by Jessica Fraser
July 05, 2005
from NaturalNews Website
The attacks that day left 2,996 people
dead, including the passengers on the four commercial airliners that
were used as weapons. Many feel it was the most tragic day in U.S.
Over 750,000 people actually do die in
the United States every year, although not from plane crashes. They
die from something far more common and rarely perceived by the
public as dangerous: modern medicine.
That's the equivalent of six jumbo jet crashes a day for an entire year.
After 9/11, the White House gave rise to the Department of Homeland Security, designed to prevent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
Since its inception, billions of dollars
have been poured into it. The 2006 budget allots $34.2 billion to
the DHS, a number that has come down slightly from the $37.7 billion
budget of 2003.
The American public heads to the
doctor's office or the hospital time and again, oblivious of the
alarming danger they're heading into. The public knows that medical
errors occur, but they assume that errors are unusual, isolated
events. Unfortunately, by accepting conventional medicine, patients
voluntarily continue to walk into the leading cause of death in
This report was issued 10 years ago,
when America had 34 million fewer citizens and drug company
scandals like the Vioxx recall were
yet to occur. Today, health care comprises 15.5 percent of the
United States' gross national product, with spending reaching $1.4
trillion in 2004.
Of the 783,936 annual deaths due to
conventional medical mistakes, about 106,000 are from prescription
drugs, according to Death by Medicine. That also is a
conservative number. Some experts estimate it should be more like
200,000 because of underreported cases of adverse drug reactions.
Chances are even better that their drug
of choice comes chock full of side effects.
So, the over-prescription of drugs and medications is designed to treat disease instead of preventing it. And because there are so many drugs available, unforeseen adverse drug reactions are all too common, which leads to the highly conservative annual prescription drug death rate of 106,000.
Keep in mind that these numbers came before the Vioxx scandal, and Cox-2 inhibitor drugs could ultimately end up killing tens of thousands more. American medical patients are getting the short end of a rather raw deal when it comes to prescription drugs.
'Medicine' is a high-dollar, highly competitive business. But it shouldn't be.
Null's report cites the five most important aspects of health that modern medicine ignores in favor of the almighty dollar:
All these things are putting Americans in such poor health that they run to the doctor for treatment.
But instead of doctors treating the causes of their poor health, such as putting them on a strict diet and exercise regimen, they stuff them full of prescription drugs to cover their symptoms. Using this inherently faulty system of medical treatment, it's no wonder so many Americans die from prescription drugs.
They're not getting better; they're just
popping drugs to make their symptoms temporarily go away.
Companies spend billions on advertising and promotions for prescription drugs.
Medical experts claim that patients' requests for certain drugs have no effect on the number of prescriptions written for that drug.
Pharmaceutical companies claim their drug ads are "educational" to the public. The public believes the FDA reviews all the ads and only allows the safest and most effective drug ads to reach the public.
It's a clever system:
Everyone's happy, right? Not quite,
since the prescription drug death toll continues to rise.
Remember all those TV ads heralding the
wonders of Vioxx? One might wonder how many lives could have been
spared if patients didn't see the ad on TV and request a
prescription from their doctors.
Some are downright angry at the
situation, and angry on behalf of an unaware public. Major conflicts
of interest exist between the American public, the medical community
and the pharmaceutical industry. And although the public suffers the
most from this conflict, it is the least informed. The public gets
the short end of the stick and they don't even know it. That is why
the pharmaceutical industry remains a multi-trillion dollar
Prescribing more drugs and recommending more surgeries means more profits. Getting more drugs approved by the FDA, regardless of their safety, means more money for the pharmaceutical industry. As the healthcare system stands today, physicians and drug companies can't seem to pass up earning loads of money, even if a few hundred thousand people lose their lives in the process.
Even in drastic cases of deadly drugs, everyone involved has a scapegoat:
What ultimately arises is a question of ethics.
In layman's terms, ethics are the rules or moral guidelines that govern the conduct of people or professions. Some ethics are ingrained from childhood, but some are specifically set forth. For example, nearly all medical schools have their new doctors take a modern form of the Hippocratic Oath.
While few versions are identical, none
include setting aside proper medical care in favor of money-making
The government spends upwards of $30 billion a year on homeland security. Such spending seems important.
Since 2001, 2,996 people in the United States have died from terrorism - all as a result of the 9/11 attacks. In that same period of time, 490,000 people have died from prescription drugs, not counting the Vioxx scandal. That means that prescription drugs in this country are at least 16,400 percent deadlier than terrorism.
Again, those are the conservative numbers.
A more realistic number, which would include deaths from over-the-counter drugs, makes drug consumption 32,000 percent deadlier than terrorism. But the scope of "Death by Medicine" is even wider. Conventional medicine, including unnecessary surgeries, bedsores and medical errors, is 104,700 percent deadlier than terrorism.
Yet, our government's attention and money is not put into reforming health care.
No one is attempting to say that terrorism in the world is not a problem, especially for a high-profile country like the United States. No one is saying that the people who died on 9/11 didn't matter or weren't horribly wronged by the terrorists that day.
But there are more dangerous things in
the United States being falsely represented as safe and
healthy, when, in reality, they are deadly. The
corruption in the pharmaceutical industry and in America's
healthcare system poses a far greater threat to the health, safety
and welfare of Americans today than terrorism.