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By Dr. Valinda GueyeNatural Health is an eclectic self-care system of natural therapies that build and restore health and wellness. Natural health does this by working with the natural recuperative powers of the human body and mind. Definitions of natural health remind the practitioner and the health care recipient of their own part in maintaining health and empower the individual to seek out ways in which their lifestyle can impact their health. Conventional Medicine, however, gives the sufferer the false impression of its omnipotence and its ability to cure the patient without the patient being the responsible center of the healing process. Conventional Western Medicine has long been in conflict with the ideals of total wellness and disease recovery as it repeatedly separates the disease from the patient and uses science to attempt to explain the disease process and recovery contrary to the natural laws of healing. The adverse reactions to drugs and surgery are increasing at an exponential rate causing untold suffering and death. However, Medicine is manipulated by the economy, big business, and politics, even though many believe it is not, and the media lead consumers to believe that the greatness of scientific discovery in medicine is the brainchild of our country, even with its obvious faults.Herbal medicine has been the mainstay of the practice of medicine since its very inception. Intervention of illness practically began with the use of herbal remedies and there are examples of herbal remedies as far back as there are written records. Something is wrong when regulatory agencies pretend that herbs are too risky to consume, yet ignore published statistics showing that properly prescribed pharmaceuticals and government-sanctioned medicine are the real hazard. The truth is that 40 have died in a year due to the consumption of herbs, mainly abusing the Chinese Diet Herb Ephedra which can be used wisely and properly; in fact, various species have been used medicinally for thousands of years. However, 106,000 have died in the same year due to Adverse Prescription Drug Reactions. This type of cover up of the dangers of doctor prescribed pharmaceuticals confirms that political legerdemain has been performed by the medical regulatory agency utilizing cryptic agendas that are abstruse in nature; often times this agency is in collusion with the medical association. A definitive review and close reading of medical peer-review journals, and government health statistics shows that American Medicine frequently causes more harm than good according to a group of researchers that have analyzed and combined all the published literature dealing with injuries and death caused by government -protected medicine. Carolyn Dean M.D., N.D., Martin Feldman M.D., Debora Rasio M.D., Dorothy Smith Ph.D., Gary Null Ph.D., has meticulously reviewed the statistical evidence in 2003 and their findings are absolutely appalling. These researchers have authored an abstract titled "Death by Medicine" that presents compelling evidence that Conventional Medicine frequently causes more harm than good. What you are about to read is a stunning compilation of facts that documents that those who seek to abolish consumer access to natural therapies are misleading the public. Over 700,000 Americans die each year at the hands of government-sanctioned medicine, while the FDA and other government agencies pretend to protect the public by harassing those who offer safe alternatives. This completely referenced report shows the number of people having in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs to be 2.2 million per year. The number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections is 20 million per year. The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million per year. The number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million per year.The most dramatic statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by Conventional Medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. By contrast, the number of deaths attributable to heart disease in 2001 was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251. As shown in the following table, the estimated total number of iatrogenic deaths-that is, deaths induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures- in the U.S. annually is 783,936. It is evident that the American medical system is itself the leading cause of death and injury in the U.S. By comparison, approximately 699,697 Americans died of heart in 2001, while 553,251 died of cancer.(5)Table 1: Estimated Annual Mortality and Economic Cost of Medical InterventionCondition Deaths Cost AuthorAdverse Drug Reactions 106,000 $12 billion Lazarou(1), Suh (49)Medical error 98,000 $2 billion IOM(6)Bedsores 115,000 $55 billion Xakellis(7), Barczak (8)Infection 88,000 $5 billion Weinstein(9), MMWR (10)Malnutrition 108,800 ----------- Nurses Coalition(11)Outpatients 199,000 $77 billion Starfield(12), Weingart(112)Unnecessary Procedures 37,136 $122 billion HCUP(3,13)Surgery-Related 32,000 $9 billion AHRQ(85)Total 783,936 $282 billion Using Leape's 1997 medical and drug error rate of 3 million, (14) multiplied by the 14% fatality rate he used in 1994,(16) produces an annual death rate of 420,000 for drug errors, and medical errors combined. Using this number instead of Lazorou's 106,000 drug errors, and the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) estimated 98,000 annual medical errors, would add another 216,000 deaths, for a total of 999,936 deaths annually.Table 2: Estimated Annual Mortality and Economic Cost of Medical InterventionCondition Deaths Cost AuthorADR/med error 420,000 $200 billion Leape(14)Bedsores 115,000 $55 billion Xakellis(7), Barczak (8)Infection 88,000 $5 billion Weinstein(9), MMWR (10)Malnutrition 108,800 ----------- Nurses Coalition(11)Outpatients 199,000 $77 billion Starfield(12), Weingart(112)Unnecessary Procedures 37,136 $122 billion HCUP(3,13)Surgery-Related 32,000 $9 billion AHRQ(85)Total 999,936 The enumerating of unnecessary medical events is very important in our analysis. Any invasive, unnecessary medical procedure, must be considered as part of the larger iatrogenic picture. Unfortunately, cause and effect go unmonitored. The figures on unnecessary events represent people who are thrust into a dangerous health care system. Each of these 16.4 million lives is being affected in ways that could have fatal consequences. Simply entering a hospital could result in the following:• In 16.4 million people, a 2.1% chance (affecting 186,000) of a serious adverse drug reaction(1) • In 16.4 million people, a 5-6% chance (affecting 489,500) of acquiring a nosocomial infection(9) • In 16.4 million people, a 4-36% chance (affecting 1.78 million) of having an iatrogenic injury (medical error and adverse drug reactions).(16) • In 16.4 million people, a 17% chance (affecting 1.3 million) of a procedure error.(40) These statistics represent a one-year time span. Working with the most conservative figures from our statistics, we project the following 10-year death rates.Table 3: Estimated 10-Year Death Rates from Medical InterventionCondition 10-Year Deaths AuthorAdverse Drug Reaction 1.06 million (1)Medical error 0.98 million (6) Bedsores 1.15 million (7,8)Nosocomial Infection 0.88 million (9,10)Malnutrition 1.09 million (11) Outpatients 1.99 million (12, 112)Unnecessary Procedures 371,360 (3,13)Surgery-related 320,000 (85)Total 7,841,360 Our estimated 10-year total of 7.8 million iatrogenic deaths is more than all the casualties from all the wars fought by the US throughout its entire history. Our projected figures for unnecessary medical events occurring over a 10-year period also are dramatic.Table 4: Estimated 10-Year Unnecessary Medical EventsUnnecessary Events 10-year Number Iatrogenic EventsHospitalization 89 million(4) 17 million Procedures 75 million(3) 15 million Total 164 million These figures show that an estimated 164 million people-more than half of the total U.S. population-receive unneeded medical treatment over the course of a decade.We placed the entire abstract on our website at www.gueye.com to memorialize the failure of the American medical system. By exposing these gruesome statistics in painstaking detail, we provide a basis for competent and compassionate medical professionals to recognize the inadequacies of today's system and at least attempt to institute meaningful reforms. In seeking options outside the allopathic medical world, people are finding the solutions to life problems they didn't even know existed. They are rebalancing their lives and their spirits, clearly the most important element of health. Naturopathic ideology focuses on naturally-occurring and minimally-invasive methods, trusting the healing power of nature. Such treatments as synthetic drugs, radiation, and major surgery are avoided, and the rejection of biomedicine and modern science in favor of an intuitive and vitalistic conception of the body and nature is common. Prevention through stress reduction and a healthy diet and lifestyle is emphasized. The philosophy of naturopathic practice is self-described by six core values: First, do no harm; provide the most effective health care available with the least risk to patients at all times (primum non nocere).1. Recognize, respect and promote the self-healing power of nature inherent in each individual human being. (Vis medicatrix naturae, a form of vitalism). 2. Identify and remove the causes of illness, rather than eliminate or suppress symptoms (Tolle Causum).3. Educate, inspire rational hope and encourage self-responsibility for health (Doctor as Teacher).4. Treat each person by considering all individual health factors and influences. (Treat the Whole Person).5. Emphasize the condition of health to promote well-being and to prevent diseases for the individual, each community and our world. (Health Promotion, the Best Prevention)The patient, however, must understand that time is essential to regenerative health and that if the need to visit an allopathic physician is necessary, caution and vigilant awareness must be adhered to, to protect oneself from the trial and error mentality of the common physician. Arm yourself with the proper information by research.