, indifference to human suffering and death. You could call it reckless endangerment, negligent homicide, but these are euphemisms for assault with deadly weapons (the drugs) and murder.
You could say the reason medical insiders do not step forward and reveal key data is fear for their own lives; but this is true of whistleblowers in other professions who do step forward.
Suppose Edward Snowden, considering a plan to obtain and leak NSA data, felt strongly that the leaks would have no effect, that his revelations would be blacked out by the mainstream press, that no mainstream reporters would take his material and publish it?
Suppose there was no Glenn Greenwald to come to Snowden’s aid? Suppose the NSA had such a powerful propaganda arm that the public was utterly convinced the Agency was an angel with wings and was saving countless lives through its technology? Suppose, the public believed every act of NSA spying was comparable to doctors in an emergency room putting an accident victim back together after a car crash?
Snowden would have paused for thought. He would have wondered deeply about whether his leaks would have any effect at all.
Let me give you an example. For years, I have been writing articles about medically caused death in America. One of the key studies I’ve cited is decidedly mainstream. It was published on July 26, 2000, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The author was Dr. Barbara Starfield, a revered and honored public health expert at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.Starfield concluded that the US medical system kills 225,000 Americans a year.
That would extrapolate to 2.25 MILLION deaths per decade.
Aside from a brief flurry of mainstream press articles that followed Dr. Starfield’s publication, in 2000, the press has been silent. My articles, which have been published at my site and other independent sites, have garnered no mainstream attention. Zero.
I’m not complaining. I’m merely pointing out the degree of mainstream censorship. The medical cartel has great influence.
A medical Edward Snowden, observing the media landscape, would have every reason to pause and consider his options. Why would he risk his reputation, his job, his paycheck, his future, his life, if the cartel he is exposing is so well protected that nothing would come of his bravery?
This is one reason why I write articles about the expanding power and influence of independent media. The day may come, and soon, when a medical Edward Snowden realizes he doesn’t have to find an editor at the New York Times who will look at his treasure trove of data and consider publishing it. Instead, he can pass along that data to any one of a hundred independent media operations and strike gold.
Or he can simply dump all the data on to a site he himself has created, comfortable in the knowledge that these same independent media sources will pick up the data, analyze it, and launch an unstoppable attack on the medical cartel.
Not one day’s coverage. A month, a year of coverage.
Operation Relentless Medical.
Then, the blind spot obscuring medical crimes will recede and vanish.
The public will no longer feel queasy about these revelations; the public will not feel they are witnessing a despicable attack on a wonderful messiah who has come to save the planet.
Eventually, the public will be able to make the distinction between emergency/crisis medicine, where competent and careful doctors (not sloppy and ignorant doctors) can save the lives of people who are lying on streets, after car wrecks, who need to be put back together—the public will be able to separate that from long-term fake medicine, where people are falsely diagnosed and drowned in toxic drugs which create a whole array of new symptoms which are then criminally diagnosed as new medical conditions, leading to the prescription of even more toxic drugs…all the way to the grave.
The public will understand how unnecessary and dangerous surgeries, and unnecessary and poisonous vaccines, are being foisted on them and those they love.
The public will understand. And will rise up.
This is not a pipe dream, if independent media continue to expand, and if they realize revelations of deep medical crimes are at least as important as exposures about the military industrial complex or the spying systems of national governments, or corporate pollution, or high-level money manipulation.
True medical insiders will step forward and reveal the secrets of the Temple.
I assure you, if we are alert, we are far more important and effective than “they” are.
History tells us it can take decades before a medical truth becomes accepted as fact, and recent headlines are a perfect example of this. Sixteen years ago, I read an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that stunned me. I was shocked JAMA published it. Although the article did not explicitly state it, the data was very clear.
So I published my summary of the study, which revealed that doctors are in fact the third leading cause of death in the U.S.1
You likely have seen this statistic or headline, but you may not be aware that I was the one who created that headline, which has been widely circulated on the internet and virtually never attributed to me as the person who saw through the data to make that conclusion.
Dr. Barbara Starfield was the author of that JAMA study, published in 2000, and her research documented how a staggering 225,000 Americans die from iatrogenic causes, meaning their death is caused by a physician’s or hospital’s activity, manner, or therapy. Her statistics showed that each year:
12,000 die from unnecessary surgery
7,000 die from medication errors in hospitals
20,000 die from other errors in hospitals
80,000 die from hospital-acquired infections
106,000 die from the negative side effects of drugs taken as prescribed
Back then, few people believed it, but in recent days headlines echoing my original 2000 article have made the rounds in many of the major media outlets.2,3,4,5,6,7
One of the reasons why many are still surprised by these statistics is due to fundamental flaws in the tracking of medical errors, which has shielded the reality of the situation and kept it out of the public eye.
Medical Errors Are STILL the Third Leading Cause of Death
Dr. Starfield’s findings 16 years ago still stand today. In fact, recent research suggests matters have only gotten worse, and the reason for this is because no affirmative action was ever taken to address and correct the situation.
According to a new study8 published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), medical errors now kill an estimated 250,000 Americans each year, an increase of about 25,000 people annually from Dr. Starfield’s estimates.
That means medical errors are STILL the third leading cause of death, right after heart disease and cancer. These numbers may actually be vastly underestimated, as deaths occurring at home or in nursing homes are not included.
As shown by Dr. Starfield’s research, side effects from drugs, taken as prescribed, account for the vast majority of iatrogenic deaths. Research9 published in 2013 estimated that preventable hospital errors kill 210,000 Americans each year — a figure that is very close to the latest statistics.
However, when they included deaths related to diagnostic errors, errors of omission, and failure to follow guidelines, the number skyrocketed to 440,000 preventable hospital deaths each year. This too hints at the true enormity of the problem.
Cause of Death Reporting Needs an Overhaul
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics, the third leading cause of death is respiratory disease, which claims 150,000 lives each year, not iatrogenic causes. In fact, the CDC doesn’t publish any information relating to medical errors at all. As reported by Newsweek:10
“The researchers for the study from Johns Hopkins say their findings suggest the CDC’s method for collecting data on causes of death is flawed, leading to inaccurate estimates on just how dangerous a visit to your local hospital has become.
Death certificates currently don’t have a separate coding classification for medical errors, which means estimates are not accurate.
The medical coding system used by the CDC was originally developed for physicians and hospitals to determine what to bill health insurance companies for individualized patient care. The authors recommend an overhaul of how cause of death data is collected.”
The researchers suggest adding an extra field to the death certificate, asking whether a preventable complication or medical error contributed to the death. At present, no such checkbox exists. Instead, when a patient dies from a medical error, the original complaint is listed as the cause of death.
They also recommend a number of strategies to reduce the number of deaths from iatrogenic causes, including increased transparency and communication. As long as health care providers and hospital administrators remain in the dark about the severity of the problem, few course corrections are likely to be made.
Iatrogenic Deaths Are a Global Problem
Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch for the CDC, claims there arecodes that capture iatrogenic causes of death. However, the published mortality statistics do not take them into account. They only look at the condition that led the individual to seek medical treatment in the first place.
As a result, even if a doctor lists medical errors in the death certificate, they are not included in the CDC’s mortality statistics.
Anderson defends the agency’s approach, saying it’s “consistent with international guidelines.” In essence, most countries tally their deaths in a similar fashion, in order to be able to compare mortality statistics internationally.
All that really means is that this is a global problem, and all nations really need to take a closer look at how deaths are recorded and counted. According to Anderson, the CDC is unlikely to change the recording of deaths unless there’s a really compelling reason to do so. But what could be more compelling than the fact that modern medicine is a leading cause of preventable deaths!?
Dr. Starfield’s Ironic Tragedy — A Victim to What She Chronicled
Ironically, Dr. Starfield became a statistic to her own research. She died suddenly in June 2011, a death her husband attributed to the adverse effects of the blood thinner Plavix taken in combination with aspirin. However, her death certificate makes no mention of this possibility. In the August 2012 issue of Archives for Internal Medicine11 her husband, Neil A. Holtzman, M.D., M.P.H., writes, in part:
“Writing in sorrow and anger, I express up front my potential conflict of interest in interpreting the facts surrounding the death of my wife, Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH… Because she died while swimming alone, an autopsy was required. The immediate cause of death was “pool drowning,” but the underlying condition, “cerebral hemorrhage,” stunned me…
Barbara started taking low-dose aspirin after coronary insufficiency had been diagnosed 3 years before her death, and clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix) after her right main coronary artery had been stented 6 months after the diagnosis. She reported to the cardiologist that she bruised more easily while taking clopidogrel and bled longer following minor cuts. She had no personal or family history of bleeding tendency or hypertension.
The autopsy findings and the official lack of feedback prompted me to call attention to deficiencies in medical care and clinical research in the United States reified by Barbara’s death and how the deficiencies can be rectified. Ironically, Barbara had written about all of them.”
US Health Care System Is an Unmitigated Failure at Treating Chronic Illness
The U.S. has the most expensive health care in the world, spending more on health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined (Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia). If the U.S. health care system were a country, it would be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet.
Despite that, the U.S. ranks last in health and mortality when compared with 17 other developed nations. We may have one of the best systems for treating acute surgical emergencies, but the American medical system is clearly an unmitigated failure when it comes to treating chronic illness. The fact that properly prescribed and administered drugs kill at least 106,000 should really be food for some serious thought. For starters, drug safety needs to become a priority, not an afterthought.
Indeed, one of Dr. Starfield’s points of contention was the lack of systematic recording and studying of adverse events, and her own death highlights this problem. It was the Plavix-aspirin combination that actually killed her, yet if it hadn’t been for an autopsy and her husband insisting on an adverse event report, no one would ever have been the wiser about such a connection.
Only a tiny fraction of all adverse drug reactions are ever reported to the FDA; according to some estimates, as few as 1 percent. In order to truly alert the FDA to a problem with a product they’ve approved, they must be notified by as many people as possible who believe they have experienced a side effect.
By filing a report, you help make medicine safer for everyone. So, if you believe you’ve experienced a side effect from a drug, please report it. Simply go to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator page, find the phone number listed for your state, and report your adverse reaction.
In all, preventable medical mistakes may account for one-sixth of all deaths that occur in the U.S. annually.12 To put these numbers into even further perspective, medical mistakes in American hospitals kill four jumbo jets’ worth of people each week.13According to statistics published in a 2011 Health Grades report,14 the incidence rate of medical harm occurring in the U.S. may be as high as 40,000 harmful and/or lethal errors DAILY. According to co-author John T. James:
“Perhaps it is time for a national patient bill of rights for hospitalized patients. All evidence points to the need for much more patient involvement in identifying harmful events and participating in rigorous follow-up investigations to identify root causes.”
Many Tests and Treatments Do More Harm Than Good
Overtesting and overtreatment are also part of the problem. Instead of dissuading patients from unnecessary or questionable interventions, the system rewards waste and incentivizes disease over health. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, an estimated 30 percent of all medical procedures, tests and medications may in fact be unnecessary,15 at a cost of at least $750 billion a year. To learn which tests and interventions may do more harm than good, browse through the Choosing Wisely website.16
It’s also important to be aware that many novel medical treatments gain popularity over older standards of care due mostly to clever marketing, opposed to solid science. An investigation17 by the Mayo Clinic published in 2013 proved this point. To determine the overall effectiveness of our medical care, researchers tracked the frequency of medical reversals over the past decade. They found that reversals are common across all classes of medical practice, and a significant proportion of medical treatments offer no patient benefit at all.
In fact, they found 146 reversals of previously established practices, treatments and procedures over the past 10 years. The most telling data in the report show just how many common medical treatments are doing more harm than good. Of the studies that tested an existing standard of care, 40 percent reversed the practice, compared to only 38 percent reaffirming it.
The remaining 22 percent were inconclusive. This means that anywhere between 40 and 78 percent of the medical testing, treatments, and procedures you receive are of NO benefit to you — or are actually harmful — as determined by clinical studies.
Safeguarding Your Care While Hospitalized
It’s important to have a personal advocate present to ask questions and take notes. For every medication given in the hospital, ask questions such as: “What is this medication? What is it for? What’s the dose?” Most people, doctors and nurses included, are more apt to go through that extra step of due diligence to make sure they’re getting it right if they know they’ll be questioned about it.
If someone you know is scheduled for surgery, you can print out the WHO surgical safety checklist and implementation manual,18which is part of the campaign “Safe Surgery Saves Lives.” The checklist can be downloaded free of charge here. If a loved one is in the hospital, print it out and bring it with you, as this can help you protect your family member or friend from preventable errors in care.
Basic Tenets of Optimal Health
All in all, leading a common-sense, healthy lifestyle is your best bet to achieve good health, and avoid dying from preventable causes. Following is a list of some of the basic tenets of health that have withstood the test of time. Following these healthy lifestyle guidelines can go a very long way toward keeping you from becoming another preventable death statistic:
Eat real food
For a comprehensive guide on which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my nutrition plan. Generally speaking, focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed foods.Avoid sugar, and fructose in particular.
All forms of sugar have toxic effects when consumed in excess, and drive multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of chronic disease and accelerated aging.
Avoid sitting, and get plenty of non-exercise “nutritional movement” and high intensity exercise
Even if you’re eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including high-intensity activities into your rotation.
High-intensity interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. HGH also helps boost weight loss.
Non-exercise movement is another critical component. I recommend walking more on a daily basis, over and above your scheduled exercise, and avoiding sitting as much as possible.
Implement stress reduction strategies
Your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease — from heart disease and depression, to arthritisand cancer.
Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.
Drink plenty of pure, clean water. Considering how widespread water pollution has become, investing in a high quality water filtration system is advisable.
Maintain a healthy gut
Mounting research shows that beneficial microbes affect your health in a myriad of ways; it can even influence your ability to lose weight.
A healthy diet is the ideal way to maintain a healthy gut, and regularly consuming traditionally fermented foods is the easiest, most cost effective way to help optimize your gut flora.
Optimize your vitamin D levels
Research has shown that increasing your vitamin D levelshelps reduce your risk of death from ALL causes.
Avoid toxic exposures
This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.