The Many Bureaucracies of Modern Medicine
Modern medicine, conventional medicine, allopathic medicine has many names, but little science. What should it be called? Bureaucratic Medicine.
Conventional medicine is best understood as a complex set of bureaucracies. What is a bureaucracy? Eric Fromm in To Have or To Be, “The bureaucratic method can be defined as one that:
- a) administers human beings as if they were things and
- b) administers things in a quantitative rather than qualitative terms …
- governed by statistical data…. Base their decisions on fixed rules arrived from statistical data, rather than on response to the living beings who stand before them… at the risk of hurting the 5 or 10 percent of those who do not fit into that pattern.
- Bureaucrats fear responsibility and seek refuge behind their rules; their security and pride lie in their loyalty to the rules, not in their loyalty to the laws of the human heart.”
Our medical bureaucracies are wide and deep, often consisting of groups of corporate and government officials at the top, giving direction to lesser organizations, and ultimately to individuals. Let’s look at a few of the top bureaucratic organizations and issues in modern medicine.
The Official Medical Bureaucracies
The World Health Organization (WHO) is the worlds top-level bureaucracy with regards to illness and disease. The word “health” in their name is an Orwellian twist. Although they hold the officially recognized definition of health, written in 79 years ago and not updated since then. The WHO definition of health is simplistic and useless with regards to measuring health. WHO studies disease, and death exclusively. The primary output of the World Health Organization is disease statistics. The words healthicine and healthiness are not in their dictionary. They have no techniques for evaluation or measurement of healthiness without reference to disease.
ICD10 – ICD11 – The International Classification of Diseases: The World Health Organization maintains the ICD10, the International Classification of Diseases and Associated Disorders and is currently working to release the next version, the ICD11. The ICD10 contains over 70,000 disease codes – but no definition of disease. In fact, their introductory pages clearly state “A critical point in engaging with the ICD is that inclusion or exclusion is not a judgement on the validity of a condition or the efficacy of treatment. ” The ICD bureaucracy documents codes for diseases from around the world, in perfect bureaucratic style, making no claim to validate any one of them as actual diseases or medical conditions.
US/FDA: The FDA is the official approval bureaucratic agency that approves drugs in the USA. According to the US/FDA bureaucracy, only a drug can “claim to” prevent, treat, or cure any disease. It’s perfect bureaucratic nonsense – extended to the extreme. Even more than the extreme. The FDA does not limit the bureaucratic definition of a drug to a medical pill – any treatment that claims to prevent, treat, or cure a disease, is officially a “drug”. It’s obvious to anyone that malnutrition, in its many variations – beri-beri, scurvy, obesity, and more, cannot be prevented or cured by a drug, they are cured by nutrition. Any poisoning disease, from carbon monoxide poisoning to zinc toxicity, cannot be prevented by a drug, it can only be prevented by avoiding the poison. But, if a treatment is not approved by the FDA, then it’s not an “official medicine“. Approval by the FDA usually has nothing to do with the curative properties of any treatment – but without approval, you cannot make a “sales claim” that the treatment is effective.
Medical Reference Books: Merck, Harrison’s, Langes’ and DSM-5
No medical reference book contains a definition of cure. Although some use the word cure – there is no consistency in the meanings applied to cures. Medical reference books document “diseases” and “treatments” without any indication of whether they move the patient towards, or away from a state of being cured. Non-infectious diseases might all considered incurable, by lack of a scientific definition of cured.
Mental Disorders: Mental disorders are incurable by “lack of definition“. The DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders offers hope of “eventual cures for these conditions“, but at present, not a single disease listed in the DSM can be cured. But it’s more than just bureaucratic logic (or illogic) Here’s how it works:
If a mental disorder can be cured, it will be cured by addressing the cause. BUT:
If the cause was nutrition – cured with diet, it wasn’t a mental disease, it was malnutrition.
If the cause was poison – cured by removing the poison, then it wasn’t a mental disease, it was a poison. If the cause was physical or mental abuse or isolation, and it is cured by addressing the cause, then it wasn’t a mental disorder, it was caused by the cause. If the cause was a stress of any kind, and it is cured by addressing the cause – then it’s not a mental illness, it’s caused by the stress.
In conclusion, if it can be cured then it isn’t a mental disorder. It is an illness caused by whatever the cure addressed.
The latest edition of the DSM, the DSM-5, actually removed some cases of depression from the list of mental disorders. Why? Because they are naturally cured by health.
Drug Manufacturers and Marketers: in US/FDA speak all treatments are drugs. Drugs are not defined by their benefits, they are defined by claims. Drug manufacturers are in the business of selling drugs. More sales = more profit. Drug companies want products that produce high sales and high profits. In general, this leads to “new” drugs, which are then marketed as (but not proven) to be more effective. It also leads to monopoly drugs, which block honest attempts to improve the healthiness of patients. If a drug cannot be patented, it does not make enough money to undertake the FDA approval process – so it is ignored, or shamed, because its success will take profits away from the “bureaucracy approved” drugs. Most drugs, and the best-selling drugs, make no claim and no attempt to cure.
Researchers: Today’s clinical researchers, for all their pseudo-scientific rigour, are bureaucratic agencies working to attain approval from bureaucratic organizations like the FDA. Almost all current research studies are designed, written, approved and executed without a definition of “cured”. As a result, if a patient is cured within the study, the cure cannot be documented, cannot be officially noticed. Research studies today study “treatments” in preparation for market, but rarely attempt to study cures. Cures, except for infectious diseases – cannot pass bureaucratic muster.
Medical Journals: Medical journals publish research by the bureaucracy. Research must reference disease and must present statistical data about a treatment. In the past, many medical journals published “case studies” to share information found by doctors in the course of their work. But today, most journals refuse to publish case studies, because they contain “anecdotal evidence“. Of course, every case of a cure is a single case, an anecdote, so no medical journal will accept for review any research about a cure.
Fund-Raisers: Millions of dollars are raised every year to “find a cure” for many different diseases. But none of these fundraisers has a definition of CURED for the disease they are supposedly fighting. They are raising funds for bureaucratic research, that searches for non-curative treatments to be approved by bureaucrats like the US/FDA. Not one disease funding agency is working to define “cured” for their disease. There is no need, and no interest in defining cured – the bureaucracy that employs them functions perfectly well without a definition. Fundraisers might be out of a job if cured is defined. If cures are found – the fundraising bureaucracy might be out of business. They are busy raising funds and spending funds under the guise of a “cure” with no intentions of curing anything.
Self-Appointed Skeptics: In Webster’s dictionary, a skeptic is “a person disposed to skepticism especially regarding religion or religious principles“. However, with regards to the bureaucracies of medicine, a skeptic is akin to a religious zealot, who believes entirely in the treatments approved by the bureaucracy, and refuses religiously to believe in the effectiveness of any other treatments. There are many individuals and groups that support the medical bureaucracy under the guise of “skepticism.” Their skepticism is limited to any preventative, treatment, or cure that is NOT approved by the bureaucracy.
The Most Bureaucratic Medicines
Symptomicines: a symptomicine is a medicine designed, tested, and approved to treat the signs and symptoms of a disease – with no attempt to cure. Check your medicine cabinet, walk over to your local drugstore, or search the databases of the FDA. Try to find a medicine that claims to “cure” any non-infectious disease. Don’t hold your breath. Most of today’s medicines are symptomicines. Do symptomicines move the patient closer to a cure, or farther away? We only know that symptomicines do not address the cause, and therefore allow the illness to progress and cause more damage. Can any of them cure, or aid a cure process? We don’t know because the medical bureaucracy does not study cures.
Preventatives: In the bureaucracy, preventatives are big business. No-one can make money curing diseases — cured is not defined by the bureaucracy. But there’s tons of money to be made preventing disease, and there’s no requirement for proof.
Fluoride: Who can tell if a case dental disease has been prevented by fluoride? No-one. It’s sell, sell, sell, with no accounting. Every toothpaste produced by the major companies contains fluoride. Fluoride has been approved by the bureaucracy. There would be a huge cost and only negative incentives to find something better. Research would raise questions, and that would be bad for sales. The sale of dental prevention products has become a huge bureaucracy – and nobody is going to challenge it, much less shift it. If a better product exists, nobody cares.
Vaccines: Vaccines have not only been approved, they’ve been given the absolute bureaucratic protection. In the USA, vaccines are above the courts of law, above the supreme court. It is not possible, legally, to take legal action for any damage done by a vaccine. The bureaucracy is so strong that in the USA it is not possible to PROVE any damage has been done by a vaccine, even if compensation is paid for the damage. The law clearly states that payment for damage is not proof of cause. And it’s against the law to use the courts of law to make a claim of cause. It’s double bureaucracy.
Sunscreen: is marketed as a cancer preventative. Recent evidence has shown that avoiding the sun leads to general unhealthinesses more dangerous than the danger of cancers caused by exposure to the sun. But that has not slowed the sunscreen marketing bureaucrats.
What about alternative medical practices – are they just as bureaucratic? Actually, no. The phrase “alternative medicine” is not recognized by the FDA. There are only bureaucratic medicines (approved by the FDA) and treatments that are not recognized. There is no bureaucratic approval process for an alternative medicine. If it is approved by the bureaucracy – it’s no longer an alternative medicine.
However, that’s not to say that all alternative medicines are better, just that they are outside of the prevailing bureaucracy. Clearly, some are better, some are not. In most cases – its official – we don’t know. The bureaucracy is not interested in researching alternative treatments – it’s up to the vendor to apply for approval. But approval is expensive, and the benefits of approval – for most alternative treatments – are very low.
However, if you want a cure for your illness, and your bureaucratic diagnosis is one of:
– a non-infectious disease (arthritis, Alzheimers, depression, diabetes, gout, hypertension, obesity, etc)
– a mental disorder (depression, schizophrenia, etc)
– a chronic disease (asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, etc)
You cannot find a cure in conventional medicine – cured being not defined by the bureaucracy. If you are seeking a cure, then by definition, you must seek a treatment outside of the conventional medical system. You must seek an alternative treatment.
If you successfully cure your disease, the medical bureaucracy will simply ignore your claim. Even if you cure hundreds of people, all claims will be ignored. There are many examples, but perhaps the most egregious at present is Type 2 Diabetes. There are thousands of people who claim to have cured their diabetes. At least one scientific research agency has reported “reversal” of diabetes – cured being not defined in the bureaucracy. No-one in the bureaucracy cares.
More Medical Bureaucratic Nonsense
Anecdotal Evidence: If you find a cure for your disease, it will be dismissed by the bureaucracy as “anecdotal evidence“. Of course, every cure is a single case of an illness in a single patient. Every cure is an anecdote. But the bureaucracy hates anecdotal evidence – it upsets the statistical bureaucratic applecart. If you cure your disease with an alternative medical treatment, the cure will be ignored. Your doctor might acknowledge it, but cures are not counted. Cured is not defined. If you cure any non-infectious disease, any mental disorder, any chronic disease, the bureaucracy calls it remission. The bureaucracy is not interested in cures, not interested in proving nor disproving them.
Diseases Cured By Health: If you have a disease that is generally, or naturally cured by health, the bureaucratic medical practitioners claim “there is no cure for the common cold” (measles, influenza, mumps, etc.). Why? Because in bureaucratic medical theory, if it is not cured by a medicine, then “there is no cure for….”
Placebo Effect: When the medical bureaucracy encounters something they cannot explain, something they don’t want to explain, they invoke the “placebo effect” clause. It’s a magical incantation, roughly equivalent to “nothing to be seen here, look away”.
What is a placebo effect? You can look it up in Webster’s: “improvement in the condition of a patient that occurs in response to treatment but cannot be considered due to the specific treatment used“. It’s bureaucratic nonsense: “an improvement” “in response to a treatment” “not caused by the treatment”. It’s a paradox. But the true definition of a placebo effect, although a bit longer, is not a paradox:
- an improvement in the condition of the patient (observed by the medical bureaucracy)
- following (but not necessarily in response to) a treatment (administered or observed by the medical bureaucracy
- which cannot be understood (or it would be a real effect)
- which cannot be considered to be due to the treatment (in the opinion of the medical bureaucracy)
There is no paradox in the placebo effect discussions, just negligence. Every improvement in the condition of the patient has a cause. When the medical bureaucracy invokes “placebo effect” they are clearly saying that it is “not worth investigating, not worthwhile to attempt to understand the real cause, because the real cause is not approved by the medical bureaucracy”.
Remission: When a cure cannot be proven, the medical bureaucracy calls it remission. What’s the difference between remission and cure? A cure is present when the cause has been addressed – unless you are a medical bureaucrat.
Anyone can claim remission when signs and symptoms abate. No one cares if you call it remission – even if it’s a cure, no harm done. Cures (except for infectious diseases) are impossible to diagnose, so every cure of a non-infectious disease is called a remission by the medical bureaucracy. Whether it seems the remission was brought about by a bureaucratic medical treatment, an alternative treatment, or even a placebo, it makes no difference. If the medical bureaucracy does not know what caused the remission, it becomes a “spontaneous remission“. Of course, every illness, every disease, every improvement, and every cure has a cause. When we study and find the cause, spontaneous remissions do not exist. The term spontaneous remission is like placebo effect, translation: “nothing to see here“.
Cures Defy the Bureaucracy
The bureaucracy runs on statistics. Every medicine approved by the bureaucracy is approved based on the statistical results of a clinical study.
But every cure is a single case, not a group of statistics. Every cure is an anecdote. Cures defy the bureaucracy. Cures terrify the bureaucracy.
How might we find our way out of the current bureaucratic medical paradigm? I believe the only way is to study cures, curing, and cured.
The medical bureaucracies have made cures disappear. Many cures are lost. We used to be able to cure depression. But today, depression is incurable. We used to know how to cure scurvy, but the top three medical reference texts: Merck, Lange’s, and Harrison’s, recommend treatments for scurvy – avoiding the word cure. Every one adult has had a cold, and cured it, but the medical bureaucracy advises “there is no cure for the common cold“. Warts used to be cured, or not, but today – cured is not defined for warts. Can cancer be cured? The Radical Remission Project tracks patients who have cured their cancers, but they are ignored by the medical bureaucracy. If cancers are cured, when cancers are cured, the cures are lost.
According to the medical bureaucracy, a cure must be perfect, as pure as the driven snow, absolutely permanent, zipless. Of course, no cure is perfect. Pretending, or believing that to be a cure it must be perfect, is a refusal to notice any cure, a refusal to study cures, resulting in a failure to cure. The Medical Bureaucracy in action.
About the Author
Tracy Kolenchuk is the founder of Healthicine.org. Author of two books about healthicine; Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness Healthicine: Introduction to Healthicine.