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Thought Reform In Health CareCirca 2011

Majid Ali, M.D.

In my book The Cortical Monkey and Healing (1991), I began a series of essays about sorely needed thought reforms in medicine, not insurance reforms. My core points concerned the essential need for people to take responsibility of their health through learning, understanding, and knowing. I presented a case for a sharp focus on the cause of disease in the trio of toxicities of foods, environment, and thoughts. I sent a copy to twice Nobelist Linus Pauling. In return he graciously sent me a copy of one of his books. In strong hand-written words on the cover, he approved my model of "molecular medicine" which, in reality, he had proposed decades earlier.

In my book, RDA: Rats, Drugs, and Assumptions (1994), I included a letter to the U.S. Congress that began with the following words:

"Two elements characterize medicine in the U.S. today: The cost of health care continues to escalate, and the health of Americans continues to deteriorate. If the two trends were to hold, a time can be foreseen when the nation's total resources will have to be committed to health care, and everyone will be unwell."

In 2008, in an article entitled "A National Health Corps" published in Townsend Letter, the preeminent journal of integrative medicine, I referred to my letter to the U.S. Congress with the following words: "The U.S. clearly continues on the disturbing trajectory which I foresaw fifteen years ago. The country spent $2.4 trillion in 2008 on health care and Americans continued to get sicker." The incidence rates of most inflammatory and degenerative disorders in the U.S. steadily rose.

In 2008, I opened my WBAI radio New York series of essays on universal health coverage in the U.S. with the Nobelist Paul Krugman as my guest. He and other guests in the series from academia, labor, nurses, and physicians supported both the need for universal coverage, as well as my plea for thought reforms in health.

In 2009 The New York Times predicted health care costs of $4.4 trillion in 2018. The government agencies put that number in 2019 at $4.8 trillion.

In that light, now in 2011, consider the following words from The New York Times of September 28, 2011:

"A study released on Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a research group, showed that the average annual premium for family coverage through an employer reached $15,073 in 2011—9 percent higher than in the previous year."

Here is another paragraph from the Times article: "Since last year, the Insurance Department has posted more than 4,000 policyholder objections online. In one typical letter, a small businessman, citing six years of annual increases of more than 15 percent, raged, "There are no words to express how utterly greedy and unconscionable another double-digit increase in health care costs are to the world of small companies and those employed by them."

Wolves As Sheepdogs

The most distressing aspect of public health education in the U.S. is the matter of wolves masquerading as sheepdogs. Below is a chilling example of this in the words of Michael F. Jacobson, Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest published in The New York Times of September 29, 2011:

"Two-liter bottles of soft drinks are frequently available for less than a dollar and provide 1,200 calories. To get that many calories from either of his two homemade meals would cost at least four times as much.

"That’s tremendously (and understandably) tempting to a hungry person, and a good reason soft drinks should be taxed, with at least some of the revenues used to reduce the costs of fresh produce to people on food stamps."

Do hungry poor people drink two liters of soda to get their calories? The writer evidently neither knows much about hunger and poverty, nor about human metabolism. He is not a clinical nutritionist nor a scientist with any idea of how sugar is metabolized in the body when contained in soda. The very notion of linking caloric requirement with soda is absurd. No amount of taxes on soda, as desirable as they would be, can address the matter of sound scientific information in consideration of human nutrition. How many Times readers would find it as offensive as I and two staff members at our center did?

Thought Reforms, not Insurance Reforms

During the angry, sometimes rabid, "health care" debate preceding the passage of "Obamacare," the real problem was completely missed by proponents of the bill, as well as its opponents: what the country sorely needed was thought reform not insurance reform. Neither smaller increases in insurance rates nor larger ones address the real problems: mindless testing and "proceduring" by doctors replaces thoughtful considerations of relevant toxicities of foods, environments, and thoughts. In the spring of 2011, I addressed this crucial matter in an article entitled "Thought Reforms in Medicine and Health Care." Below is text from that article (go to www.wiki-medical.org for the full article:

"We Americans are most strident proponents of freedom in general, and of the freedom of speech in particular. And yet—it seems to me—there is sparse enthusiasm for the freedom of thought. In the matters of nutrition and environment, seldom do we sufficiently challenge the presumed intellectual or moral superiority of those who insist that there is no science behind nutritional and environmental therapies to preserve health or reverse chronic disease. They profess to be champions of freedom of speech but are opposed to freedom of thought in matters of personal health. Flat-earthers not only survive but thrive.

"Two other issues are of transcendent importance in the study of human nutrition: (1) the spiritual serenity that is essential for long-term good health; and (2) chronic anger and sadness that fan the fires of acidity and free radical activity in the body. The so-called mind-body-spirit trio is an artifact of thinking. Preoccupation with that trio, in reality, is an expression of our inability to sense, feel, and know the wholeness of the human condition. I have never seen anyone dissect a human and delineate where the body ends and the mind begins or where the mind ends and the spiritual begins."

The case for thought reforms in medicine is more compelling in the fall of 2011 than it was in the spring of the year. I offer specific and detailed answers to the real problems in a large number of You Tube seminars (You Tube "Majid Ali, M.D." for complete directory of these seminars).

List of Related Philosophy Essays

* Absence of Freedom of Thought

* Thought Reform In Health CareCirca 2011

* Science, Health, and Healing

There Are No Controversies

Science and An Angry Colleague

The Aristotle Principle

The Darwin Principle

The Father of Unthinking Medicine

When Should a Doctor Not Listen to the Patient?

A Letter to President Obama

 

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