This bibliography focuses on the failing model of ‘Western’ medicine as it is originated in the US and Europe, which to a degree has spread all across the world, thanks to the appearance of success and the mistaken belief that every health problem should be treated like an infectious disease. The successes of medicine and the failure of healing are becoming most readily evident in the new role of nutrition science, which for now has culminated in the Whole Foods, Plant-Based nutrition which stems from the research in the China Study. It is important both to understand the real successes of Western medicine as much as the reasons for its abysmal failures in many areas.
The main thing to appreciate is that the profound changes in health care now developing, called Lifestyle Medicine, are the beginning of a total shift towards people taking charge of their own life and destiny instead of abrogating responsibility to the medical industrial complex, aka. pharmageddon. The change is driven as much by patients who want better health outcomes, not more pills and procedures, as it is by doctors who want to practice more meaningful medicine based on a powerful human motivation for health and healing, and a partnership with the patient, not a dysfunctional doctor/patient relationship.
If there were one guiding thought for this bibliography, it might be this video of Dr. Michael Klaper:
Bibliography of #Pharmageddon
I published this bibliography of #Pharmageddon on Kit, with annotations and links to videos where possible. I offer some connecting commentary below:
- Ivan Illich’s Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health was recently republished. In a great many ways, Ivan Illich’s exploration of the key issues about the complete betrayal of Western medicine remains a classic. To put it in joke form, the expropriation of health shows up in the patient who really thinks the doctor can tell him how he or she is doing and offer a fix, typically a pill or procedure in which the patient effectively abrogates responsibility for their health. The bottom line is, this is your body, your life, and the process needs to begin with taking responsibility for it. A doctor is at best a subject matter expert who can assist in the healing process. Some of Illich’s notions may be “too Catholic,” for some. Please indulge him. The man was a Jesuit, accept his perspective, his observations are very powerful and have stood the test of time.
- Rockefeller Medicine Men, E. Richard Brown, 2017 reprint of 1979 book. This book is critical for understanding how #pharmageddon was created historically, with all the best intentions, but with complete blindness to the disaster that was being created. It is the perfect corollary to Ivan Illich’s Medical Nemesis. It is the whodunit for the sick care industry of today, which has become a signature threat to public health, not because some of it is not valid, but because it became an unwarranted and inappropriate monopoly on health and well being, based on an economy that incentivized sick care, instead of rewarding health outcomes. The suppression of symptoms of modern medicine sets up deferred maintenance, so that people retire with the chronic illnesses caused by the industrial food system and spend their waning years fighting side effects and interactions of drugs, and are overwhelmed by medical costs when they are least able to pay for them. Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US and other countries are racing to emulate us.
- The CEO’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream, Dave Chase, 2017. This is a brilliant work which provides great insight in to the administrative and structural malfunctions of the healthcare system as we know it. This book is part of the solution set, delivering both insightful criticism of the system we have and a path towards a better system. The American healthcare system is the most dysfunctional in the world, and it can only be hoped that the rest of the world can learn from our mistakes and avoid some of them.
- Being Mortal, Atul Gawande, 2014. A very insightful critique about the failures of end-of-life medicine, and how again it does not serve the patient. The focus on pointless life extension is more about doctor’s own fear of death than about the well-being of the patient. Gawande offers an interesting insight on how we got where we are today beginning with the idea that nursing homes exist to alleviate expensive hospital stays. Today’s newest symptom of accountants running healthcare is the sudden emergence of urgicare clinics which exist to alleviate the workload of emergency rooms. It is all about a dysfunctional system that is a victim of its own putative ‘success.’
- Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America, Beth May, 2018. This is a searing account of the Opioid crisis in America, which is yet another example of the way the medical industrial complex is parasitical upon public health, because the profit motive will seek out maintenance, not cure of diseases, since it maximizes the sales potential of drugs. The risk of the current political brouhaha is that it may end up being made into a special case, without understanding that it is merely an outgrowth of the parasitical sick care system we have. The system we have is mislabeled health care system, but it serves only the financial health of the medical-industrial complex in general and the pharmaceutical industry in particular, without any concern for the patient.
- The Opioid Crisis Wake-Up Call, 2018, Dave Chase. Another powerful look at how administratively and structurally our health care system is failing us and how it can be fixed.
- Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, F. Batmanghelidj, MD. This book is marvelous and it focuses on two things, for one, and most importantly, just how essential it is to drink enough water, and second, how the drug cycle works to suppress the problem and let it get worse and worse. In the case of bad diets and insufficient water intake, the start is ant-acids, now conveniently made into an over-the-counter drug. As a consequence, people never make the changes in diet they should be making, and the problem gets worse and worse and worse. As always the really bad consequences take a long time, and in retirement people deal with all the medical problems of a lifetime when they can least afford it.
- The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine, James Le Fanu, MD., 2012. You have to start with understanding why and how Western medicine became so successful in areas of infectious disease, and surgery etc. before you could ever understand how it came to overextend itself and pretend to have answers it did not have and create the dysfunctional mess it is today. This book puts in perspective the whole story of the successes of Western Medicine and the resulting hubris, which presently has culminated in a completely dysfunctional system that is the biggest economic parasite of all time. A tapeworm on the American economy as Warren Buffett called it.
Paradigmatic Problems in Health
Etymologically, health, healing and whole are all derived from the same Greek root, holon, whole.
Yet, particularly since the time of the enlightenment in the Western world, medicine has remained stuck in a Newtonian concept of primacy of the body, which ultimately results in the logical absurdity that the mind is conceptualized as an epi-phenomenon of the body, in a form of upward causation, as if you can build mind with a set of Lego blocks. As a direct result, Western medicine has categorically confused cause and effect, and predominantly developed procedures and medications that suppress symptoms and ignore cause while allowing unchecked disease progression, which in turn resulted in our healthcare reality of deferred maintenance – and any good property manager knows the cost of that. Yet, this is what we do with our bodies, patch them up, suppress symptoms, and in retirement we face bankruptcy in many cases when the bills come due for chronic illnesses we have allowed to fester for a lifetime, just when our ability to pay for them is least.
We are presently at the outset of a contrapunctual movement, Lifestyle Medicine and Whole Foods, Plant-Based nutrition, where the focus is on the nutritional and lifestyle components of health and healing, which is one step closer to looking at cause. In an ultimate sense, once you realize that we are in a universe of downward causation, i.e. the body is an epi-phenomenon (projection) from the mind manifested through consciousness, as the ugly midwife of the abortion that is this world of limitations and conflict. In other words any healing must begin in the mind.
Where the rubber meets the road, most doctors would dimly realize this – the patient wanting to live is the be all and end all of healing and recovery. There is a deeper level however, and the plant-based nutritional revolution is an important practical step. For the first time, courtesy of the scientific research of T. Colin Campbell, we have a coherent, evidence-based, nutritional paradigm and it is the Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet, and the patient is in charge of what they stick in their mouth. Most every prognosis improves with this simple change of diet, and handfuls of medication, to be taken often “for the rest of your life,” become superfluous almost overnight.
- For the nutritional theory there are T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study and his book Whole, which is more about the research paradigm, and applies as much to medical research – we’ve had it upside down.
- For the medical worldview, Amit Goswami’s The Quantum Doctor establishes how the quantum-physical view of the world implies downward causation, and therefore the body is an epi-phenomenon of the mind, instead of the other way around. The Newtonian paradigm of reductionist medical research must produce nonsense once you realize this, for reasons as simple as two plus two equals four, or in logical terms, one wrong premise will result in wrong conclusions. Medical science is categorically invalidated by its reversal of cause and effect.
- An observation about noise in the popular press is in order, for nutritional confusion and dysfunctional medicine have a natural ally here. It helps to realize that the press actually thrives on controversy, and contradictions. It is a manifestation of what Buddhists call “monkey mind.”
The reductionist model of science is fuel for various fad diets, which are most often based on things taken out of context and tinkering within an obsolete nutritional model and always on utter ignorance of the holistic view of human nutrition which would make them superfluous in the first place. Specifically, as T. Colin Campbell explores in his books, the endless diet studies are never controlled for diet, but assume the standard American diet. In other words, the concept is what if I had a lousy diet, that is making me sick anyway, and I changed a single component of that diet. Then, when they see an improvement in the symptomology, we have the next “superfood,” or
“supplement,” or drug. The profit motive is never far away. Atkins sold supplements for a living, so does Steve Gundry today. The bottomline is once you understand that the Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet is optimal, you can safely ignore the noise about all the diet fads, the “superfoods,” and you probably will rarely need any drugs.
To be continued… I will keep updating this Bibliography with more titles.
The central themes of this bibliography are medicine, nutrition, and the flawed paradigm of medical research. I keep the focus on the dysfunction of the existing system, because it is the first requirement for finding solutions.