Why do Doctors Use Treatments That Don't Work? As Voltaire said, "The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient
while nature cures the disease." Or, in modern parlance: most drugs work in only 30 percent or 50 percent of people. Because
patients so often get better or worse on their own, no matter what we do, clinical experience is a poor judge of what does
and does not work. Clinicians want to relieve suffering. They find it difficult to do nothing (the aphorism "Don't just do
something, stand there!" seems ludicrous).
Reasons for using ineffective or harmful treatments:
Over-reliance on a surrogate
Natural history of the illness
Ritual and mystique
A need to do something
No one asks the question
Patients' expectations (real
The editorial poses the following question and dilemma:
"What hope is there for not using treatments and tests that don't work?
Medicine is not just a science--it is a human activity. It entails ritual, custom and the expectations of doctors, patients,
and society. To safeguard against ineffective or harmful health care we need doctors who want to do the best they can for
their patients, who are willing to continually question their own managements, and who have readily available sources of information
about what does work."
Let us hope that the traditional medical community is waking up to the truth
expressed in the above paragraph. My fear is that the brainwashing of the drug-based paradigm is still far more powerful than
the common sense approach of natural medicine that addresses the cause of disease.
COMMENT: Doctors cannot assume all the blame although some of them are no doubt hooked on the money and prestige.
But, they have allowed their almost devine profession to slip into something resembling a gold-plated drug pusher. They have
been, in many cases, relegated to being "my doctor" who is the go-between you and the big pharma companies. Ofcourse, there
are all those very expensive devices and such for testing and diagnosing etc..Now, even if they want to fight, they are pilloried
all around by the drug companies, the advertizing media, the big diagnostic outfits, the hospitals, the insurance companies,
the vested interests in congress, bla, bla, bla. Get a backbone doc. Or become a real healer and stop being just
an M.D. (minor diety).