Science, Energy, and Medicine
Earlier in this chapter, I write
that many hard-core medical "scientists" will scoff
at the case histories I include here to illustrate
the potential benefits of effective self-regulation.
I know all nondrug and nonscalpel therapies are
deemed unscientific and dismissed as quackery by my
colleagues in mainstream medicine.
What is science in medicine?
First and foremost, it is simple observation. An
observed phenomenon in medicine must not be
dismissed just because it does not fit into
preconceived notions of science in medicine. I
devote a the companion volume RDA: Rats, Drugs and
Assumptions to this essential subject. Here, I cite
three instances of how "scientific" medicine has
operated in the past. It should make us wonder how
physicians of the future might regard what we
consider science today.
Medical "Science" of Genital
In 1861, Isaac Baker Brown, an
eminent London surgeon, recommended amputation of
the clitoris for treatment of headache, PMS symptoms
and mental illness in girls and young women. He
claimed excellent clinical results from this
operation. He was a prominent and influential member
of the Obstetrical Society. After many years of
enjoying great fame and fortune for his surgical
prowess, Brown finally fell in disgrace.
Interestingly, Brown didn't get into any trouble
because he mutilated the genitals of too many girls
and young women but because he angered someone at
the Commissioners of Lunacy by unlawfully detaining
a young woman with the intent of amputating her
clitoris. Public furor forced the London Obstetrical
Society to investigate Brown in March 1867 and
consider his expulsion. A problem arose: The members
of the Society couldn't punish Brown for performing
clitoridectomy because they were themselves "clitoridectomists."
Finally, on April 3, 1867, the Society voted to
expel him—not for performing the operation but for
failing to obtain the consent of patient's family
(Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the British
Empire 67: 1017-1034; 1867).
It is hard to read accounts of
barbaric rituals of genital mutilation among some
ancient tribal cultures. Anthropologist Jomo
Kenayatta, who later served as the first president
of independent Kenya, defended ritual clitoridectomy
in tribal Kenya in a book published in the late
1930s, but seemed very uncomfortable doing so. How
does one comprehend medical "science" blaming the
clitoris for headache, PMS symptoms and mental
illness in nineteenth century? How does one
understand the barbaric acts of English surgeons who
committed heinous crimes of mutilation in the name
of medical science?
"Science" of Destroying the Immune System with
On August 29, 1994, I saw a
C-Scan TV program in which James Garrity, a
submariner who received radium treatments at age 18,
described his case history in testimony delivered
before the Senate Sub-Committee for Environment
chaired by Senator Joseph Lieberman. Garrity's
throat was radiated to keep his ears from bleeding
during the "tank test"—an exercise in which
submarine trainees are required to practice escape
techniques in simulated deep water conditions.
Garrity developed episodes of voice loss, nasal
discomfort, peculiar tooth fractures, and finally
came down with cancer of the nasopharynx.
Garrity was radiated by
Connecticut M.D. Harry Haines who was a forceful
proponent of solving the ear problems of submarine
crews with radiation treatment. Emboldened by his
experience with submariners, he began to radiate
throats, ears and necks of little children to treat
common viral and bacterial infections. Doctors at
Johns Hopkins in Baltimore were impressed by the
results reported by Haines and began to radiate
their pediatric as well as adult patients with
similar problems. They also excelled in using
radiation for acne and enlarged thymus glands of
children and young people. Most of these children
grew up with severely damaged immune systems, and
many developed cancers of the thyroid gland and
other tissues in the head and neck region.
Treating tonsillitis, acne and
thymus enlargement with radiation was considered
good science in medicine. Whenever I see a patient
with a severely damaged immune system resulting from
radiation, I wonder how any intelligent physicians
could be that simple-minded. How could Dr. Haines
and others at Johns Hopkins not have recognized the
widely known dangers of radiation?
One internist at our hospital
received radiation treatment for acne of the face
and upper torso during childhood. During the 1970s,
I diagnosed many cancers in his skin biopsies. He
grew crops of basal cell cancers in radiated areas
of the skin. He was lucky because his dermatologist
watched him closely and removed his skin cancers in
early stages. I know of many patients who were not
I have seen patients with severe
immune problems whose enlarged thymus glands were
radiated during childhood—many years after the
widely publicized reports of cancers in children
caused by radioactive exposure in Hiroshima and
Nagasaki. The irony is that an enlarged thymus gland
in children is an innocent condition that causes no
problems, and, in most cases, is incidentally
diagnosed with X-rays taken for unrelated reasons.
"Science" of Destroying Immune System with Killer
I have cared for many young men
who were infected with the HIV virus in the early
1980s—long before their partners died of AIDS in the
mid-1980s. They are living full, productive lives.
Some of them developed lesions of Kaposi sarcoma (a
form of malignant tumor of blood vessels),
Pneumocystis carini and other lung infections and
oral ulcers. One of them had malgnant melanoma
removed on two occasions. The remarkable thing about
this group of patients is that none of them took
AZT, DDI, DDC or similar toxic antiviral drugs. All
of them followed broad holistic programs with a
focus on nutritional support, herbal and other
natural antiviral therapies, meditation and
spiritual work. I do not know any patient who became
infected during the early 1980s, took bone
marrow-killing toxic drugs for more than a few
years, was not supported with natural
immune-enhancing therapies and who is still
symptom-free fifteen years later. I have asked for
such examples on radio shows on many occasions. To
date, no one has called me and told me of a
long-term HIV survivor who accepted toxic drug
Many studies show that drug
therapies do not prolong survival in patients with
AIDS. The survival in HIV-positive persons, with or
without clinical evidence of AIDS, is vastly
improved with natural, nondrug, restorative
therapies that support an individual's antioxidant,
enzyme and immune defenses.
In a cohort study of 5,833
individuals with AIDS in New York City, survival in
HIV-positive gay men was compared with that of
HIV-positive black and Hispanic women (N Eng J Med
317:1297; 1987). After one year, the cumulative
probability of survival among men with AIDS was over
80 percent while that for women was about 30
percent. After two years, the figure for men was
over 50 percent while that for women was about 10
percent. What are the possible reasons for such a
wide difference between mortality among men and
women? The most likely explanation of this
difference is that gay men quickly learned some
aspects of the biology of HIV infection, made many
needed lifestyle changes and had the resources to
seek and obtain effective natural nondrug therapies.
Black and Hispanic women in New York City were not
that lucky. Also, it seems likely that
administration of highly toxic drugs for HIV
infection without any efforts to buttress the
damaged immune system with nutritional therapies
hastened the death of many women.
"All My Friends Died with Azt, I
Wondered If I Could Live Without It"
David L., an Italian in his
mid-thirties, thinks he was exposed to the HIV virus
in 1980 or 1981. Some of his friends developed AIDS
and were treated intensively with AZT and other
drugs. One by one, they died of AIDS in the early
and mid-1980s. His physicians in Italy advised him
to have HIV tests done, and to take drugs if the
test showed HIV infection. Initially he declined the
antibody test. When finally he had the test done in
1985, it confirmed what he already knew. Despite
persistent pleading by his physicians, David
declined AZT and other drugs.
In the summer of 1995, he flew to
New York to consult me. I was very curious why he
had stubbornly declined drug treatment.
"David, why did you refuse
treatment?" I asked.
"I didn't refuse treatment," he
replied in a thick accent.
"But didn't you just now tell me
that you repeatedly refused to take AZT, DDI and
"Yes, I did," he smiled. "I only
refused AZT, DDI and other drugs. I didn't say no to
"What other therapies?"
"Natural and herbal therapies."
"Who was treating you?" I asked,
my curiosity piqued.
"I found some good herbalists and
naturopaths." He flashed another smile.
"Oh," I said, trying not to sound
surprised as I studied David's face for some
moments, wondering what I was going to make of it.
"You are in your mid-thirties now," I began,
recovering. "You were in your mid-twenties then.
Help me understand how a young man says no to drug
treatment for a disease that is considered fatal by
"It wasn't a difficult decision."
David became somber.
"Not difficult?" I asked,
incredulous. "What decision can be more important
than a life-death decision like that?"
"It wasn't difficult, at least
not then," David laughed lightly.
"So?" I pressed.
"There wasn't that much to think
about, Dr. Ali," he replied. "All my friends died
with AZT. I was prepared to die too. It occurred to
me that if I was going to die, I might as well die
without AZT. Then I wondered if I could live without
"Prepared to die," I murmured to
myself, then repeated after him. "Die without AZT."
How does a young man learn to talk about death
like that? How does he cope with the fear of death?
How does he plan for his own imminent death with
such serenity? What does he say to his family? Or
friends? Or himself? I looked into David's soft blue
eyes, looking for answers to my questions. He held
my gaze, probably wondering what thoughts populated