An integrated health care model would have to consider the strengths of conventional biomedicine. Historically there are three areas in which this type of medicine has excelled: treatment of acute infections and disease through antibiotics (reduction of mortality overall and extension of life-span is mainly attributable to improved sewage and nutrition), anesthesia and the management of pain, and advanced diagnostic and surgical techniques. Because of its reductionistic (rather than holistic focus) it is rapidly losing ground in the area of acute disease with the rise of antibiotic and treatment resistant bacteria and viruses. For the management of chronic disease this paradigm has largely proven to be palliative at its best and deadly at its worst.
Conventional BioMedicine: Documented Problems
Homeopathy and other complementary/alternative medical modalities are often under attack from mainstream media, whose articles or experts are often funded by the large and influential pharmaceutical industry. There is an English saying that says, “People living in glass houses should not throw stones.” What this means is that those who claim to represent “modern” medicine should not criticize others before putting their own house in order. Increasingly, this medical paradigm is coming under attack, as has been seen in the Vioxx scandal, and the inability of peer reviewed medical journals like the Lancet to find objective research that is not funded (and thus, implicitly biased) by pharmaceutical interests. The following clip illustrates this quite dramatically.
Frequently alternative medical practitioners are charged with being irresponsible, or incapable of diagnosing or treating serious medical conditions. The material below shows that the modern medical profession constitutes a much more serious risk to health than any other medical system on the planet, especially when it comes to iatrogenic, or medically induced, disease. (in Egypt we have an example of the largest case of iatrogenically induced disease, i.e. caused by modern medicine, in the world. In the 1960s 15 million people were infected with Hepatitis C as a result of bilharzia vaccine campaign in which the needles were re-used.)
The Hippocratic Oath, which every physician is supposed to take and be bound by states, among other things: At least, do no harm. The evidence below suggests that medicine as it is being practiced today, is doing the opposite. An eye-opening documentary about the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and the medical establishment is Big Bucks, Big Pharma.
Patients turn to complementary and alternative medical modalities because they have experienced the downside of this paradigm of treatment. There are numerous statistics to support their mistrust and I append only a selection in order to give you some idea of the problems associated with modern medicine.
Life Extension Foundation article called Death by Medicine
A well-researched article that provides some shocking statistics on the mortality and injury associated with the medical system.
Medicine and Science?
Perhaps the most damning critique of modern medicine is of its methodology influenced by agendas other than those of science. (Download the article by clicking on the heading).
Science or Journalism?
Much of current medical news reported in the media is biased and often funded by pharma or other interests. Professor Gary Schwitzer has an interesting summary on the quality of medical journalism. There is also a similar article at the Public Library of Science on medical journalism in the Australian media.
The following section is a good example of the influence of public relations on the perception of disease.
A term coined in an article for PR Watch by Bob Burton and Andy Rowell, this phenomenon explains how the pharma industry invents disease categories to create demand among healthy human beings. Source Watch run by the Center for Media and Democracy has a very good article on this phenomenon. In addition, you will find a very good collection of articles at the Public Library of Science.