The use of brute force rather than dialogue in Parliament Square today is a reflection of a long standing imbalance in healthcare and an arrogant political misunderstanding of what science is.
Before the pandemic modern medical healthcare was already in crisis. In the USA medical misadventure had become the third leading cause of death. Longevity gains had plateaued and started to decline. Our healthcare system was in hock to drug companies. How many of us have experienced a befuddled GP referring to his computer to locate the ‘right’ drug for us from a database we can’t see but is ‘approved’ by pharmaceutical companies? How many of us have then researched some dietary advice and perhaps some supplements and/or exercise and found that to be useful?
The pharmaceutical system
Within the allopathic paradigm of medicine, drugs are developed, researched, manufactured, and supplied by commercial pharmaceutical companies. Medical professionals are like the repair technicians, they prescribe the drugs and deal directly with the end user. The medical regulators (or in some cases insurers), like Medicare and Pharmac in NZ, negotiate payments and approval of drugs. Although all these parties appear to be separate, in practice they work together. There are revolving doors whereby employees of each sector can switch within the system. It works as a very addictive system.
When you are young you will mostly recover from illnesses through the natural operation of your immune system, yet the prescription of a palliative drug reinforces the idea that drugs guarantee health. However, it is often the case that a drug compromises your immune system and predisposes you to future illness, but you are not told that. If a drug fails to help, or its side effects cause other problems, you may be prescribed an additional drug. This is particularly evident among the elderly, who typically have multiple prescriptions and consequently multiple side effects. Pharmaceutical regimes have become so complex that research studies, such as those conducted by Professor Dee Mangin at Otago Medical School and others, conclude that almost all elderly become more healthy if they cease all non-essential medication. This in itself shows that the whole system is not working, nor is any party accepting responsibility.
- Source: GARFINKEL, D, MD; MANGIN, D. MBChB, Feasibility Study of a Systematic Approach for Discontinuation of Multiple Medications in Older Adults. Addressing Polypharmacy. Arch Intern Med/vol 170 (No. 18), OCT 11, 2010 pp 1649 – 1654
Medical professionals advising the government are not researchers, nor are they up to date with Covid science publishing.
Our medical professionals are a professional group of people who had training in the pharmaceutical paradigm of health. They are not research scientists. Yet when Jacinda Ardern says ‘she is following the science’, what she means in pratice is following the advice of a group of medical professionals who are themselves used to following advice sent to them by representatives of the pharmaceutical system.
From published data, it is clear people who have been taking care of their health through balanced diet and lifestyle choices are well placed to avoid most serious risks from Covid. In fact in addition to Dr Dee Mangin we have some good internationally-recognised researchers in New Zealand working and publishing in the field of nutrition like Julia Rucklidge. We have highly regarded alternative practitioners. Fifty percent of New Zealanders use natural health products. BUT it now appears our government is not only intent on ignoring natural and traditional approaches to maintaining health, but is also intent on punishing those who wish to continue doing so.
A message to our politicians
My previous experience over the years interacting with NZ governments has been one of open communication. As a scientist I have received written replies to queries I have sent to Muldoon through to John Key. Not so the present range of MPs and cabinet ministers, with very few exceptions they use computers to send you an automated reply that they are either very busy or it is not their problem; or you receive no reply at all. I am a scientist asking for a dialogue about scientific matters that are being used to form government health policy. I am referring to published papers. I do not see the government referring to up to date papers. I see childish public relations statements that repeat— We are following the science and please don’t find out anything for yourself. Do as you are told.
POLITICIANS PLEASE WAKE UP. Covid policy should be a matter of genuine science not a carte blanche offered to the pharmaceutical system to try out a hardly tested novel biotech product on our whole population. Please consider admitting that you are not a scientist and could do with a broad range of advice. Please understand that science in its true sense progresses through theory, measurement, debate, and publishing. Please be aware that there is history of science, medical ethics and safeguards before the pandemic related to health that is just as valid today. Please be aware that we have a tradition of listening to one another and thinking it through.
As we all saw yesterday, rejection of ideas without dialogue and careful consideration of all the facts is a one way street to the decline of democracy and social values which have stood the test of time.