When speaking about health freedom it is essential that we look at the conventional medicine infrastructure. When you visit your trusted conventional medical doctor(s), do you believe they have your best interest at heart? Do you believe that they will bring to your attention any treatment that will bring you relief or improve your condition? Do you believe that your health insurance will cover the cost, to some degree, of any therapy that will provide relief? Are you sure?
When you ask a doctor why they don’t support alternative medicine (ranging from Chinese, herbal, nutrition, supplements, and including chiropractic care) there are many possible answers you might hear, including:
I don’t know. Doctors today are unfamiliar with many if not most non-conventional healing modalities. For example, as reported by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Medicine, “Despite the connection between poor diet and many preventable diseases, only about one-fifth of American medical schools require students to take a nutrition course, according to David Eisenberg, adjunct associate professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.”
There is limited research. As explained by the Davidson Institute of Scientific Research, “Chinese medicine is based on a tradition over 3,000 years old, using concepts and unconventional therapy techniques that are totally foreign to the scientific world – from inserting needles at strategic points on the body to using medications that have not passed proper controlled processes.”
Responsibility, Rules, and Regulations. If a physician prescribes a conventional medical procedure or pharmaceutical to a patient, and the patient is harmed, the physician is not held responsible. In order to maintain lack of responsibility, some insurance companies and medical institutions such as hospitals do not allow physicians to prescribe or even discuss non-conventional therapies or treatments of any kind with their patients.
This last bullet point—Responsibility, Rules, and Regulations— should, however, also contain the word Profit. One of the biggest reasons that physicians do not point their patients in the direction of non-conventional treatment is because that often means pointing them away from patented and profitable pharmaceuticals.
According to U.S. News & World Report:
Pharmaceutical marketing goes well beyond the half dozen commercials you might see during the nightly news. Ian Larkin, associate professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, has researched how pharmaceutical companies influence doctors’ prescribing habits, and says that much of the marketing budget for many of these companies is directed towards direct contact with doctors. “Pharmaceutical companies are spending something like double the amount that they spend on research and development [of new drugs] on marketing to doctors.” He says this is completely separate from the advertisements that we see on TV. That kind of marketing to consumers accounts for “only about 20 percent” of how much these companies spend on marketing their drugs, he says.
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, aka Obamacare, requires that any and all financial affiliations individual physicians have with pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers are made public. The CMS Open Payments database created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allows anyone to type in the name of any physician, teaching hospital, or company to find if payments have been made, how much, when, to whom, and by whom. Another site, Pro Publica’s Dollars for Docs, is also a wealth of general information.
For example, in 2018, a company called Genentech, Inc. that claims “We focus our research and development practice on discovering and developing new medicines for unmet medical needs,” made payments totaling $478 million dollars to 1,620 physicians and 37 teaching hospitals.
Many argue that accepting money from a pharmaceutical or medical device company does not mean that an individual physician or hospital will make decisions favoring those companies over the best interest of a patient. When your health and health freedom are at stake, we suggest you visit one of the websites mentioned here and find out for yourself. Your knowledge will make all the difference!
Your health freedom is a basic and simple right that has been embroiled in a tangled web of conversations and a money trail involving corporations, the health care infrastructure, and others.
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