Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Medical Bigots

According to Webster's, a bigot is "a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc." What is a medical bigot?  A medical bigot strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc in various fields of medicine.  A medical bigot sees things in black and white, devoid of color, or complexity. A medical bigot wants simple answers, the simpler the better.

"A strong or unfair dislike for other people, ideas, etc." perfectly describes the bigot. A bigot has a strong dislike for strange persons, unfamiliar ideas, difficult questions, challenges, controversy, etc., preferring the safety of their current knowledge, and position. Medical bigots don't make good scientists, because scientists are always ready, willing and able - eager even, to challenge their current knowledge.

When you see, read, or hear someone expressing a "strong dislike for...", that's their bigot side coming out.

Here's a commonplace example: "WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO TAKE DOWN CHARLATANS". The author takes NO POSITIVE position on anything, simply spewing negative thoughts, fear and loathing, stopping just short of suggesting lynchings. He opens his post with "F**K YOU", and closes it with "so there" He gives us a list of 'charlatans', which he also refers to as 'those f**kers', to 'take down'. He also provides a list of 'the good guys'. If he had used the words 'those f**kers' to describe Negros, while providing a list of 'good white guys', we could easily recognize it as prejudice, as bigotry, as nonsense. If he had used the words 'those f**kers' for 'homosexuals', and a list of 'straight white guys', it would be a clear example of homophobia. But because he is bashing people's choices in medicine and health, it is not seen as bigotry. The unfortunate thing is the amount of support he has got, and the number of people who have shared his post - without noticing his bigotry, arrogance, and frankly, his stupidity.

People are not divided into 'good people' (eg. our white friends, those we agree with) and the 'bad people' (black people, people we don't agree with, our enemies).  Every person is valuable.  Every person's ideas are valuable. Every person is capable of having good ideas, of doing good, and of having faulty ideas, and of doing bad things. Blaming the person, or their profession, ignores the facts, allows the accuser to judge, without evidence, without jury, without opportunity for defense. That is simply bigotry. The author is not a scientist, not a doctor. To be honest, neither am I, but I am not a simple minded bigot, lashing out at the 'dangerous people who dare to choose alternatives' to his beliefs.

Ideas are also not divided into 'good ideas', those of our friends, and 'bad ideas' - those from people we don't like.  To suggest that all 'alternatives' are bad is simply fear driven bigotry.

There are lots of different medical bigots. With lots of overlap and common ground between the groups - like attracts like, after all.  Let's survey the field.  I'm sure I'll forget some, maybe you can help me out in the comments?

Let's begin with the latest fashion: Gluten Bigots - take pride in bashing people who are, or who believe they are 'gluten intolerant', or to have celiac disease or tendencies. The gluten bigots spin tales of "these idiots" who "do not understand simple truths". They clearly dislike people who want to choose food that does not contain gluten. They put forth 'science' that says only a small group of people are gluten intolerant, thus claiming the offenders must be liars. I think some of the anti-gluten free posters were simply jokers, comedians, trying to have a laugh.  Maybe this one "If Someone Ever Tells You They Have A Gluten Allergy, Show Them This". The problems arise when people don't get the joke, and pile on as if it was a science, creating a new field of bigotry out of a small irritation (to them).

Do bigots believe in freedom?  No. They do not believe in freedom. They don't believe we should be free choose what we eat. In their "strong and unfair dislikes other people, ideas, etc.", even of people they have never met, ideas they do not understand, the bigots jump to insult, jump to make fun of other people, their beliefs, and their choices.

This is a blog about health, and about health freedom.  The Gluten Bigots, like many medical bigots, do not believe in freedom, they believe in 'their truths, their whole truth, and nothing but their truths'. They believe that 'truth' lies in their ideas, and that other opinions and other facts are lies, and those who espouse them are liars.

Once we see the pattern, "a person who strongly ... dislikes", it's not hard to find other examples.

There are lots of people who do not 'believe' in natural, or alternative medicines. All people should be free to choose their beliefs, and free to change them.  But some people take it to the extreme, expressing outright disdain, even hatred, for people who choose to believe in natural and alternative medicines. These are the Natural Medicine Bigots "who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc.". Pretending, even believing, that only medicines that are accepted and used by conventional doctors are valid cures. This is simplistic nonsense.  It is also a 'pretend world' where medical doctors are not allowed to disagree with each other, as if the science of medicine was closed and compete. Science, including the science of medicine, is not about truths, not about 'good vs bad' medicine. It is about searching for better medicines, simpler medicines, about challenging all of our current ideas.

The simple truth, is much more complicated.  Most conventional medicines, Most patented drugs, do not cure any disease, and are not designed to cure disease.  They are designed to treat symptoms of disease. This is easily seen by reading the packet information. And there are many, many, well known diseases that cannot be cured by medicines, and are only cured by 'natural treatments'. The stronger the opinions of the Medical Bigots, the farther they stray from reality.

The Vax-Bigots trust the vax, not the facts. I believe everyone has the right to make their own choices about vaccines - and in the past year I have chosen to be vaccinated in two cases, and refused to be vaccinated in one other case. My decisions were based on my own personal beliefs, and my understanding of the vaccines offered. The truths about vaccines are very, very, very complicated. Science clearly stands on both sides of almost every vaccine question. But the Vax-Bigots have no shortage of "strong dislike for...people, ideas", etc. You can recognize them not by their knowledge and opinions, which are mostly irrational and unscientific, but by their openly expressed fear and hatred of people who believe differently.

The Homeopathy Bigots take ridiculousness to the extreme.  Homeopaths should not be allowed to practice, homeopathic medicines should not be sold. Medical bigots do not believe in your freedom to choose. This despite clear evidence that homeopathic treatments have never killed anyone, while conventional medicines kill thousands of people every year. Sometimes I think the medical bigots need someone to strike against 'everyone else' because the medicines and treatments of conventional medicine are so dangerous we need a bigger  boogeyman to deflect our attention.

Then there's the GMO bigots. They would like to cover the planet in GMO foods to feed the starving. But they don't want the starving, or anyone else, to feed themselves with non-GMO foods. The strong GMO bigots do not believe in choice, and they express it openly by fighting labeling.

Are GMOs dangerous?  It's worse than that. Most GMOs are not just foreign foods, they are designed to take heavy doses of pesticides and herbicides, or to create their own pesticides. They are often toxic by design. The GMO Bigots will cite numerous studies that these foods 'do not harm people', conveniently forgetting that 'negative' studies only prove what we don't now, not what we know. GMO Bigots, like other medical bigots, don't want free choice, and actively work to ensure that your freedoms are limited to their choices.

These Medical Bigots, like racial bigots, like everything to be 'black and white'.  There are no shades of grey, no colors, no brown, nor red, nor yellow.  Black and white is simple.  Either you are on their side, or opposed.  That's the extent of their opinions.  Medical bigots also like to gang up. They like to pile onto the opposition, because when there are lots of friendly voices - it's easier to ignore facts that might distract from their cause.

There are lots of other opinions along the health and medical continuum.  There are four important types of medicines, or healthicines:
 - emergency treatments - modern medicine excels in this area.
 - symtpomicines - most medicines, natural or conventional, are in this category, treating symptoms, but curing nothing at all.
 - cures - there are very few conventional medicines that can cure a disease. Because most diseases that can be cured are caused by common dietary deficiencies or excesses, most actual cures are to be found in foods, or dietary changes, eg. natural medicines.
 - preventatives - there are very few preventatives in conventional medicines as well, the majority of those are vaccinations.  There are a few medical preventatives that are targeted at symptoms, not at disease - like statins and bio-phosphates.  The most effective preventative medicines are healthicines. Health is the best preventative.

Believing, or pretending that only conventional medicines 'work' and that alternatives, or natural medicines do not work is simplicity to the point of ignorance.  Taking those simplistic ideas, and using them to hate people, is bigotry: "A strong or unfair dislike for other people, ideas, etc." .

Health comes from freedom.  Freedom to choose, freedom to consume what we choose.  Freedom to medicate, and freedom to avoid medications.  When we lose freedoms, we lose health. When we hate, we all lose. We all lose health.

Life is complicated.  Health is complicated.  Food is complicated. Medicine is complicated. There are no easy answers - we each need to decide for ourselves, and to be free to decide for ourselves.

The purpose of a true democratic government is to create and enhance the freedoms of individuals, and of groups, not to restrict them. Laws should be created, specifically designed to create and enhance freedoms.

Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of healthiness.

to your health, tracy

Tracy is the author of two books about healthicine: