Friday, August 11, 2006

The people and the media are finally waking up!!

Below are a few video's of the media waking up to what many have known, and spoken out against ever since September 11th, 2001...

For all the effort by the 'UNDERGROUND' to shed light on this subject, to all the people who have blogged this subject from day one, to all the people who have tirelessly shed light on these issues, to all the TRUTH MOVEMENT, our efforts are finally paying of, making a difference. But, is it to late? Time will tell. Now it is up to YOU, the individual, to make the finale difference!!!

For anyone who still needs more information, see Loose Change, or check out any one of Alex Jones' videos!!!

A false flag terror event will happen again, it is only a matter of time, and next time it will make 9/11 look like child's play, it is coming, soon!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The American administration is at war with the American people

Newt Gingrich Considers Political Opposition, American Citizens, to be an ''Insurgency''
A. Alexander, August 7th, 2006

Some have expressed concern over Newt Gingrich's use of the term "insurgency", while referring to Ned Lamont supporters in Connecticut. From a personal perspective, Gingrich was correct in obliquely referring to America's blogosphere and directly Lamont supporters, as being an "insurgency". Gingrich, of course, meant the term to be derogatory and a means of linking those that oppose Bush's war follies with terrorists. Still, Crazy Newt the serial divorcer was correct in more ways than he fully understands and, too, revealed the Neo-Conservative agenda in a clear and yet, unintended way.

That Gingrich would openly refer to those who oppose Bush-Republican Neo-Conservative madness as being an "insurgency" is, in a very real sense, the first public admission that the Bush regime and Republicans are at war with the American people. It is a blatant confession of the ultimate Neo-Conservative agenda, i.e. a deliberate and swift movement toward a very real Executive dictatorship wherein those who dissent or disagree are "the enemy" or members of an "insurgency". Gingrich's use of the term "insurgency" when referring to fellow Americans reveals in no uncertain terms the reality that the Neo-Cons recognize a movement forming that consists of the American people and that is designed to directly challenge their drive toward a nationalist imperialistic dictatorship.

Open and truly democratic governments don't view their political opponents as "enemies" whose opposition is looked upon as an "insurgency", and they certainly don't feel a need to be at war with the people they govern. For Gingrich, Bush, Republicans and the entire Neo-Conservative movement; however, the reality is that the American people are increasingly questioning their "right to rule" and are, therefore, considered enemies or, as Newt Gingrich more aptly said, an "insurgency".

The fact of the matter is that Newt Gingrich is right! There is no better way of defining and describing those American citizens who have formed and continue forming a direct and spirited opposition to the Neo-Conservatives' madness, as being anything other than an "insurgency". Bush and Republicans have busied themselves at the task of disregarding American laws; International laws; have committed war crimes; lied to the American people in order to engage in war with Iraq; unilaterally exempted themselves from the Constitution; committed treason by revealing an undercover CIA agent's name; undermined a free press; illegally spied upon American citizens; instituted a policy of merging church and state; stacked the courts with nefarious individuals that would knowingly and willingly support an Executive dictatorship; provided their crony pals with government appointments and large government contracts that have resulted in grotesque profits without services being provided; raped the nation's treasury; supported big oils' obscene profit taking at the expense of the American people; left New Orleans to rot and refused to help while more than 1,300 citizens perished, and through stygian deception refused to hold anyone to account.

Bush-Republican Neo-Conservatives have consolidated all the government's powers and have used that power as a tool to undermine America's democracy, to viciously assail any citizen who openly disagrees with their policies, and to cow their opposition. As such, the people have no effective systematic recourse or resources through which to oppose their government, other than through the formation of an internet "insurgency".

The Bush-Republican Neo-Conservative form of governance displays all the symptoms of tyranny and as such is deserving of being opposed in the most strenuous manner, including the formation of an internet-based political "insurgency". It is in fact the patriotic duty of every American citizen to directly confront and oppose the tyranny being imposed upon the United States of America by the Bush-Republican Neo-Conservative movement. Therefore, if Newt Gingrich wishes to expose once and for all, the fact that the Bush-Republican Neo-Conservative movement views the American people as their enemy and chooses to label the American people as being an "insurgency", he is correct in so doing!

What choice do the American people have, but to form an "insurgency" when the current government has consolidated its power in such a way that the people have no legal or Constitutional means through which to protect themselves and their civil liberties? If Gingrich chooses to label fellow Americans as "enemies" or being part of an "insurgency", I personally welcome his unintended honesty. If fighting for the American way of life, freedom, liberty, and the Constitution makes the blogosphere an "insurgency" the label should be worn with pride.

"YouTube"- The medium of the future?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Galloway on Israel and Lebanon 06/08/2006

Everybody gets it besides the Neo-cons... This video is proof positive that the news organizations are nothing more than propaganda, no matter where they are found throughout the world.... In this world we live in, we need more organizations like Hezbollah to stand up to the New World Order, and the puppets used to enforce this order, and I stick with this statement whole heartedly!!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

How much horror is it going to take?

Sometimes we think things out of ignorance, misinformation, etc. Israel has declared that 'everyone' in Lebanon is the enemy. So let us see what 'there' enemy looks like then. When is the world going to have enough of this. Iraq, Tibet, Afghanistan, Palestine, Africa, and Lebanon, have all suffered much for the last 50 years. If this type of thing happened here in America, how long would we put up with it? That is ok though, for these type things will come here one day, that is a certainty....

Dont turn away, LOOK, SEE, what is going on, it is real. These are 'innocent' people. Beirut 'used' to be a first world city, but now is just like Iraq. Who do you think made those bombs, yes, the USA, your government made them, and supports Israel, like most Americans do. After this is all said and done, and we continue to be complicit, well, I hope that when before god, most of you have a good excuse for your inactions....

When did the "Home of the Brave" turn to the home of the cowards. Everything that is going on in this country, and overseas is our own fault, we have let our government, and the governments of the world do all of this. We are always complaining about the government, but instead of all the talk, we need to act, we need to confront the government, set things straight.

Oh, I forgot, Americans worship the gods of money and arrogance, we are on our couches watching American Idol, and who wants to be a millionaire, and all the fucking soap operas. We live in the land of illusion, while the rest of the world lives in reality. All people the world over are both good and bad, it is the governments of the world who are wicked, yes wicked!!!
Are there more of us, or more of the people in government? What is it going to take? How long will it all go on? The time is NOW, to stand for goodness, for love, for common descentcy...
Many today think that these things dont concern them, I ask how that is TRULY so? How does it not concern them, arent you human as well, sure seems like many today have forgotten how to be Human, with all emotion being sucked out of them.. I hate the country the US has become, I hate this country, and the people here, cowards, cowards, cowards, that is all that remains here....

Buddhism Art Dance (Thien Thu Thien Nhan)

Why cant we all be One, one Earth, one people, one Race, but not as the New World Order wants us to be One, but as we should be?

This is the Chinese Disabled Performing Arts Troupe. The dancers are deaf. When the camera zooms out, you can see two women dressed in white at the sides of the stage who listen to the music and cue the dancers. Which really makes it so much more amazing and beautiful to watch!!

To all Women everywhere

A barbaric kind of beauty
By ANDREA THOMPSON, Daily Mail 00:36am 7th August 2006

Clutching her Hermes holiday bag under her arm, Susan Barrington, a 52-year-old housewife from Buckinghamshire, can't help smiling as she leaves the exclusive clinic in London's Wimpole Street.

She has been given the final go-ahead to travel abroad for a cutting edge nonsurgical treatment that promises to make her look ten years younger.

She doesn't care if the treatment is expensive, involves babies and is so controversial that it is not allowed to be performed in this country - among her well-heeled friends, this is the ultimate new elixir of youth.

The attractive brunette has opted for a controversial stem- cell therapy where umbilical cord tissue from new-born babies will be injected into her body.

It may seem distasteful, but thousands of women have already done it and it is organised by a seemingly respectable British clinic then carried out in Rotterdam, Holland, where rules regarding stemcell therapies are not so strict.

Stem-cell therapy has been big business for beauty doctors since medics discovered the strong healing and rejuvenating potential of stem cells for medical conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. But there has also been a furious ethical debate.

In America, President Bush has denounced stem- cell therapy even for medical purposes as 'godless', vetoing any public funding, though controversially Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of California, one of the few U.S. states to allow stem-cell research, has allocated 80 million dollars to it. Tony Blair met him only last week to support the move.

So what is it about stem cells that has set tongues wagging in the beauty world? They are the building blocks of every human body but are far more plentiful in embryos, which are still growing, human foetuses, or newborn babies, than in adults.

They are immature but powerful cells that, once extracted, can be stimulated in a laboratory to develop into any type of body cell or organ, including bone, muscle and body tissue.

When injected, these powerful cells target the organs that are not functioning at their optimum and encourage them to produce new tissue.

But scientists agree that further research is required to substantiate the claim that injecting stem cells can diminish wrinkles or reverse the signs of ageing.

In Britain, stem-cell research is governed by strict ethical considerations - it is limited to registered institutions using cells from embryos up to 14 days old or aborted foetuses donated to science.

But it has proved difficult to police clinics abroad and it is here that many people go for a range of stem-cell treatments, with a whole industry happy to cater for their needs.

Such unregulated companies have mushroomed across the globe offering 'aesthetic stem-cell therapies' at exorbitant prices to anyone willing to pay. They claim that stem cells have the ability to rejuvenate the body and renew the cells, not just to produce younger, smoother skin, but increased sex drive and energy.

'By definition, what such clinics are doing is highly experimental and risks damaging the reputation of legitimate stem-cell research we are doing to help cure illnesses,' says leading UK stem-cell researcher Colin Blakemore.

'Because so many clinics are based in tourist spots and refuse to be members of the only recognised board to regulate ethical stem-cell research - The International Stem Cell Forum - there is much room for unethical and morally dubious treatment by unqualified doctors. And if anything goes wrong afterwards, it is hushed up to prevent damage to the business.

This week, posing as a 50-year-old, I went in search of the latest anti-ageing remedies that the world's top clinics have to offer.

My investigation threw up a worrying new trade across the globe in unregulated stemcell treatments costing anywhere between £150 and £20,000. Yet hundreds of British women are visiting such clinics desperate for the new elixirs of youth.

Here, The Mail names clinics at the forefront of this disturbing new beauty craze and reveals what really goes on.

Destination: Barbados:

The Institute for Regenerative Medicine

The Treatment: Anti-ageing stem-cell injections made from aborted foetal tissue, £15,000 The past 12 months have seen this popular holiday resort become the stem-cell capital of the developed world, treating hundreds of patients in a year.

The upmarket clinic opened last year in one of the island's most luxurious hotels - Villa Nova - after Ukrainian stem-cell researchers, who have been secretly pioneering stem-cell studies with aborted human foetuses for 20 years, teamed up with U.S. investors backed by the Caribbean tourist industry.

The aim was to attract wealthy British and American stem-cell tourists for treatment, avoiding the strict ethical barriers to such treatment enforced in Europe and America. The clinic is so busy it has a waiting list of more than 1,000 patients for cosmetic treatments and has treated dozens of British women. The promise: The clinic claims that the foetal tissue derived from elective abortions at six to 12 weeks is rich in regenerative stem cells. 'We inject the cells taken from the liver tissue of human foetuses directly into the vein in the back of your hand,' explains the well-spoken English consultant Jenny, who gives telephone consultations to potential patients.

'The results are incredible. You'll feel and look different after a month because these cells help the body to regenerate itself. The effects last for approximately a year before it needs to be "topped up'' '.

Despite criticism from Church leaders and religious groups on the Island, Barnett Suskind, chief executive of IRM, is unapologetic about the treatment he carries out. 'It is the most natural form of healing there is - in ten years, everyone will be doing this,' he says. 'You think better, sleep better, and look better. Your quality of life improves and your libido certainly improves.' The reality: 'The science behind the treatments on offer at IRM is based on the theory that stem cells from aborted foetuses may search out damaged and dead cells in the body and work to repair and replace them,' says Dr Stephen Minger, director of stem cell biology at King's College, London.

'But what this clinic is doing raises serious issues. For a start, it is not regulated by any medical board and there is no documented evidence or controlled clinical trials to back up their claims. More worryingly, there is no proof that the tissue is obtained from truly elective abortions rather than financially induced ones.

'Research shows that they openly import foetuses from poverty-stricken provinces in Ukraine and Russia, preying on the financially desperate to treat vain Western women.'

Destination: Moscow: The Cellulite Clinic.

The treatment: Anti-ageing injections of stem cells from aborted foetuses into thighs, buttocks and stomach -

£10,000 to £15,000 for a course of six.

More than 50 clinics, including this one, have sprung up in Russia's capital over the past three years to meet the demand from wealthy Russians and Westerners alike who flock to the global capital of cosmetic stem-cell therapy, where clinics use loopholes in the law to administer injections.

Nearby Ukraine is home to Emcell, the world's largest clinic that has openly experimented in stem-cell therapy for the past 15 years and administers hundreds of anti-ageing therapies a year.

The promise: Treatments range from the injection of stem cells from animals such as cows and pigs to injecting cells taken from the umbilical cords or livers of aborted human foetuses. 'Foetal tissue has been shown to be highly rich in regenerative stem cells which, when injected into adults, helps the body fight the ageing process,' says Dr Elena Bochkaryova.

'I have had patients who leave my clinic after a course of injections looking and feeling ten years younger than when they came in.' The reality: RUSSIA and the Ukraine currently top the world abortion league, with more of the operations carried out here than anywhere else on earth. Evidence gathered by the Moscow police department has shown a growing black market in aborted foetuses, which are smuggled into Russia from the Ukraine and Georgia.

Here, poverty-stricken young women are paid 200 U.S. dollars to carry babies up to the optimum eight to 12-week period - thought to be best for harvesting stem cells. They are then sold on to cosmetic clinics.

'The cavalier attitude of Russian cosmetic surgeons is grotesque,' says Dr Minger. 'The origin of the cells is ethically immoral. Furthermore, they don't bother to test for compatibility between the cells injected and the patient who receives them. Medical risks from complications can include infection, tumours and rejection of foreign tissue.'

Destination: Dominican Republic

Medra Clinic

The treatment: Foetal stem-cell injections from £15,000. Malibu psychiatrist William Rader, 67, previously owned a string of private clinics in LA dedicated to treating eating disorders. He recently founded Medra to offer stem-cell treatments to wealthy clients who wanted to combine a holiday on the exotic La Romana beach resort in the Dominican Republic with their stem-cell therapy.

He has arranged for hundreds of patients to be injected with cells taken from six to 12-week-old aborted foetuses since the clinic opened its doors. Initial consultations are done at Rader's LA surgery at Malibu beach. Arrangements are then made for patients to fly out to the luxury resort in the Dominican Republic to have the treatment administered. The promise: According to Medra's website, the foetal stem cell 'detects and then attempts to repair any damage or deficit discovered in the body, as well as releasing growth factors, which stimulate the body's own repair mechanisms.

'Stem-cell therapy is the future. It's just unfortunate that there is so much opposition to it in the West,' Rader says.

The reality: Debra Huff-Rader, director of physician and patient relations, is deliberately vague when I ask where the foetuses are sourced, saying only that they are from the former Soviet republic of Georgia. But she invites me to speak with Rader himself.

'Because Rader is acting outside America, his work falls outside U.S. regulations on stem-cell therapy,' says Dr Minger. 'Patients risk at best wasting a lot of money on a treatment that is not proven in clinical trials and at worst one that is putting their health at serious risk.'

Destination: Rotterdam

The PMC clinic

The treatment: Anti-ageing stem-cell injections composed of umbilical cord blood - £8,500. Consultations cost £150 per hour and take place in London's Wimpole Street with Dr Robert Trossell. His patients fly out to Holland, where treatment is carried out. Antiageing treatments involve being injected with stem cells extracted from the umbilical cords of babies who have had a natural birth to full term.

The promise: 'Umbilical cord stem cells are the youngest, safely available stem cells,' claims the website. 'We have never had any negative side-effects. Because of the purity of the stem cells, the body will not recognise them as invaders.'

I am reassured by Dr Trossell's Londonbased assistant that it is perfectly safe and easy to arrange, although they are so busy that I must wait over a month for my initial appointment and then a further three months before treatment.

The reality: 'There is no convincing evidence that what the PMC clinic is doing actually works or is safe,' says Dr Minger. 'To state that these cells cannot be rejected is false. This treatment runs the risk of serious infection, tumours and cancer.

'To inject cells from one human being into another, a range of checks must be made to make sure they genetically match each other. Without being properly regulated, you cannot trust that the clinic will do this. At the least you risk being ripped off, at most developing a serious illness.'

Destination: New York

The Nabi Medspa

The treatment: The Frozen in Time Stem-Cell Facial - £150. The latest beauty treatment to hit Manhattan's spa scene has, according to the owner, already drawn a host of customers from the UK and Europe as well as wealthy New Yorkers. The facial involves an exfoliation and steam. The face is then covered in a moisturiser composed of cells harvested from the embryonic fluid of pregnant cows. The result according to Nabi's owner Ivy Cho is ' biological supremacy over ageing skin'.

The promise: The spa claims that introducing live stem cells from cows helps your skin cells - which may be damaged by ' environmental factors' - restore and replicate themselves, creating healthier, stronger, more youthful-looking skin.

'The treatment is originally from France and has become popular with premium customers,' says a consultant at the spa who claims the cows are not hurt in any way during the process.

'We pat the liquid onto the face rather than rubbing it in, which breaks up the cells. It takes just an hour, but immediately afterwards your skin will feel hydrated, firmer and tighter, with a flawless glow. After six days your skin becomes radiant.' The reality: Scedptics argue that the treatment is useless. 'Rubbing on cow cells which have been previously frozen and are consequently dead is of no use at all. In any case, simply putting them onto the surface of the skin means they could never actually seep in to the body,'says Dr Minger.

'This treatment is farcical. Why would putting the cells of cows on to a human being's skin rejuvenate it? It's just not possible. Any woman who wants to rejuvenate her skin should simply eat healthily and invest in a good facial moisturiser.

The Government is hiding Twin Towerr wreckage

Twin Towers wreckage turning up all over the place
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

And you thought all the 9/11 WTC wreckage was swept up in eight months and sent to be smelted in foreign countries or secret places in our own strange land, right? And that the rest of the rubble was buried in Fresh Kills (appropriate name), Staten Island. So did I. But now it turns out last remains of the Towers are being stored in an 80,000-square-foot hangar at JFK International Airport in New York. Ain’t that a kick in the head?

The previous fact comes from the fifth paragraph of an article Fragments of Twin Towers may return to Coatesville by Jennifer Miller at It’s a story about Coatesville, Pennsylvania, wanting to get some WTC steel “trees” for the future National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum, to be built in the city’s Lukens National Historic District. The Graystone Society is the group propelling the museum project. Well, how nice.

Scot Huston, a “direct” descendant of the Luken family, president of the Graystone Society, and Gene DiOrio, Graystone Society vice president, traveled to that JFK hangar to meet with New York Port Authority officials about bringing some of the remnants back to Coatesville. That’s even sweeter.

But how about giving some steel “trees” to some 9-11 scientists and engineers? To see if the steel is still strong or if there is any evidence of explosives on them or to test their melting points. I mean since NYPA officials are accommodating these Coatesville folks, let’s remind them there is a 9-11 Truth Movement concerned with all these little details in little ole New York City, where the tragedy occurred. And this movement lives around the nation and the world as well.

So to me, further sharing of the “trees” for forensic research seems like a modest proposal, especially in light of some of the darker purposes for which the wreckage is being shared. Trust me. Nothing’s ever simple concerning 9-11.

Warship built out of Twin Towers Wreckage

Yes, you read correctly. This fact is from an article with the subhead’s title. Check the link and see the ship. It’s the greatest show on earth. This tale, which surfaced on May 22, 2006, from the London Times Online shows and tells us about The USS New York being built in New Orleans using some 24 tons of steel taken from the collapsed World Trade Centers.

In fact, “after a brief ceremony in 2003, about seven tons of steel were melted down and poured into a cast to make the bow section of the ship’s hull.” Are you waiting for the Empire-State building-like miniatures made of the Towers’ lost steel? That would be the final iron-y, wouldn’t it? Ah, but there’s more. And more. And more.

Like one shipyard worker, Tony Quaglino said: he “was going to go in October 2004 after 40 years here, but I put it off when I found out I could be working on New York. This is sacred and makes me very proud.” Glen Clement, a paint-superintendent said: “Nobody passes by that bow section without knocking on it. Everybody knows what it is made from and what it’s about.” Ah, but Glen, not everybody knows how the original steel got bent outa shape. May I suggest The 911 WTC Collapse: An Audio-Video Analysis. Really amazing stuff for all good Americans. It’s about what really happened. Please, check it out.

Returning to the ships, another site offers you a chance to play Anchors Away as you read about defense contractor Northrop Grumman being the builder with the reused bloody steel. Only they claim “the steel was to be shipped to Northrop’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.” It ain’t New Orleans. But it ain’t far. This site claims the 684-foot ship should be ready for service in 2007. It will be the fifth USS New York. The site’s copy reads:

“The brand new assault craft with a capability of carrying around 800 marines and equipment is to be named the USS New York, in tribute to the almost 2,800 people who died in the attacks of September 11 2001.

“ . . . The ship will have the motto ‘Never Forget’” which sounds more like the Holocaust imperative, a little Israeli influence? Maybe it could be called the USS Infamy for the day that lingers in the mind, when all of our defense systems crumbled like the Towers. But let us not obsess. Let us learn and act and win minds and hearts. The copy continues . . .

“The recycled steel from the Twin Towers, if it meets quality standards, will be used to form the ship's ‘stem bar.’ That is part of the ship's bow, where the vessel cuts the water.” I love it, the “if it meets quality standards.” It got blown and burned to smithereens and it’s still going and these idiots are wondering if it’ll meet quality standards. The question is, do they? And catch this lack of standards.

“New York authorities have the awesome problem of disposing of the 1.62 million tons of rubble that went to the nearby Fresh Kills landfill from the World Trade Center site. Some memorial sculptures made from recycled steel have been commissioned by the city, and tribute sculptures have now been erected in many civic and private facilities throughout the country.”

“The awesome problem” they have is 1.62 million tons of steel and not a ton for testing? I mean it sounds like they don’t know what to do with it. Why not shove some of it up the perpetrators’ collective ass, after we put a nice point on it. And then let us test a few thousand tons of it, every which way we can. This is live evidence which can serve for justice to the dead.

Then let us return to the ship-building and Northrop Grumman, actually on the banks of the Mississippi, which survived Katrina, another irony: the South’s 911.

Northrop’s Building Four 911-themed Assault Ships at a Billion Each

Not only will we have a USS New York to go after bin Laden, ha ha, and memorialize the infamy, we will also have a USS Arlington, named after that section of the Pentagon where the missile, I mean, airliner hit. And we’ll have a USS Somerset, in memory of that place in rural Pennsylvania where United Flight 93 or some other plane was shot out of the air by two F-16’s and a white military jet.

Forget about the fighting with the terrorists. If they were there, they didn’t know what hit them either. Badaboom, the plane exploded right in the air, seen eight miles away by all kinds of eyewitnesses.

So our USS New York will be the $1 billion pork chop for the military-industrial complex, “one of a new generation of amphibious assault ships capable of landing a 700-strong Marines assault force on a coastline almost anywhere without the need for a port.” So watch out everybody, everywhere, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Far Rockaway. Here we come.

In fact, Woody Oge (not Ogre), Northrop Grumman’s director of ops in New Orleans, “was keen to play down suggestions that the ship might be used to spearhead invasions.” It went something like, yeah, we’re building it to deliver humanitarian assistance as much as for war. Why, one such ship, the USS Boxer (not named after Barbara) was dispatched to deal with the aftermath of Katrina. And we all know how good that turned out, right Woody? Barf.

And even though the hurricane whooped through the shipyard last summer, the half-done New York survived intact. But a lot of black and white people drowned and lost their homes forever and a day. And some workers are living at the shipyard in the bebop “Camp Katrina.”

Earl Jones, one of the working dudes says that after eight months the Ninth Ward still isn’t rebuilt. “The insurance company won’t even talk to us. We’re having to hire lawyers to chase ‘em. I don’t like this, but I don’t want to be out of work.”

Mr. Jones in his infinite workingman’s wisdom says he does not want his old home enshrined in a billion dollar fighting machine. Me either, Mr. Jones. Not one frigging bit. But he does say, re his crib, a small check from the insurance company might help. Good luck, my brother, good luck.

Hey, all you 9-11 Truth fighters, let’s get our hands on some of that steel. I know the way to Kennedy. Pick you up tomorrow morning. Let’s go picket the airport till they show us. What do we have to lose but our loss? And what do we have to gain but the cold blue steel to win?
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York. He remembers crossing the Williamsburg Bridge as a kid in his father’s Chevy and looking down in wonder at the East River, the sprawling Navy Yard and the great American ships of WWII being patched and made from scratch to get rid of the Nazis who somehow have managed, even after defeat, to remain among us. Reach him at, an NSA-Eyeball Company.

Pesticides are in soda's

NDTV Correspondent

Sunday, August 6, 2006 (Bhopal/Ahmedabad):

After an environmental group claimed that Pepsi and Coke are contaminated with pesticides more and more states are banning the colas.

Today, the Gujarat University banned the drinks in campus of over over 600 colleges and 1000 schools. The Rajasthan Assembly has also stopped sales in their canteen.

The Madhya Pradesh government has said no more cold drinks in government offices and education institutions.

"We will ban sale of colas in canteens at government offices and educational institutes," said MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Orders on this will be issued soon, he said.

After the NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claimed to have found unacceptable levels of pesticide residues in 11 soft drinks, some Lok Sabha MPs have sought a nation-wide ban on the sale of the beverages.

CSE's claimed has been refuted by soft drink majors Pepsi and Coca-Cola. The controversy also sparked off protests by various political parties across the state.

Gujarat follows

The Gujarat University also banned the sale of Pepsi and Coca Cola with immediate effect in view of allegations that they contain high pesticide levels.

"Sale of Pepsi and Coca-Cola beverages in all colleges affiliated to the Gujarat University has been banned," said Parimal Trivedi, Vice Chancellor.

Some 250 colleges in central and north Gujarat are affiliated to the varsity.

In Kerala also the Left has asked the government.

In Amritsar, Punjab, Health department officials raided a local plant of soft drink major Pepsico and seized 1,500 crates for random sample testing.

Lok Sabha MPs have said that 11 drinks sold by the two companies contained unacceptable doses of pesticide. (With PTI inputs)

They are preparing for WWIII

9-11 Truth Movement: Focus or Die
911 Truth Movement: Focus or die
(A defense of Dr. Steven Jones and a plea for sanity)
By D. L. Abrahamson

These next few months may be the most critical time in the history of the 9-11 truth movement.

We stand on the brink of a nuclear world war. The potential for a staged terror attack and subsequent invasion of Iran & Syria has never loomed larger. This, while Israel continues to offer a back-door entry into WW III with their daily massacres in Lebanon and Gaza, urging the desperate neocon fascists to join them in the march toward Apocalypse.

At the same time, last week was a time of overwhelming success as C-SPAN aired the 9-11 Scholar's conference four times at prime time hours. Then came a Scripps News poll saying 36% of Americans suspect government involvement in 9-11, with most suggesting they were directly behind it.

The truth movement also recieved balanced coverage from newspaper and television networks, while a radio call-in mobilization resulted in hosts on Air America finally confronting 9-11 truth and neocons like Sean Hannity begging for mercy.

We have never been closer to nuclear annihilation. And at the same time we have never been closer to breaking the media censorship, building a large-scale political movement around 9-11, and arresting the traitorous plotters behind the attacks.

So which direction will the world follow?

Analysts ranging from authors James Bamford and Nafeez Ahmed to Pakistani ISI Chief Maj. Gen Hameed Gul are all predicting an imminent strike on Iran and Syria.

Additionally, the confluence of major terror drills and nuclear war games over the next few months is particularly ominous. STRATCOM, those generals with their finger on the nuclear button, are running Vigilant Guardian (also run on 9-11) from August 17-26.

Then, from Oct. 24-Nov.8, STRATCOM will run Global Lightning, a massive nuclear war game within the Global Storm series of drills running through December.

On August 14-16, Hawaii is running a drill where a half-kiliton nuke explodes, killing 10,000 resulting in a martial law situation with a FEMA and military takeover. All of these drills and more are monitored at

We must remember that on 9-11, the military ran at least 15 drills, with many "simulated" hijacking terror drills and nuclear warfare war games against Russia. So are these drills a sign of a potential goverment-staged terror event to usher in the nuclear clash of civilizations?

The STRATCOM Global Strike documents, available here, clearly document how these upcoming drills are part of CONPLAN 8022, the plan for an immediate nuclear strike on-demand with B-1 and B-52 bombers (with an emphasis on so-called "low yield" nukes).

We must also recall former CIA agent Philip Giraldi, who last year warned that the neocon cabal assembling around Cheney's office were calling for the nuclear invasion of Iran, with the aid of STRATCOM, in the wake of a new WMD terrorist attack on American soil..

At present, the neocons find themselves militarily defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the Israeli massacres and war crimes in Lebanon have failed to stop Hizballah rockets. With the November elections approaching, can the neocon plotters rely on electronic vote-rigging alone to keep their power over the Congress?

Additionally, with the Euro-based Iranian oil bourse opening in September, the financier faction of bankers is facing the death of dollar hegemony,. This will result in a massive dollar sell-off as central bank reserves flow into Euros. Will they allow such a collapse to happen?

It is "now or never" for the rogue network of coup plotters that siezed control of the military and government on 9-11. Their agenda must move forward now, or they will find themselves under investigation in Congress or overwhelmed by the growing millions of Americans who are waking up to the truth about the 9-11 inside job. How much longer can they wait?

And for 9-11 truth activists, could the stakes ever be higher?

One only need witness Professor Kevin Barrett's disastrous interview on "Fox and Friends" a few days ago to understand our precarious situation. Barrett, dressed in a black "Investigate 9-11" t-shirt, started well as he discussed WTC7, the NORAD stand down, and asked who was in command that day.

However four minutes into the interview, Barrett descended into the fringes, falling into a trap set by his interviewers. He asserted that no hijackers ever got on the planes, and that the airport videos were faked (as the shadows prove, he says). Also, according to Barrett, all the phone calls were fake, not just the cell phone ones.

Is he aware of the fact that calls made from the air-phones do work at cruising altitude, and many of the calls originated from these phones? Is he aware that drills like Amalgam Virgo (planned before 9-11) war gamed FBI agents posing as hijackers on a real flight? Has he examined the links of Mohammed Atta to the SOCOM Able Danger program, and the "Door Hop Galley" cell? What about the "hijackers" who trained at US Air Force bases?

Furthermore, claiming every phone call was faked alienates the public and is based on incomplete science. Barrett should know that cell phones can work on planes, albeit poorly and infrequently. Additionally, the Canadian study he cited did not fly over the zone where flight 93 allegedly did.

If we listen to the "no phone-call" theorists, government uber-spooks actually took the time to voiceprint Mark Bingham and call his mom but were then stupid enough to make it so obvious by saying, "Hi Mom, it's Mark Bingham."

Watching Barrett fumble the ball was painful. The professor, usually so eloquent in his TV appearances, lost his focus of the facts and strayed into true conspiracy theory. To the average viewer, he came unraveled as he peddled pet theories about "no hijackers," bogus phone calls, and faked videos. This type of speculation, venturing so far from the core points proving an inside job, destroyed Barrett's entire message.

Even if Barrett and others who talk about faked cell phone calls are correct, does their speculation get us any closer toward building a nationwide political movement and arresting the 9-11 plotters? Or is it a divisive strawman that will isolate us from the mainstream media and average Americans?

Suddenly it appears the controlled demolition, WTC 7, NORAD stand down, hijacking drills, war games, "Angel is Next" call to Bush, living hijackers, double-agent hijackers, CIA insider put options, and "al-Qaeda" links to Anglo-American intelligence are not enough. Now every researcher has their own pet theory about no planes, no hijackers, no phone calls, no Pentagon Boeing, and no flight 93 crash (they claim it landed it Cleveland and the wreckage in Shanksville was, you guessed it, planted).

At the same time we are now encountering the violent resurection of the "no WTC plane" thesis, which is dividing the Scholars for 911 Truth. A small group of internet researchers is claiming the towers were hit by nothing, and the videos of the second plane hitting the south tower were vector-key CGI uploaded to the video news networks, along with the aid of WESCAM helicopter camera technology.

This group usually claims nothing hit the south tower, but if pressed, will offer possibilities like an entomopter formation, missile, commuter plane, or some futuristic cloaked weapon.

But can such radical claims survive the most basic questions? These researchers will have to find substantial answers to the testimonies of those eyewitnesses who saw planes, the many snapshot pictures of the plane, the amateur videos showing a plane, plane parts in the WTC wreckage, and how if this is true why NONE of the eyewitnesses ever said something about this massive deception.

Do these "no plane" theorists have adequete answers that do not include labeling everybody but them as government agents? Why are those who ask these fundamental questions labeled as idiots and agents, while this group simultaneously slanders Dr. Steven Jones a government-asset?

"But wait!" they cry. "The towers were exploded with nanothermite and a mini-nuke weapon! Anyone who claims anything less is just a provocateur NSA undercover agent!"

Of course, why the plotters would require the redundancy of nanothermite and a nuke is of no concern. And when asked for evidence to prove their claims, they point to shaky research showing slightly elevated tritium levels in the air. And of course, they never, ever forget the mention that Steven Jones is just an limited-hangout junk scientist Perhaps this because his research showed no radioactive isotopes?

Wait, I must be an agent. And if you disagree with that, maybe you are an agent.

Maybe we are both agents, and were secretly brainwashed from understanding the real truth: The towers were hit by a swarm of African killer bees and all the witnesses were mind-controlled with virtual reality googles and Valium. Also, the twin towers never existed; they were merely part of a holographic magic trick run by the shadow government in collaboration with David Copperfield. And the towers were exploded with nanoplasma antimatter, and anyone who discusses conventional demolition is an agent.

It was this same motley assembly of internet researchers that selfishly belittled the four airings of the 9-11 Scholar's conference on C-SPAN. And while dedicated 9-11 truthers were devising a campaign to build up the audience, they mocked our efforts.

"If these scholars were such a threat, the establishment would never let them get on TV," they whined. This group of websites also failed to publicize the airing dates or times of the C-SPAN conference, but often took the effort to write scathing pieces about the participants, slandering them all as government agents or Zionist front-men.

This same group was also conspicuously completely absent during this past week's radio mobilization effort, when fearless 9-11 activsts overwhelmed the neocons and left gatekeepers, smashing through the Maginot Line of 9-11 censorship.

It was a week in which a red-faced Hannity was forced to hang up on callers, Ed Schultz was simply apoplectic, and Michael Savage used call-screeners to block 9-11 truthers.. I personally made successful calls to nationally syndicated shows like Hannity, CoastToCoast AM, Alan Colmes & Matt Drudge, with other call in's to WBZ in Boston and WTIC in Hartford.

Webster Tarpley believes our combined efforts likely tripled the C-SPAN audience, if not more. Even better, we finally forced Randi Rhodes to confront 9-11 truth and the NORAD stand down on Air America, while the C-SPAN event momentum continued. It was a week which culminated with Tarpley's brillaint two and a half hour performance on Mike Malloy's nationally syndicated show on Air America.

Frustrated 9-11 activists (like myself) who had always asked how we could wake up millions, discovered the power of using radio as a giant megaphone to warn other prisoners. This type of success must quickly multiply. If we hope to stop the next false-flag terror attack and the march into nuclear world war, we must wake up their millions of radio listeners....NOW.

So, in the midst of our success, I ask that we reflect.

Which websites, activists, and organizations supported and promoted the C-SPAN event last week? And who were the shrill sectarians and slanderers that failed to even announce the air time of the event? What were the motives of each of these groups?

We are currently in the midst of a mass awakening in America. 9-11 truth is having the biggest coming out party in its history, as mainstream coverage and national polls suggest our movement is growing far larger than even optimists had suggested.

A Scripps News poll showed 36% of American believe that 9-11 was either allowed to happen or an inside job, and a full 16% of Americans believing in a controlled demolition of the towers. This means that a large portion of the country, likely more than one fifth, already understand 9-11 was an inside job. A previous Zogby poll suggested the number of 9-11 skeptics were around 42%.

Now come the release of the NORAD tapes, which have journalists and the formerly timid "Jersey Girls" calling for a new investigation of 9-11. This on top of the C-SPAN coverage, the radio breakthroughs, and the surprisingly fair treatment from mainstream newspapers and tv propaganda organs like CNN and Fox. Clearly, the wheels are coming off the government's official mythology, and a revolution of thinking is brewing in massive numbers .

We are hitting the big time. Millions of Americans, who had previously ignored or derided suggestions of government complicity, are asking questions.

So we must ask: Is this the time for sectarianism, name-calling, jealousy, territorial squabbles, and McCarthyist witch-hunt tactics where everyone is labeled an agent? Have some individuals become so egostistical that they are blind to the need for rationality at this critical time? Do they truly believe their own selfish needs and pet theories outweight the effort to actually arrest the criminals who engineered the terror attacks of September 11?

I ask again: what are their motives?

What is needed now is maturity. As a movement, we must focus or die. Going on national television with outlandish pet theories risks destroying the momentum we have worked so hard to build.

Those lucky enough to make television appearances must remember that there is still a large portion of this country who has not woken up to 9-11, and we need to introduce them with facts, not fantasy. We are trying to wake up conservative Republicans, college anarchists, and senior citizen book clubs. Is this the time for speculation about "no hijackers?"

Can we build a national political movement around the idea of fake cell phone calls and CGI planes? Or should we instead point to the NORAD stand down and hijacking drills, asking about the roles of Gen. Eberhart, Gen. Myers, Col. Marr, Gen. Schoomaker, Ben Sliney, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Richard Clarke, and others inside the chain of command?

Should we label each other as agents instead of telling the world about WTC 7, controlled demolition, and Dr. Steven Jones's groundbreaking thermate research?

It's now or never for both sides. The rogue network seeks to usher in a nuclear WW III, and 9-11 truth is the only way to stop them and expose the myth of terrorism. In this time of imminent danger, we have to stay on message.

If we get lost in a sea of speculation, we will lose the average American. It is high time to save the frothy theories for the message boards and stay focused when we get TV time. And those who engage in petty backstabbing, slander, name-calling, blackmailing, and intellectual McCarythism need to seriously question their priorities.

Now is the time to build a national movement. We can make calls and disrupt the radio propagandists. We can use friendly forums like CoastToCoast AM to reach millions of fellow Americans. We can make Sean Hannity’s life a living hell. We can monitor the drills and war-games to stop the next false-flag attack, like at

And most importantly, by focusing on our best points, rather than our weakest hypotheses, we can stop World War III.

For the 9-11 truth movement, the camera is rolling and America is watching.

Focus or die.

The blury hands of Master Lim

I thought this would be a nice break from the stress of the world....

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Doctors and medicine are for the birds

Death by Medicine
By Gary Null, PhD; Carolyn Dean MD, ND; Martin Feldman, MD; Debora Rasio, MD; and Dorothy Smith, PhD

Something is wrong when regulatory agencies pretend that vitamins are dangerous, yet ignore published statistics showing that government-sanctioned medicine is the real hazard.

Until now, Life Extension could cite only isolated statistics to make its case about the dangers of conventional medicine. No one had ever analyzed and combined ALL of the published literature dealing with injuries and deaths caused by government-protected medicine. That has now changed.

A group of researchers meticulously reviewed the statistical evidence and their findings are absolutely shocking.4 These researchers have authored a paper titled “Death by Medicine” that presents compelling evidence that today’s system frequently causes more harm than good.

This fully 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 stunning 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 553,251.5)

We placed this article on our website 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.

Natural medicine is under siege, as pharmaceutical company lobbyists urge lawmakers to deprive Americans of the benefits of dietary supplements. Drug-company front groups have launched slanderous media campaigns to discredit the value of healthy lifestyles. The FDA continues to interfere with those who offer natural products that compete with prescription drugs.

These attacks against natural medicine obscure a lethal problem that until now was buried in thousands of pages of scientific text. In response to these baseless challenges to natural medicine, the Nutrition Institute of America commissioned an independent review of the quality of “government-approved” medicine. The startling findings from this meticulous study indicate that conventional medicine is “the leading cause of death” in the United States .

The Nutrition Institute of America is a nonprofit organization that has sponsored independent research for the past 30 years. To support its bold claim that conventional medicine is America 's number-one killer, the Nutritional Institute of America mandated that every “count” in this “indictment” of US medicine be validated by published, peer-reviewed scientific studies.

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.

A definitive review of medical peer-reviewed journals and government health statistics shows that American medicine frequently causes more harm than good.

Each year approximately 2.2 million US hospital patients experience adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to prescribed medications.(1) In 1995, Dr. Richard Besser of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated the number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections to be 20 million; in 2003, Dr. Besser spoke in terms of tens of millions of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually.(2, 2a) Approximately 7.5 million unnecessary medical and surgical procedures are performed annually in the US,(3) while approximately 8.9 million Americans are hospitalized unnecessarily.(4)

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 US annually is 783,936. It is evident that the American medical system is itself the leading cause of death and injury in the US . 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 Intervention





Adverse Drug Reactions


$12 billion

Lazarou(1), Suh (49)

Medical error


$2 billion




$55 billion

Xakellis(7), Barczak (8)



$5 billion

Weinstein(9), MMWR (10)




Nurses Coalition(11)



$77 billion

Starfield(12), Weingart(112)

Unnecessary Procedures


$122 billion




$9 billion



$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 Intervention





ADR/med error
420,000 $200 billion Leape(14)



$55 billion

Xakellis(7), Barczak (8)



$5 billion

Weinstein(9), MMWR (10)




Nurses Coalition(11)



$77 billion

Starfield(12), Weingart(112)

Unnecessary Procedures


$122 billion




$9 billion

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)
* In16.4 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 Intervention


10-Year Deaths

Adverse 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 Events

Unnecessary Events
10-year Number Iatrogenic Events
Hospitalization 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 US population—receive unneeded medical treatment over the course of a decade.

Never before have the complete statistics on the multiple causes of iatrogenesis been combined in one article. Medical science amasses tens of thousands of papers annually, each representing a tiny fragment of the whole picture. To look at only one piece and try to understand the benefits and risks is like standing an inch away from an elephant and trying to describe everything about it. You have to step back to see the big picture, as we have done here. Each specialty, each division of medicine keeps its own records and data on morbidity and mortality. We have now completed the painstaking work of reviewing thousands of studies and putting pieces of the puzzle together.

Is American Medicine Working?

US health care spending reached $1.6 trillion in 2003, representing 14% of the nation's gross national product.(15) Considering this enormous expenditure, we should have the best medicine in the world. We should be preventing and reversing disease, and doing minimal harm. Careful and objective review, however, shows we are doing the opposite. Because of the extraordinarily narrow, technologically driven context in which contemporary medicine examines the human condition, we are completely missing the larger picture.

Medicine is not taking into consideration the following critically important aspects of a healthy human organism: (a) stress and how it adversely affects the immune system and life processes; (b) insufficient exercise; (c) excessive caloric intake; (d) highly processed and denatured foods grown in denatured and chemically damaged soil; and (e) exposure to tens of thousands of environmental toxins. Instead of minimizing these disease-causing factors, we cause more illness through medical technology, diagnostic testing, overuse of medical and surgical procedures, and overuse of pharmaceutical drugs. The huge disservice of this therapeutic strategy is the result of little effort or money being spent on preventing disease.

Underreporting of Iatrogenic Events

As few as 5% and no more than 20% of iatrogenic acts are ever reported.(16,24,25,33,34) This implies that if medical errors were completely and accurately reported, we would have an annual iatrogenic death toll much higher than 783,936. In 1994, Leape said his figure of 180,000 medical mistakes resulting in death annually was equivalent to three jumbo-jet crashes every two days.(16) Our considerably higher figure is equivalent to six jumbo jets are falling out of the sky each day.

What we must deduce from this report is that medicine is in need of complete and total reform—from the curriculum in medical schools to protecting patients from excessive medical intervention. It is obvious that we cannot change anything if we are not honest about what needs to be changed. This report simply shows the degree to which change is required.

We are fully aware of what stands in the way of change: powerful pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, along with other powerful groups with enormous vested interests in the business of medicine. They fund medical research, support medical schools and hospitals, and advertise in medical journals. With deep pockets, they entice scientists and academics to support their efforts. Such funding can sway the balance of opinion from professional caution to uncritical acceptance of new therapies and drugs. You have only to look at the people who make up the hospital, medical, and government health advisory boards to see conflicts of interest. The public is mostly unaware of these interlocking interests.

For example, a 2003 study found that nearly half of medical school faculty who serve on institutional review boards (IRB) to advise on clinical trial research also serve as consultants to the pharmaceutical industry.(17) The study authors were concerned that such representation could cause potential conflicts of interest. A news release by Dr. Erik Campbell, the lead author, said, "Our previous research with faculty has shown us that ties to industry can affect scientific behavior, leading to such things as trade secrecy and delays in publishing research. It's possible that similar relationships with companies could affect IRB members' activities and attitudes.”(18)

Medical Ethics and Conflict of Interest in Scientific Medicine

Jonathan Quick, director of essential drugs and medicines policy for the World Health Organization (WHO), wrote in a recent WHO bulletin: "If clinical trials become a commercial venture in which self-interest overrules public interest and desire overrules science, then the social contract which allows research on human subjects in return for medical advances is broken."(19)

As former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine , Dr. Marcia Angell struggled to bring greater attention to the problem of commercializing scientific research. In her outgoing editorial entitled “ Is Academic Medicine for Sale?” Angell said that growing conflicts of interest are tainting science and called for stronger restrictions on pharmaceutical stock ownership and other financial incentives for researchers:(20) “When the boundaries between industry and academic medicine become as blurred as they are now, the business goals of industry influence the mission of medical schools in multiple ways.” She did not discount the benefits of research but said a Faustian bargain now existed between medical schools and the pharmaceutical industry.

Angell left the New England Journal in June 2000. In June 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine announced that it would accept journalists who accept money from drug companies because it was too difficult to find ones who have no ties. Another former editor of the journal, Dr. Jerome Kassirer, said that was not the case and that plenty of researchers are available who do not work for drug companies.(21) According to an ABC news report, pharmaceutical companies spend over $2 billion a year on over 314,000 events attended by doctors.

The ABC news report also noted that a survey of clinical trials revealed that when a drug company funds a study, there is a 90% chance that the drug will be perceived as effective whereas a non-drug-company-funded study will show favorable results only 50% of the time. It appears that money can't buy you love but it can buy any "scientific" result desired.

Cynthia Crossen, a staffer for the Wall Street Journal, i n 1996 published Tainted Truth : The Manipulation of Fact in America , a book about the widespread practice of lying with statistics.(22) Commenting on the state of scientific research, she wrote: “The road to hell was paved with the flood of corporate research dollars that eagerly filled gaps left by slashed government research funding.” Her data on financial involvement showed that in l981 the drug industry “gave” $292 million to colleges and universities for research. By l991, this figure had risen to $2.1 billion.


Dr. Lucian L. Leape opened medicine's Pandora's box in his 1994 paper, “Error in Medicine,” which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).(16) He found that Schimmel reported in 1964 that 20% of hospital patients suffered iatrogenic injury, with a 20% fatality rate. In 1981 Steel reported that 36% of hospitalized patients experienced iatrogenesis with a 25% fatality rate, and adverse drug reactions were involved in 50% of the injuries. In 1991, Bedell reported that 64% of acute heart attacks in one hospital were preventable and were mostly due to adverse drug reactions.

Leape focused on the “Harvard Medical Practice Study” published in 1991, (16a) which found a 4% iatrogenic injury rate for patients, with a 14% fatality rate, in 1984 in New York State. From the 98,609 patients injured and the 14% fatality rate, he estimated that in the entire U.S. 180,000 people die each year partly as a result of iatrogenic injury.

Why Leape chose to use the much lower figure of 4% injury for his analysis remains in question. Using instead the average of the rates found in the three studies he cites (36%, 20%, and 4%) would have produced a 20% medical error rate. The number of iatrogenic deaths using an average rate of injury and his 14% fatality rate would be 1,189,576.

Leape acknowledged that the literature on medical errors is sparse and represents only the tip of the iceberg, noting that when errors are specifically sought out, reported rates are “distressingly high.” He cited several autopsy studies with rates as high as 35-40% of missed diagnoses causing death. He also noted that an intensive care unit reported an average of 1.7 errors per day per patient, and 29% of those errors were potentially serious or fatal.

Leape calculated the error rate in the intensive care unit study. First, he found that each patient had an average of 178 “activities” (staff/procedure/medical interactions) a day, of which 1.7 were errors, which means a 1% failure rate. This may not seem like much, but Leape cited industry standards showing that in aviation, a 0.1% failure rate would mean two unsafe plane landings per day at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport; in the US Postal Service, a 0.1% failure rate would mean 16,000 pieces of lost mail every hour; and in the banking industry, a 0.1% failure rate would mean 32,000 bank checks deducted from the wrong bank account.

In trying to determine why there are so many medical errors, Leape acknowledged the lack of reporting of medical errors. Medical errors occur in thousands of different locations and are perceived as isolated and unusual events. But the most important reason that the problem of medical errors is unrecognized and growing, according to Leape, is that doctors and nurses are unequipped to deal with human error because of the culture of medical training and practice. Doctors are taught that mistakes are unacceptable. Medical mistakes are therefore viewed as a failure of character and any error equals negligence. No one is taught what to do when medical errors do occur. Leape cites McIntyre and Popper, who said the “infallibility model” of medicine leads to intellectual dishonesty with a need to cover up mistakes rather than admit them. There are no Grand Rounds on medical errors, no sharing of failures among doctors, and no one to support them emotionally when their error harms a patient.

Leape hoped his paper would encourage medical practitioners “to fundamentally change the way they think about errors and why they occur.” It has been almost a decade since this groundbreaking work, but the mistakes continue to soar.

In 1995, a JAMA report noted, "Over a million patients are injured in US hospitals each year, and approximately 280,000 die annually as a result of these injuries. Therefore, the iatrogenic death rate dwarfs the annual automobile accident mortality rate of 45,000 and accounts for more deaths than all other accidents combined."(23)

At a 1997 press conference, Leape released a nationwide poll on patient iatrogenesis conducted by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), which is sponsored by the American Medical Association (AMA). Leape is a founding member of NPSF. The survey found that more than 100 million Americans have been affected directly or indirectly by a medical mistake. Forty-two percent were affected directly and 84% personally knew of someone who had experienced a medical mistake.(14)

At this press conference, Leape updated his 1994 statistics, noting that as of 1997, medical errors in inpatient hospital settings nationwide could be as high as 3 million and could cost as much as $200 billion . Leape used a 14% fatality rate to determine a medical error death rate of 180,000 in 1994.(16) In 1997, using Leape's base number of 3 million errors, the annual death rate could be as high as 420,000 for hospital inpatients alone.


In 1994, Leape said he was well aware that medical errors were not being reported.(16) A study conducted in two obstetrical units in the UK found that only about one-quarter of adverse incidents were ever reported, to protect staff, preserve reputations, or for fear of reprisals, including lawsuits.(24). An analysis by Wald and Shojania found that only 1.5% of all adverse events result in an incident report, and only 6% of adverse drug events are identified properly. The authors learned that the American College of Surgeons estimates that surgical incident reports routinely capture only 5-30% of adverse events. In one study, only 20% of surgical complications resulted in discussion at morbidity and mortality rounds.(25) From these studies, it appears that all the statistics gathered on medical errors may substantially underestimate the number of adverse drug and medical therapy incidents. They also suggest that our statistics concerning mortality resulting from medical errors may be in fact be conservative figures.

An article in Psychiatric Times (April 2000) outlines the stakes involved in reporting medical errors.(26) The authors found that the public is fearful of suffering a fatal medical error, and doctors are afraid they will be sued if they report an error. This brings up the obvious question: who is reporting medical errors? Usually it is the patient or the patient's surviving family. If no one notices the error, it is never reported. Janet Heinrich, an associate director at the U.S. General Accounting Office responsible for health financing and public health issues, testified before a House subcommittee hearing on medical errors that "the full magnitude of their threat to the American public is unknown” and "gathering valid and useful information about adverse events is extremely difficult." She acknowledged that the fear of being blamed, and the potential for legal liability, played key roles in the underreporting of errors. The Psychiatric Times noted that the AMA strongly opposes mandatory reporting of medical errors.(26) If doctors are not reporting, what about nurses? A survey of nurses found that they also fail to report medical mistakes for fear of retaliation.(27)

Standard medical pharmacology texts admit that relatively few doctors ever report adverse drug reactions to the FDA.(28) The reasons range from not knowing such a reporting system exists to fear of being sued.(29) Yet the public depends on this tremendously flawed system of voluntary reporting by doctors to know whether a drug or a medical intervention is harmful.

Pharmacology texts also will tell doctors how hard it is to separate drug side effects from disease symptoms. Treatment failure is most often attributed to the disease and not the drug or doctor. Doctors are warned, “Probably nowhere else in professional life are mistakes so easily hidden, even from ourselves.”(30) It may be hard to accept, but it is not difficult to understand why only 1 in 20 side effects is reported to either hospital administrators or the FDA.(31, 31a)

If hospitals admitted to the actual number of errors for which they are responsible, which is about 20 times what is reported, they would come under intense scrutiny.(32) Jerry Phillips, associate director of the FDA's Office of Post Marketing Drug Risk Assessment, confirms this number. “In the broader area of adverse drug reaction data, the 250,000 reports received annually probably represent only 5% of the actual reactions that occur.”(33) Dr. Jay Cohen, who has extensively researched adverse drug reactions, notes that because only 5% of adverse drug reactions are reported, there are in fact 5 million medication reactions each year.(34)

A 2003 survey is all the more distressing because there seems to be no improvement in error reporting, even with all the attention given to this topic. Dr. Dorothea Wild surveyed medical residents at a community hospital in Connecticut and found that only half were aware that the hospital had a medical error-reporting system, and that the vast majority did not use it at all. Dr. Wild says this does not bode well for the future. If doctors don't learn error reporting in their training, they will never use it. Wild adds that error reporting is the first step in locating the gaps in the medical system and fixing them. Not even that first step has been taken to date.(35)


In a telephone survey, 1,207 adults ranked the effectiveness of the following measures in reducing preventable medical errors that result in serious harm.(36) (Following each measure is the percentage of respondents who ranked the measure as “very effective.”)

* giving doctors more time to spend with patients (78%)
* requiring hospitals to develop systems to avoid medical errors (74%)
* better training of health professionals (73%)
* using only doctors specially trained in intensive care medicine on intensive care units (73%)
* requiring hospitals to report all serious medical errors to a state agency (71%)
* increasing the number of hospital nurses (69%)
* reducing the work hours of doctors in training to avoid fatigue (66%)
* encouraging hospitals to voluntarily report serious medical errors to a state agency (62%).


Prescription drugs constitute the major treatment modality of scientific medicine. With the discovery of the “germ theory,” medical scientists convinced the public that infectious organisms were the cause of illness. Finding the “cure” for these infections proved much harder than anyone imagined. From the beginning, chemical drugs promised much more than they delivered. But far beyond not working, the drugs also caused incalculable side effects. The drugs themselves, even when properly prescribed, have side effects that can be fatal, as Lazarou's study(1) showed. But human error can make the situation even worse.

Medication Errors

A survey of a 1992 national pharmacy database found a total of 429,827 medication errors from 1,081 hospitals. Medication errors occurred in 5.22% of patients admitted to these hospitals each year. The authors concluded that at least 90,895 patients annually were harmed by medication errors in the US as a whole.(37)

A 2002 study shows that 20% of hospital medications for patients had dosage errors. Nearly 40% of these errors were considered potentially harmful to the patient. In a typical 300-patient hospital, the number of errors per day was 40.(38)

Problems involving patients' medications were even higher the following year. The error rate intercepted by pharmacists in this study was 24%, making the potential minimum number of patients harmed by prescription drugs 417,908.(39)
Recent Adverse Drug Reactions

More-recent studies on adverse drug reactions show that the figures from 1994 published in Lazarou's 1998 JAMA article may be increasing. A 2003 study followed 400 patients after discharge from a tertiary care hospital setting (requiring highly specialized skills, technology, or support services). Seventy-six patients (19%) had adverse events. Adverse drug events were the most common, at 66% of all events. The next most common event was procedure-related injuries, at 17%.(40)

In a New England Journal of Medicine study, an alarming one in four patients suffered observable side effects from the more than 3.34 billion prescription drugs filled in 2002.(41) One of the doctors who produced the study was interviewed by Reuters and commented, "With these 10-minute appointments, it's hard for the doctor to get into whether the symptoms are bothering the patients."(42) William Tierney, who editorialized on the New England Journal study, said “… given the increasing number of powerful drugs available to care for the aging population, the problem will only get worse.” The drugs with the worst record of side effects were selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ( SSRIs), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and calcium-channel blockers. Reuters also reported that prior research has suggested that nearly 5% of hospital admissions (over 1 million per year) are the result of drug side effects. But most of the cases are not documented as such. The study found that one of the reasons for this failure is that in nearly two-thirds of the cases, doctors could not diagnose drug side effects or the side effects persisted because the doctor failed to heed the warning signs.

Medicating Our Feelings

Patients seeking a more joyful existence and relief from worry, stress, and anxiety often fall victim to the messages endlessly displayed on TV and billboards. Often, instead of gaining relief, they fall victim to the myriad iatrogenic side effects of antidepressant medication.

Moreover, a whole generation of antidepressant users has been created from young people growing up on Ritalin. Medicating youth and modifying their emotions must have some impact on how they learn to deal with their feelings. They learn to equate coping with drugs rather than with their inner resources. As adults, these medicated youth reach for alcohol, drugs, or even street drugs to cope. According to JAMA , “Ritalin acts much like cocaine.”(43) Today's marketing of mood-modifying drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft ® makes them not only socially acceptable but almost a necessity in today's stressful world.

Television Diagnosis

To reach the widest audience possible, drug companies are no longer just targeting medical doctors with their marketing of antidepressants. By 1995, drug companies had tripled the amount of money allotted to direct advertising of prescription drugs to consumers. The majority of this money is spent on seductive television ads. From 1996 to 2000, spending rose from $791 million to nearly $2.5 billion.(44) This $2.5 billion represents only 15% of the total pharmaceutical advertising budget. While the drug companies maintain that direct-to-consumer advertising is educational, Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe of the Public Citizen Health Research Group in Washington, DC, argues that the public often is misinformed about these ads.(45) People want what they see on television and are told to go to their doctors for a prescription. Doctors in private practice either acquiesce to their patients' demands for these drugs or spend valuable time trying to talk patients out of unnecessary drugs. Dr. Wolfe remarks that one important study found that people mistakenly believe that the “FDA reviews all ads before they are released and allows only the safest and most effective drugs to be promoted directly to the public.”(46)

How Do We Know Drugs Are Safe?

Another aspect of scientific medicine that the public takes for granted is the testing of new drugs. Drugs generally are tested on individuals who are fairly healthy and not on other medications that could interfere with findings. But when these new drugs are declared “safe” and enter the drug prescription books, they are naturally going to be used by people who are on a variety of other medications and have a lot of other health problems. Then a new phase of drug testing called “post-approval” comes into play, which is the documentation of side effects once drugs hit the market. In one very telling report, the federal government's General Accounting Office "found that of the 198 drugs approved by the FDA between 1976 and 1985... 102 (or 51.5%) had serious post-approval risks... the serious post-approval risks (included) heart failure, myocardial infarction, anaphylaxis, respiratory depression and arrest, seizures, kidney and liver failure, severe blood disorders, birth defects and fetal toxicity, and blindness."(47)

NBC Television's investigative show “Dateline” wondered if your doctor is moonlighting as a drug company representative. After a yearlong investigation, NBC reported that because doctors can legally prescribe any drug to any patient for any condition, drug companies heavily promote "off label" and frequently inappropriate and untested uses of these medications, even though these drugs are approved only for the specific indications for which they have been tested.(48)

The leading causes of adverse drug reactions are antibiotics (17%), cardiovascular drugs (17%), chemotherapy (15%), and analgesics and anti-inflammatory agents (15%).(49)

Specific Drug Iatrogenesis: Antibiotics

According to William Agger, MD, director of microbiology and chief of infectious disease at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, WI, 30 million pounds of antibiotics are used in America each year.(50) Of this amount, 25 million pounds are used in animal husbandry, and 23 million pounds are used to try to prevent disease and the stress of shipping, as well as to promote growth. Only 2 million pounds are given for specific animal infections. Dr. Agger reminds us that low concentrations of antibiotics are measurable in many of our foods and in various waterways around the world, much of it seeping in from animal farms.

Agger contends that overuse of antibiotics results in food-borne infections resistant to antibiotics. Salmonella is found in 20% of ground meat, but the constant exposure of cattle to antibiotics has made 84% of salmonella resistant to at least one anti-salmonella antibiotic. Diseased animal food accounts for 80% of salmonellosis in humans, or 1.4 million cases per year. The conventional approach to countering this epidemic is to radiate food to try to kill all organisms while continuing to use the antibiotics that created the problem in the first place. Approximately 20% of chickens are contaminated with Campylobacter jejuni, an organism that causes 2.4 million cases of illness annually. Fifty-four percent of these organisms are resistant to at least one anti-campylobacter antimicrobial agent.

Denmark banned growth-promoting antibiotics beginning in 1999, which cut their use by more than half within a year, from 453,200 to 195,800 pounds. A report from Scandinavia found that removing antibiotic growth promoters had no or minimal effect on food production costs. Agger warns that the current crowded, unsanitary methods of animal farming in the US support constant stress and infection, and are geared toward high antibiotic use.

In the US, over 3 million pounds of antibiotics are used every year on humans. With a population of 284 million Americans, this amount is enough to give every man, woman, and child 10 teaspoons of pure antibiotics per year. Agger says that exposure to a steady stream of antibiotics has altered pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staplococcus aureus, and entercocci, to name a few.

Almost half of patients with upper respiratory tract infections in the U.S. still receive antibiotics from their doctor.(51) According to the CDC, 90% of upper respiratory infections are viral and should not be treated with antibiotics. In Germany, the prevalence of systemic antibiotic use in children aged 0-6 years was 42.9%.(52)

Data obtained from nine US health insurers on antibiotic use in 25,000 children from 1996 to 2000 found that rates of antibiotic use decreased. Antibiotic use in children aged three months to under 3 years decreased 24%, from 2.46 to 1.89 antibiotic prescriptions per patient per year. For children aged 3 to under 6 years, there was a 25% reduction from 1.47 to 1.09 antibiotic prescriptions per patient per year. And for children aged 6 to under 18 years, there was a 16% reduction from 0.85 to 0.69 antibiotic prescriptions per patient per year.(53) Despite these reductions, the data indicate that on average every child in America receives 1.22 antibiotic prescriptions annually.

Group A beta-hemolytic streptococci is the only common cause of sore throat that requires antibiotics, with penicillin and erythromycin the only recommended treatment. Ninety percent of sore-throat cases, however, are viral. Antibiotics were used in 73% of the estimated 6.7 million adult annual visits for sore throat in the US between 1989 and 1999. Furthermore, patients treated with antibiotics were prescribed non-recommended broad-spectrum antibiotics in 68% of visits. This period saw a significant increase in the use of newer, more expensive broad-spectrum antibiotics and a decrease in use of the recommended antibiotics penicillin and erythromycin.(54) A ntibiotics being prescribed in 73% of sore-throat cases instead of the recommended 10% resulted in a total of 4.2 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions from 1989 to 1999.

The Problem with Antibiotics

In September 2003, the CDC re-launched a program started in 1995 called “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work.”(55) This $1.6 million campaign is designed to educate patients about the overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics. Most people involved with alternative medicine have known about the dangers of antibiotic overuse for decades. Finally the government is focusing on the problem, yet it is spending only a miniscule amount of money on an iatrogenic epidemic that is costing billions of dollars and thousands of lives. The CDC warns that 90% of upper respiratory infections, including children's ear infections, are viral and that antibiotics do not treat viral infection. More than 40% of about 50 million prescriptions for antibiotics written each year in physicians' offices are inappropriate.(2) U sing antibiotics when not needed can lead to the development of deadly strains of bacteria that are resistant to drugs and cause more than 88,000 deaths due to hospital-acquired infections.(9) The CDC, however, seems to be blaming patients for misusing antibiotics even though they are available only by prescription from physicians. According to Dr. Richard Besser, head of “Get Smart”: "Programs that have just targeted physicians have not worked. Direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs is to blame in some cases.” Besser says the program “teaches patients and the general public that antibiotics are precious resources that must be used correctly if we want to have them around when we need them. Hopefully, as a result of this campaign, patients will feel more comfortable asking their doctors for the best care for their illnesses, rather than asking for antibiotics."(56)

What constitutes the “best care”? The CDC does not elaborate and ignores the latest research on the dozens of nutraceuticals that have been scientifically proven to treat viral infections and boost immune-system function. Will doctors recommend vitamin C, echinacea, elderberry, vitamin A, zinc, or homeopathic oscillococcinum? Probably not. The CDC's common-sense recommendations that most people follow anyway include getting proper rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and using a humidifier.

The pharmaceutical industry claims it supports limiting the use of antibiotics. The drug company Bayer sponsors a program called “Operation Clean Hands” through an organization called LIBRA.(57) The CDC also is involved in trying to minimize antibiotic resistance, but nowhere in its publications is there any reference to the role of nutraceuticals in boosting the immune system, nor to the thousands of journal articles that support this approach. This tunnel vision and refusal to recommend the available non-drug alternatives is unfortunate when the CDC is desperately trying to curb the overuse of antibiotics.

Drugs Pollute Our Water Supply

We have reached the point of saturation with prescription drugs. Every body of water tested contains measurable drug residues. The tons of antibiotics used in animal farming, which run off into the water table and surrounding bodies of water, are conferring antibiotic resistance to germs in sewage, and these germs also are found in our water supply. Flushed down our toilets are tons of drugs and drug metabolites that also find their way into our water supply. We have no way to know the long-term health consequences of ingesting a mixture of drugs and drug-breakdown products. These drugs represent another level of iatrogenic disease that we are unable to completely measure.(58-67)

Specific Drug Iatrogenesis: NSAIDs

It's not just the US that is plagued by iatrogenesis. A survey of more than 1,000 French general practitioners (GPs) tested their basic pharmacological knowledge and practice in prescribing NSAIDs, which rank first among commonly prescribed drugs for serious adverse reactions. The study results suggest that GPs do not have adequate knowledge of these drugs and are unable to effectively manage adverse reactions.(68)

A cross-sectional survey of 125 patients attending specialty pain clinics in South London found that possible iatrogenic factors such as “over-investigation, inappropriate information, and advice given to patients as well as misdiagnosis, over-treatment, and inappropriate prescription of medication were common.”(69)

Specific Drug Iatrogenesis: Cancer Chemotherapy

In 1989, German biostatistician Ulrich Abel, PhD, wrote a monograph entitled “Chemotherapy of Advanced Epithelial Cancer.” It was later published in shorter form in a peer-reviewed medical journal.(70) Abel presented a comprehensive analysis of clinical trials and publications representing over 3,000 articles examining the value of cytotoxic chemotherapy on advanced epithelial cancer. Epithelial cancer is the type of cancer with which we are most familiar, arising from epithelium found in the lining of body organs such as the breast, prostate, lung, stomach, and bowel. From these sites, cancer usually infiltrates adjacent tissue and spreads to the bone, liver, lung, or brain. With his exhaustive review, Abel concluded there is no direct evidence that chemotherapy prolongs survival in patients with advanced carcinoma; in small-cell lung cancer and perhaps ovarian cancer, the therapeutic benefit is only slight. According to Abel, “Many oncologists take it for granted that response to therapy prolongs survival, an opinion which is based on a fallacy and which is not supported by clinical studies.”

Over a decade after Abel's exhaustive review of chemotherapy, there seems no decrease in its use for advanced carcinoma. For example, when conventional chemotherapy and radiation have not worked to prevent metastases in breast cancer, high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) along with stem-cell transplant (SCT) is the treatment of choice. In March 2000, however, results from the largest multi-center randomized controlled trial conducted thus far showed that, compared to a prolonged course of monthly conventional-dose chemotherapy, HDC and SCT were of no benefit, (71) with even a slightly lower survival rate for the HDC/SCT group. Serious adverse effects occurred more often in the HDC group than the standard-dose group. One treatment-related death (within 100 days of therapy) was recorded in the HDC group, but none was recorded in the conventional chemotherapy group. The women in this trial were highly selected as having the best chance to respond.

Unfortunately, no all-encompassing follow-up study such as Dr. Abel's exists to indicate whether there has been any improvement in cancer-survival statistics since 1989. In fact, research should be conducted to determine whether chemotherapy itself is responsible for secondary cancers instead of progression of the original disease. We continue to question why well-researched alternative cancer treatments are not used.

Drug Companies Fined

Periodically, the FDA fines a drug manufacturer when its abuses are too glaring and impossible to cover up. In May 2002, The Washington Post reported that Schering-Plough Corp., the maker of Claritin, was to pay a $500 million dollar fine to the FDA for quality-control problems at four of its factories.(72) The indictment came after the Public Citizen Health Research Group, led by Dr. Sidney Wolfe, called for a criminal investigation of Schering-Plough, charging that the company distributed albuterol asthma inhalers even though it knew the units were missing the active ingredient.

The FDA tabulated infractions involving 125 products, or 90% of the drugs made by Schering-Plough since 1998. Besides paying the fine, the company was forced to halt the manufacture of 73 drugs or suffer another $175 million fine. Schering-Plough's news releases told another story, assuring consumers that they should still feel confident in the company's products.

This large settlement served as a warning to the drug industry about maintaining strict manufacturing practices and has given the FDA more clout in dealing with drug company compliance. According to The Washington Post article, a federal appeals court ruled in 1999 that the FDA could seize the profits of companies that violate "good manufacturing practices." Since that time, Abbott Laboratories has paid a $100 million fine for failing to meet quality standards in the production of medical test kits, while Wyeth Laboratories paid $30 million in 2000 to settle accusations of poor manufacturing practices.


In 1974, 2.4 million unnecessary surgeries were performed, resulting in 11,900 deaths at a cost of $3.9 billion.(73,74) In 2001, 7.5 million unnecessary surgical procedures were performed, resulting in 37,136 deaths at a cost of $122 billion (using 1974 dollars).(3)

It is very difficult to obtain accurate statistics when studying unnecessary surgery. In 1989, Leape wrote that perhaps 30% of controversial surgeries—which include cesarean section, tonsillectomy, appendectomy, hysterectomy, gastrectomy for obesity, breast implants, and elective breast implants(74)— are unnecessary. In 1974, the Congressional Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce held hearings on unnecessary surgery. It found that 17.6% of recommendations for surgery were not confirmed by a second opinion. The House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations extrapolated these figures and estimated that, on a nationwide basis, there were 2.4 million unnecessary surgeries performed annually, resulting in 11,900 deaths at an annual cost of $3.9 billion.(73)

According to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project within the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality(13), in 2001 the 50 most common medical and surgical procedures were performed approximately 41.8 million times in the US. Using the 1974 House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations' figure of 17.6% as the percentage of unnecessary surgical procedures, and extrapolating from the death rate in 1974, produces nearly 7.5 million (7,489,718) unnecessary procedures and a death rate of 37,136, at a cost of $122 billion (using 1974 dollars).

In 1995, researchers conducted a similar analysis of back surgery procedures, using the 1974 “unnecessary surgery percentage” of 17.6. Testifying before the Department of Veterans Affairs, they estimated that of the 250,000 back surgeries performed annually in the US at a hospital cost of $11,000 per patient, the total number of unnecessary back surgeries approaches 44,000, costing as much as $484 million.(75)

Like prescription drug use driven by television advertising, unnecessary surgeries are escalating. Media-driven surgery such as gastric bypass for obesity “modeled” by Hollywood celebrities seduces obese people to think this route is safe and sexy. Unnecessary surgeries have even been marketed on the Internet.(76) A study in Spain declares that 20-25% of total surgical practice represents unnecessary operations.(77)

According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics for 1979 to 1984, the total number of surgical procedures increased 9% while the number of surgeons grew 20%. The study notes that the large increase in the number of surgeons was not accompanied by a parallel increase in the number of surgeries performed, and expressed concern about an excess of surgeons to handle the surgical caseload.(78)

From 1983 to 1994, however, the incidence of the 10 most commonly performed surgical procedures jumped 38%, to 7,929,000 from 5,731,000 cases. By 1994, cataract surgery was the most common procedure with more than 2 million operations, followed by cesarean section (858,000 procedures) and inguinal hernia operations (689,000 procedures). Knee arthroscopy procedures increased 153% while prostate surgery declined 29%.(79)

The list of iatrogenic complications from surgery is as long as the list of procedures themselves. One study examined catheters that were inserted to deliver anesthetic into the epidural space around the spinal nerves for lower cesarean section, abdominal surgery, or prostate surgery. In some cases, non-sterile technique during catheter insertion resulted in serious infections, even leading to limb paralysis.(80)

In one review of the literature, the authors found “a significant rate of overutilization of coronary angiography, coronary artery surgery, cardiac pacemaker insertion, upper gastrointestinal endoscopies, carotid endarterectomies, back surgery, and pain-relieving procedures.”(81)

A 1987 JAMA study found the following significant levels of inappropriate surgery: 17% of coronary angiography procedures, 32% of carotid endarterectomy procedures, and 17% of upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy procedures.(82) Based on the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) statistics provided by the government for 2001, 697,675 upper gastrointestinal endoscopies (usually entailing biopsy) were performed, as were 142,401 endarterectomies and 719,949 coronary angiographies.(13) Extrapolating the JAMA study's inappropriate surgery rates to 2001 produces 118,604 unnecessary endoscopy procedures, 45,568 unnecessary endarterectomies, and 122,391 unnecessary coronary angiographies. These are all forms of medical iatrogenesis.


It is instructive to know the mortality rates associated with various medical and surgical procedures. Although we must sign release forms when we undergo any procedure, many of us are in denial about the true risks involved; because medical and surgical procedures are so commonplace, they often are seen as both necessary and safe. Unfortunately, allopathic medicine itself is a leading cause of death, as well as the most expensive way to die.

Perhaps the words “health care” confer the illusion that medicine is about health. Allopathic medicine is not a purveyor of health care but of disease care. The HCUP figures are instructive,(13) but the computer program that calculates annual mortality statistics for all US hospital discharges is only as good as the codes entered into the system. In email correspondence, HCUP indicated that the mortality rates for each procedure indicated only that someone undergoing that procedure died either from the procedure or from some other cause.

Thus there is no way of knowing exactly how many people die from a particular procedure. While codes for “poisoning & toxic effects of drugs” and “complications of treatment” do exist, the mortality figures registered in these categories are very low and do not correlate with what is known from research such as the 1998 JAMA study(1) that estimated an average of 106,000 prescription medication deaths per year. No codes exist for adverse drug side effects, surgical mishaps, or other types of medical error. Until such codes exist, the true mortality rates tied to of medical error will remain buried in the general statistics.


In 1978, the US Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) reported: “Only 10-20% of all procedures currently used in medical practice have been shown to be efficacious by controlled trial."(83) In 1995, the OTA compared medical technology in eight countries ( Australia , Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, and the US ) and again noted that few medical procedures in the US have been subjected to clinical trial. It also reported that US infant mortality was high and life expectancy low compared to other developed countries.(84)

Although almost 10 years old, much of what was written in the OTA report holds true today. The report blames the high cost of American medicine on the medical free-enterprise system and failure to create a national health care policy. It attributes the government's failure to control health care costs to market incentives and profit motives inherent in the current financing and organization of health care, which includes such interests as private health insurers, hospital systems, physicians, and the drug and medical-device industries. “Health Care Technology and Its Assessment in Eight Countries” is the last report prepared by the OTA, which was disbanded in 1995. It also is perhaps the US government's last honest, detailed examination of the nation's health care system. An appendix summarizing this 60-page report follows this article.


An October 2003 JAMA study from the US government's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) documented 32,000 mostly surgery-related deaths costing $9 billion and accounting for 2.4 million extra hospital days in 2000.(85) Data from 20% of the nation's hospitals were analyzed for 18 different surgical complications, including postoperative infections, foreign objects left in wounds, surgical wounds reopening, and post-operative bleeding.

In a press release accompanying the study, AHRQ director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, noted: “This study gives us the first direct evidence that medical injuries pose a real threat to the American public and increase the costs of health care.”(86) According to the study's authors, “The findings greatly underestimate the problem, since many other complications happen that are not listed in hospital administrative data.” They added: "The message here is that medical injuries can have a devastating impact on the health care system. We need more research to identify why these injuries occur and find ways to prevent them from happening." The study authors said that improved medical practices, including an emphasis on better hand washing, might help reduce morbidity and mortality rates. In an accompanying JAMA editorial, health-risk researcher Dr. Saul Weingart of Harvard's Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center wrote, “Given their staggering magnitude, these estimates are clearly sobering.”(87)


When x-rays were discovered, no one knew the long-term effects of ionizing radiation. In the 1950s, monthly fluoroscopic exams at the doctor's office were routine, and you could even walk into most shoe stores and see x-rays of your foot bones. We still do not know the ultimate outcome of our initial fascination with x-rays.

In those days, it was common practice to x-ray pregnant women to measure their pelvises and make a diagnosis of twins. Finally, a study of 700,000 children born between 1947 and 1964 in 37 major maternity hospitals compared the children of mothers who had received pelvic x-rays during pregnancy to those of mothers who did not. It found that cancer mortality was 40% higher among children whose mothers had been x-rayed.(88)

In present-day medicine, coronary angiography is an invasive surgical procedure that involves snaking a tube through a blood vessel in the groin up to the heart. To obtain useful information, X-rays are taken almost continuously, with minimum dosages ranging from 460 to 1,580 mrem. The minimum radiation from a routine chest x-ray is 2 mrem. X-ray radiation accumulates in the body, and ionizing radiation used in X-ray procedures has been shown to cause gene mutation. The health impact of this high level of radiation is unknown, and often obscured in statistical jargon such as, “The risk for lifetime fatal cancer due to radiation exposure is estimated to be 4 in one million per 1,000 mrem.”(89)

Dr. John Gofman has studied the effects of radiation on human health for 45 years. A medical doctor with a PhD in nuclear and physical chemistry, Gofman worked on the Manhattan Project, discovered uranium-233, and was the first person to isolate plutonium. In five scientifically documented books, Gofman provides strong evidence that medical technology—specifically x-rays, CT scans, and mammography and fluoroscopy devices—are a contributing factor to 75% of new cancers. In a nearly 700-page report updated in 2000, “Radiation from Medical Procedures in the Pathogenesis of Cancer and Ischemic Heart Disease: Dose-Response Studies with Physicians per 100,000 Population,”(90) Gofman shows that as the number of physicians increases in a geographical area along with an increase in the number of x-ray diagnostic tests performed, the rate of cancer and ischemic heart disease also increases. Gofman elaborates that it is not x-rays alone that cause the damage but a combination of health risk factors that include poor diet, smoking, abortions, and the use of birth control pills. Dr. Gofman predicts that ionizing radiation will be responsible for 100 million premature deaths over the next decade.

In his book, “Preventing Breast Cancer,” Dr. Gofman notes that breast cancer is the leading cause of death among American women between the ages of 44 and 55. Because breast tissue is highly sensitive to radiation, mammograms can cause cancer. The danger can be heightened other factors including a woman's genetic makeup, preexisting benign breast disease, artificial menopause, obesity, and hormonal imbalance.(91)

Even x-rays for back pain can lead someone into crippling surgery. Dr. John E. Sarno, a well-known New York orthopedic surgeon, found that there is not necessarily any association between back pain and spinal x-ray abnormality. He cites studies of normal people without a trace of back pain whose x-rays indicate spinal abnormalities and of people with back pain whose spines appear to be normal on x-ray.(92) People who happen to have back pain and show an abnormality on x-ray may be treated surgically, sometimes with no change in back pain, worsening of back pain, or even permanent disability. Moreover, doctors often order x-rays as protection against malpractice claims, to give the impression of leaving no stone unturned. It appears that doctors are putting their own fears before the interests of their patients.


Nearly 9 million (8,925,033) people were hospitalized unnecessarily in 2001.(4) In a study of inappropriate hospitalization, two doctors reviewed 1,132 medical records. They concluded that 23% of all admissions were inappropriate and an additional 17% could have been handled in outpatient clinics. Thirty-four percent of all hospital days were deemed inappropriate and could have been avoided.(93) The rate of inappropriate hospital admissions in 1990 was 23.5%.(94) In 1999, another study also found an inappropriate admissions rate of 24%, indicating a consistent pattern from 1986 to 1999.(95) The HCUP database indicates that the total number of patient discharges from US hospitals in 2001 was 37,187,641,(13) meaning that almost 9 million people were exposed to unnecessary medical intervention in hospitals and therefore represent almost 9 million potential iatrogenic episodes.(4)


Dr. Martin Charcot (1825-1893) was world-renowned, the most celebrated doctor of his time. He practiced in the Paris hospital La Salpetriere. He became an expert in hysteria, diagnosing an average of 10 hysterical women each day, transforming them into “iatrogenic monsters” and turning simple “neurosis” into hysteria.(96) The number of women diagnosed with hysteria and hospitalized rose from 1% in 1841 to 17% in 1883. Hysteria is derived from the Latin “hystera” meaning uterus. According to Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, US medicine has a tradition of excessive medical and surgical interventions on women. Only 100 years ago, male doctors believed that female psychological imbalance originated in the uterus. When surgery to remove the uterus was perfected, it became the “cure” for mental instability, effecting a physical and psychological castration. Fugh-Berman notes that US doctors eventually disabused themselves of that notion but have continued to treat women very differently than they treat men.(97) She cites the following statistics:

1. Thousands of prophylactic mastectomies are performed annually.
2. One-third of US women have had a hysterectomy before menopause.
3. Women are prescribed drugs more frequently than are men.
4. Women are given potent drugs for disease prevention, which results in disease substitution due to side effects.
5. Fetal monitoring is unsupported by studies and not recommended by the CDC.(98) It confines women to a hospital bed and may result in a higher incidence of cesarean section.(99)
6. Normal processes such as menopause and childbirth have been heavily “medicalized.”
7. Synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) does not prevent heart disease or dementia, but does increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and gall bladder attack.(100)

As many as one-third of postmenopausal women use HRT.(101,102) This number is important in light of the much-publicized Women's Health Initiative Study, which was halted before its completion because of a higher death rate in the synthetic estrogen-progestin (HRT) group.(103)

Cesarean Section

In 1983, 809,000 cesarean sections (21% of live births) were performed in the US, making it the nation's most common obstetric-gynecologic (OB/GYN) surgical procedure. The second most common OB/GYN operation was hysterectomy (673,000), followed by diagnostic dilation and curettage of the uterus (632,000). In 1983, OB/GYN procedures represented 23% of all surgery completed in the US.(104)

In 2001, cesarean section is still the most common OB/GYN surgical procedure. Approximately 4 million births occur annually, with 24% (960,000) delivered by cesarean section. In the Netherlands, only 8% of births are delivered by cesarean section. This suggests 640,000 unnecessary cesarean sections—entailing three to four times higher mortality and 20 times greater morbidity than vaginal delivery(105)—are performed annually in the US.

The US cesarean rate rose from just 4.5% in 1965 to 24.1% in 1986. Sakala contends that an “uncontrolled pandemic of medically unnecessary cesarean births is occurring.”(106) VanHam reported a cesarean section postpartum hemorrhage rate of 7%, a hematoma formation rate of 3.5%, a urinary tract infection rate of 3%, and a combined postoperative morbidity rate of 35.7% in a high-risk population undergoing cesarean section.(107)


Scientists claimed there were never enough studies revealing the dangers of DDT and other dangerous pesticides to ban them. They also used this argument for tobacco, claiming that more studies were needed before they could be certain that tobacco really caused lung cancer. Even the American Medical Association (AMA) was complicit in suppressing the results of tobacco research. In 1964, when the Surgeon General's report condemned smoking, the AMA refused to endorse it, claiming a need for more research. What they really wanted was more money, which they received from a consortium of tobacco companies that paid the AMA $18 million over the next nine years during which the AMA said nothing about the dangers of smoking.(108)

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), "after careful consideration of the extent to which cigarettes were used by physicians in practice," began accepting tobacco advertisements and money in 1933. State journals such as the New York State Journal of Medicine also began to run advertisements for Chesterfield cigarettes that claimed cigarettes are "Just as pure as the water you drink… and practically untouched by human hands." In 1948, JAMA argued "more can be said in behalf of smoking as a form of escape from tension than against it… there does not seem to be any preponderance of evidence that would indicate the abolition of the use of tobacco as a substance contrary to the public health."(109) Today, scientists continue to use the excuse that more studies are needed before they will support restricting the inordinate use of drugs.


The Lazarou study(1) analyzed records for prescribed medications for 33 million US hospital admissions in 1994. It discovered 2.2 million serious injuries due to prescribed drugs; 2.1% of inpatients experienced a serious adverse drug reaction, 4.7% of all hospital admissions were due to a serious adverse drug reaction, and fatal adverse drug reactions occurred in 0.19% of inpatients and 0.13% of admissions. The authors estimated that 106,000 deaths occur annually due to adverse drug reactions.

Using a cost analysis from a 2000 study in which the increase in hospitalization costs per patient suffering an adverse drug reaction was $5,483, costs for the Lazarou study's 2.2 million patients with serious drug reactions amounted to $12 billion.(1,49)

Serious adverse drug reactions commonly emerge after FDA approval of the drugs involved. The safety of new agents cannot be known with certainty until a drug has been on the market for many years.(110)


Over one million people develop bedsores in U.S. hospitals every year. It's a tremendous burden to patients and family, and a $55 billion dollar healthcare burden. (7) Bedsores are preventable with proper nursing care. It is true that 50% of those affected are in a vulnerable age group of over 70. In the elderly bedsores carry a fourfold increase in the rate of death. The mortality rate in hospitals for patients with bedsores is between 23% and 37%. (8) Even if we just take the 50% of people over 70 with bedsores and the lowest mortality at 23%, that gives us a death rate due to bedsores of 115,000. Critics will say that it was the disease or advanced age that killed the patient, not the bedsore, but our argument is that an early death, by denying proper care, deserves to be counted. It is only after counting these unnecessary deaths that we can then turn our attention to fixing the problem.


The General Accounting Office (GAO), a special investigative branch of Congress, cited 20% of the nation's 17,000 nursing homes for violations between July 2000 and January 2002. Many violations involved serious physical injury and death.(111)

A report from the Coalition for Nursing Home Reform states that at least one-third of the nation's 1.6 million nursing home residents may suffer from malnutrition and dehydration, which hastens their death. The report calls for adequate nursing staff to help feed patients who are not able to manage a food tray by themselves.(11) It is difficult to place a mortality rate on malnutrition and dehydration. The Coalition report states that malnourished residents, compared with well-nourished hospitalized nursing home residents, have a fivefold increase in mortality when they are admitted to a hospital. Multiplying the one-third of 1.6 million nursing home residents who are malnourished by a mortality rate of 20%(8,14) results in 108,800 premature deaths due to malnutrition in nursing homes.

Nosocomial Infections

The rate of nosocomial infections per 1,000 patient days rose from 7.2 in 1975 to 9.8 in 1995, a 36% jump in 20 years. Reports from more than 270 US hospitals showed that the nosocomial infection rate itself had remained stable over the previous 20 years, with approximately five to six hospital-acquired infections occurring per 100 admissions, a rate of 5-6%. Due to progressively shorter inpatient stays and the increasing number of admissions, however, the number of infections increased. It is estimated that in 1995, nosocomial infections cost $4.5 billion and contributed to more than 88,000 deaths, or one death every 6 minutes.(9) The 2003 incidence of nosocomial mortality is quite probably higher than in 1995 because of the tremendous increase in antibiotic-resistant organisms. Morbidity and Mortality Report found that nosocomial infections cost $5 billion annually in 1999,(10) representing a $0.5 billion increase in just four years. At this rate of increase, the current cost of nosocomial infections would be around $5.5 billion.

Outpatient Iatrogenesis

In a 2000 JAMA article, Dr. Barbara Starfield presents well-documented facts that are both shocking and unassailable.(12) The U.S. ranks 12th of 13 industrialized countries when judged by 16 health status indicators. Japan, Sweden, and Canada were first, second, and third, respectively. More than 40 million people in the US have no health insurance, and 20-30% of patients receive contraindicated care.

Starfield warns that one cause of medical mistakes is overuse of technology, which may create a "cascade effect" leading to still more treatment. She urges the use of ICD (International Classification of Diseases) codes that have designations such as "Drugs, Medicinal, and Biological Substances Causing Adverse Effects in Therapeutic Use" and "Complications of Surgical and Medical Care" to help doctors quantify and recognize the magnitude of the medical error problem. Starfield notes that many deaths attributable to medical error today are likely to be coded to indicate some other cause of death. She concludes that against the backdrop of our poor health report card compared to other Westernized countries, we should recognize that the harmful effects of health care interventions account for a substantial proportion of our excess deaths.

Starfield cites Weingart's 2000 article, “Epidemiology of Medical Error,” as well as other authors to suggest that between 4% and 18% of consecutive patients in outpatient settings suffer an iatrogenic event leading to:

1. 116 million extra physician visits
2. 77 million extra prescriptions filled
3. 17 million emergency department visits
4. 8 million hospitalizations
5. 3 million long-term admissions
6. 199,000 additional deaths
7. $77 billion in extra costs(112)

Unnecessary Surgeries

While some 12,000 deaths occur each year from unnecessary surgeries, results from the few studies that have measured unnecessary surgery directly indicate that for some highly controversial operations, the proportion of unwarranted surgeries could be as high as 30%.(74)


A five-country survey published in the Journal of Health Affairs found that 18-28% of people who were recently ill had suffered from a medical or drug error in the previous two years. The study surveyed 750 recently ill adults. The breakdown by country showed the percentages of those suffering a medical or drug error were 18% in Britain, 23% in Australia and in New Zealand, 25% in Canada, and 28% in the US.(113)


The Institute of Medicine recently found that the 41 million Americans with no health insurance have consistently worse clinical outcomes than those who are insured, and are at increased risk for dying prematurely (114).

When doctors bill for services they do not render, advise unnecessary tests, or screen everyone for a rare condition, they are committing insurance fraud. The US GAO estimated that $12 billion dollars was lost to fraudulent or unnecessary claims in 1998, and reclaimed $480 million in judgments in that year. In 2001, the federal government won or negotiated more than $1.7 billion in judgments, settlements, and administrative impositions in health care fraud cases and proceedings.(115)


One way to measure the moral and ethical fiber of a society is by how it treats its weakest and most vulnerable members. In some cultures, elderly people lives out their lives in extended family settings that enable them to continue participating in family and community affairs. American nursing homes, where millions of our elders go to live out their final days, represent the pinnacle of social isolation and medical abuse.

* In America, approximately 1.6 million elderly are confined to nursing homes. By 2050, that number could be 6.6 million.(11,116)
* Twenty percent of all deaths from all causes occur in nursing homes.(117)
* Hip fractures are the single greatest reason for nursing home admissions.(118)
* Nursing homes represent a reservoir for drug-resistant organisms due to overuse of antibiotics.(119)

Presenting a report he sponsored entitled "Abuse of Residents is a Major Problem in U.S. Nursing Homes" on July 30, 2001, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) noted that “as a society we will be judged by how we treat the elderly." The report found one-third of the nation's approximately 17,000 nursing homes were cited for an abuse violation in a two-year period from January 1999 to January 2001.(116) According to Waxman, “the people who cared for us deserve better." The report suggests that this known abuse represents only the “tip of the iceberg” and that much more abuse occurs that we aware of or ignore.(116a) The report found:

* Over 30% of US nursing homes were cited for abuses, totaling more than 9,000 violations.
* 10% of nursing homes had violations that caused actual physical harm to residents or worse.
* Over 40% (3,800) of the abuse violations followed the filing of a formal complaint, usually by concerned family members.
* Many verbal abuse violations were found.
* Occasions of sexual abuse.
* Incidents of physical abuse causing numerous injuries such as fractured femur, hip, elbow, wrist, and other injuries.

Dangerously understaffed nursing homes lead to neglect, abuse, overuse of medications, and physical restraints. In 1990, Congress mandated an exhaustive study of nurse-to-patient ratios in nursing homes. The study was finally begun in 1998 and took four years to complete.(120) A spokesperson for The National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform commented on the study: “They compiled two reports of three volumes each thoroughly documenting the number of hours of care residents must receive from nurses and nursing assistants to avoid painful, even dangerous, conditions such as bedsores and infections. Yet it took the Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Tommy Thompson only four months to dismiss the report as ‘insufficient.'”(121) Although preventable with proper nursing care, bedsores occur three times more commonly in nursing homes than in acute care or veterans hospitals.(122).

Because many nursing home patients suffer from chronic debilitating conditions, their assumed cause of death often is unquestioned by physicians. Some studies show that as many as 50% of deaths due to restraints, falls, suicide, homicide, and choking in nursing homes may be covered up.(123,124) It is possible that many nursing home deaths are instead attributed to heart disease. In fact, researchers have found that heart disease may be over-represented in the general population as a cause of death on death certificates by 8-24%. In the elderly, the overreporting of heart disease as a cause of death is as much as twofold.(125)

That very few statistics exist concerning malnutrition in acute-care hospitals and nursing homes demonstrates the lack of concern in this area. While a survey of the literature turns up few US studies, one revealing US study evaluated the nutritional status of 837 patients in a 100-bed subacute-care hospital over a 14-month period. The study found only 8% of the patients were well nourished, while 29% were malnourished and 63% were at risk of malnutrition. As a result, 25% of the malnourished patients required readmission to an acute-care hospital, compared to 11% of the well-nourished patients. The authors concluded that malnutrition reached epidemic proportions in patients admitted to this subacute-care facility.(126)

Many studies conclude that physical restraints are an underreported and preventable cause of death. Studies show that compared to no restraints, the use of restraints carries a higher mortality rate and economic burden.(127-129) Studies have found that physical restraints, including bedrails, are the cause of at least 1 in every 1,000 nursing-home deaths.(130-132)

Deaths caused by malnutrition, dehydration, and physical restraints, however, are rarely recorded on death certificates. Several studies reveal that nearly half of the listed causes of death on death certificates for elderly people with chronic or multi-system disease are inaccurate.(133) Even though 1 in 5 people die in nursing homes, an autopsy is performed in less than 1% of these deaths.(134).

Overmedicating Seniors

Dr. Robert Epstein, chief medical officer of Medco Health Solutions Inc. (a unit of Merck & Co.), conducted a study in 2003 of drug trends among the elderly.(135) He found that seniors are going to multiple physicians, getting multiple prescriptions, and using multiple pharmacies. Medco oversees drug-benefit plans for more than 60 million Americans, including 6.3 million seniors who received more than 160 million prescriptions. According to the study, the average senior receives 25 prescriptions each year. Among those 6.3 million seniors, a total of 7.9 million medication alerts were triggered: less than one-half that number, 3.4 million, were detected in 1999. About 2.2 million of those alerts indicated excessive dosages unsuitable for seniors, and about 2.4 million alerts indicated clinically inappropriate drugs for the elderly. Reuters interviewed Kasey Thompson, director of the Center on Patient Safety at the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, who noted: “There are serious and systemic problems with poor continuity of care in the United States .” He says this study represents only “the tip of the iceberg” of a national problem.

According to Drug Benefit Trends , the average number of prescriptions dispensed per non-Medicare HMO member per year rose 5.6% from 1999 to 2000, - from 7.1 to 7.5 prescriptions. The average number dispensed for Medicare members increased 5.5%, from 18.1 to 19.1 prescriptions.(136) The total number of prescriptions written in the US in 2000 was 2.98 billion, or 10.4 prescriptions for every man, woman, and child.(137)

In a study of 818 residents of residential care facilities for the elderly, 94% were receiving at least one medication at the time of the interview. The average intake of medications was five per resident; the authors noted that many of these drugs were given without a documented diagnosis justifying their use.(138)

Seniors and groups like the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) are demanding that prescription drug coverage be a basic right.(139) They have accepted allopathic medicine's overriding assumption that aging and dying in America must be accompanied by drugs in nursing homes and eventual hospitalization. Seniors are given the choice of either high-cost patented drugs or low-cost generic drugs. Drug companies attempt to keep the most expensive drugs on the shelves and suppress access to generic drugs, despite facing stiff fines of hundreds of millions of dollars levied by the federal government.(140,141) In 2001, some of the world's largest drug companies were fined a record $871 million for conspiring to increase the price of vitamins.(142)

Current AARP recommendations for diet and nutrition assume that seniors are getting all the nutrition they need in an average diet. At most, AARP suggests adding extra calcium and a multivitamin and mineral supplement.(143)

Ironically, studies also indicate underuse of proper pain medication for patients who need it. One study evaluated pain management in a group of 13,625 cancer patients, aged 65 and over, living in nursing homes. While almost 30% of the patients reported pain, more than 25% received no pain relief medication, 16% received a mild analgesic drug, 32% received a moderate analgesic drug, and 26% received adequate pain-relieving morphine. The authors concluded that older patients and minority patients were more likely to have their pain untreated.(144)


Our ongoing research will continue to quantify the morbidity, mortality, and financial loss due to:

1. X-ray exposures (mammography, fluoroscopy, CT scans).
2. Overuse of antibiotics for all conditions.
3. Carcinogenic drugs (hormone replacement therapy,* immunosuppressive and prescription drugs).
4. Cancer chemotherapy(70)
5. Surgery and unnecessary surgery (cesarean section, radical mastectomy, preventive mastectomy, radical hysterectomy, prostatectomy, cholecystectomies, cosmetic surgery, arthroscopy, etc.).
6. Discredited medical procedures and therapies.
7. Unproven medical therapies.
8. Outpatient surgery.
9. Doctors themselves.

* Part of our ongoing research will be to quantify the mortality and morbidity caused by hormone replacement therapy (HRT) since the 1940s. In December 2000, a government scientific advisory panel recommended that synthetic estrogen be added to the nation's list of cancer-causing agents. HRT, either synthetic estrogen alone or combined with synthetic progesterone, is used by an estimated 13.5 to 16 million women in the US.(145) The aborted Women's Health Initiative Study (WHI) of 2002 showed that women taking synthetic estrogen combined with synthetic progesterone have a higher incidence of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, stroke, and heart disease, with little evidence of osteoporosis reduction or dementia prevention. WHI researchers, who usually never make recommendations except to suggest more studies, advised doctors to be very cautious about prescribing HRT to their patients.(100,146-150)

Results of the “Million Women Study” on HRT and breast cancer in the UK were published in medical journal The Lancet in August 2003. According to lead author Prof. Valerie Beral, director of the Cancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit: "We estimate that over the past decade, use of HRT by UK women aged 50-64 has resulted in an extra 20,000 breast cancers, estrogen-progestagen (combination) therapy accounting for 15,000 of these.”(151) We were unable to find statistics on breast cancer, stroke, uterine cancer, or heart disease caused by HRT used by American women. Because the US population is roughly six times that of the UK, it is possible that 120,000 cases of breast cancer have been caused by HRT in the past decade.


Health Care Technology and Its Assessment in Eight Countries, 1995.

General Facts

1. In 1990, US life expectancy was 71.8 years for men and 78.8 years for women, among the lowest rates in the developed countries.
2. The 1990 US infant mortality rate in the US was 9.2 per 1,000 live births, in the bottom half of the distribution among all developed countries.
3. Health status is correlated with socioeconomic status.
4. Health care is not universal.
5. Health care is based on the free market system with no fixed budget or limitations on expansion.
6. Health care accounts for 14% of the US GNP ($800 billion in 1993).
7. The federal government does no central planning, though it is the major purchaser of health care for older people and some poor people.
8. Americans are less satisfied with their health care system than people in other developed countries.
9. US medicine specializes in expensive medical technology; some large US cities have more magnetic resonance image (MRI) scanners than most countries.
10. Huge public and private investments in medical research and pharmaceutical development drive this “technological arms race.”
11. Any efforts to restrain technological developments in health care are opposed by policymakers concerned about negative impacts on medical-technology industries.


1. In 1990, the US had 5,480 acute-care hospitals, 880 specialty (psychiatric, long-term care, and rehabilitation) hospitals, and 340 federal (military, veterans, and Native American) hospitals, or 2.7 hospitals per 100,000 population.
2. In 1990, the average length of stay for 33 million admissions was 9.2 days. The bed occupancy rate was 66%. Lengths of stay were shorter and admission rates lower than other countries.
3. In 1990, the US had 615,000 physicians, or 2.4 per 1,000 population; 33% were primary care (family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics) and 67% were specialists.
4. In 1991, government-run health care spending totaled $81 billion.
5. Total US health care spending rose to $752 billion in 1991 from $70 billion in 1950. Spending grew five-fold per capita.
6. Reasons for increased healthcare spending include:
1. The high cost of defensive medicine, with an escalation in services solely to avoid malpractice litigation.
2. US health care based on defensive medicine costs nearly $45 billion per year, or about 5% of total health care spending, according to one source.
3. The availability and use of new medical technologies have contributed the most to increased health care spending, argue many analysts. These costs are impossible to quantify.
7. The reasons government attempts to control health care costs have failed include:
1. Market incentive and profit-motive involvement in the financing and organization of health care, including private insurers, hospital systems, physicians, and the drug and medical-device industries.
2. Expansion is the goal of free enterprise.

Health-Related Research and Development

1. The US spends more than any other country on health-related R&D.
2. In 1989, the federal government spent $9.2 billion on R&D, while private industry spent an additional $9.4 billion.
3. Total US R&D expenditures rose 50% from 1983 to 1992.
4. NIH receives about half of US government R&D funding.
5. NIH spent more on basic research ($4.1 billion in 1989) than for clinical trials of medical treatments on humans ($519 million in 1989).
6. Most of the clinical trials evaluate new treatment protocols for cancer and complications of AIDS, and do not study existing treatments, even though their effectiveness is in many cases unknown and questionable.
7. In 1990, the NIH had just begun to do meta-analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis.

Pharmaceutical and Medical-Device Industries

1. About two-thirds of the industry's $9.4 billion budget went to drug research; device manufacturers spent the remaining one-third.
2. In addition to R&D, the medical industry spent 24% of total sales on promoting their products and 15% of total sales on development.
3. Total marketing expenses in 1990 were over $5 billion.
4. Many products provide no benefit over existing products.
5. Public and private health care consumers buy these products.
6. If health care spending is perceived as a problem, a highly profitable drug industry exacerbates the problem.

Controlling Health Care Technology

1. The FDA ensures the safety and efficacy of drugs, biologics, and medical devices.
2. The FDA does not consider costs of therapy.
3. The FDA does not consider the effectiveness of a therapy.
4. The FDA does not compare a product to currently marketed products
5. The FDA does not consider nondrug alternatives for a given clinical problem.
6. It costs $200 million in development costs to bring a new drug to market. AIDS-drug interest groups forced new regulations that speed up the approval process.
7. Such drugs should be subject to greater post-marketing surveillance requirements. As of 1995, these provisions had not yet come into play.
8. Many argue that reductions in the pre-approval testing of drugs open the possibility of significant undiscovered toxicities.

Health Care Technology Assessment

1. Failure to evaluate technology was a focus of a 1978 report from OTA with examples of many common medical practices supported by limited published data (10-20%).
2. In 1978, Congress created the National Center for Health Care Technology (NCHCT) to advise Medicare and Medicaid.
3. With an annual budget of $4 million, NCHCT published three broad assessments of high-priority technologies and made about 75 coverage recommendations to Medicare.
4. Congress disbanded NCHCT in 1981. The medical profession opposed it from the beginning. The AMA testified before Congress in 1981 that “clinical policy analysis and judgments are better made—and are being responsibly made—within the medical profession. Assessing risks and costs, as well as benefits, has been central to the exercise of good medical judgment for decades.”
5. The medical device lobby also opposed government oversight by NCHCT.

Examples of Lack of Proper Management of HealthCare

Treatments for Coronary Artery Disease

1. Since the early 1970s, the number of coronary artery bypass surgeries (CABGS) has risen rapidly without government regulation or clinical trials.
2. Angioplasty for single vessel disease was introduced in 1978. The first published trial of angioplasty versus medical treatment was done in 1992.
3. Angioplasty did not reduce the number of CABGS, as was promoted.
4. Both procedures increase in number every year as the patient population grows older and sicker.
5. Rates of use are higher in white patients and private insurance patients, and vary greatly by geographic region, suggesting that use of these procedures is based on non-clinical factors.
6. As of 1995, the NIH consensus program had not assessed CABGS since 1980 and had never assessed angioplasty.
7. RAND researchers evaluated CABGS in New York in 1990. They reviewed 1,300 procedures and found 2% were inappropriate, 90% were appropriate, and 7% were uncertain. For 1,300 angioplasties, 4% were inappropriate and 38% uncertain. Using RAND methodologies, a panel of British physicians rated twice as many procedures “inappropriate” as did a US panel rating the same clinical cases. The New York numbers are in question because New York State limits the number of surgery centers, and the per-capita supply of cardiac surgeons in New York is about one-half of the national average.
8. The estimated five-year cost is $33,000 for angioplasty and $40,000 for CABGS. Angioplasty did not lower costs, due to its high failure rates.

Computed Tomography (CT)

1. The first CT scanner in the US was installed at the Mayo Clinic in 1973. By 1992, the number of operational CT scanners in the US had grown to 6,060. By comparison, in 1993 there were 216 CT units in Canada .
2. There is little information available on how CT scans improve or affect patient outcomes
3. In some institutions, up to 90% of scans performed were negative.
4. Approval by the FDA was not required for CT scanners, nor was any evidence of safety or efficacy.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

1. MRIs were introduced in Great Britain in 1978 and in the US in 1980. By 1988, there were 1,230 units and by 1992 between 2,800 and 3,000.
2. A definitive review published in 1994 found less than 30 studies of 5,000 that were prospective comparisons of diagnostic accuracy or therapeutic choice.
3. The American College of Physicians assessed MRI studies and rated 13 of 17 trials as “weak,” i.e., lacking data concerning therapeutic impact or patient outcomes.
4. The OTA concluded: “It is evident that hospitals, physician-entrepreneurs, and medical device manufacturers have approached MRI and CT as commodities with high-profit potential, and decision-making on the acquisition and use of these procedures has been highly influenced by this approach. Clinical evaluation, appropriate patient selection, and matching supply to legitimate demand might be viewed as secondary forces.”

Laparoscopic Surgery

1. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was introduced at a professional surgical society meeting in late 1989. By 1992, 85% of all cholecystectomies were performed laparoscopically.
2. There was an associated increase of 30% in the number of cholecystectomies performed.
3. Because of the increased volume of gall bladder operations, their total cost increased 11.4% between 1988 and 1992, despite a 25.1% drop in the average cost per surgery.
4. The mortality rate for gall bladder surgeries did not decline as a result of the lower risk because so many more were performed.
5. When studies were finally done on completed cases, the results showed that laparoscopic cholecystectomy was associated with reduced inpatient duration, decreased pain, and a shorter period of restricted activity. But rates of bile duct and major vessel injury increased and it was suggested that these rates were worse for people with acute cholecystitis. No clinical trials had been done to clarify this issue.
6. Patient demand, fueled by substantial media attention, was a major force in promoting rapid adoption of these procedures.
7. The major manufacturer of laparoscopic equipment produced the video that introduced the procedure in 1989.
8. Doctors were given two-day training seminars before performing the surgery on patients.

Infant Mortality

1. In 1990, the US ranked 24th in infant mortality of 38 developed countries with a rate of 9.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.
2. US black infant mortality is 18.6 per 1,000 live births, compared to 8.8 for whites.

Screening for Breast Cancer

1. Mammography screening in women under 50 has always been a subject of debate.
2. In 1992, the Canadian National Breast Cancer Study of 50,000 women showed that mammography had no effect on mortality for women aged 40-50.
3. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) refused to change its recommendations on mammography.
4. The American Cancer Society decided to wait for more studies on mammography.
5. In December 1993, NCI announced that women over 50 should have routine screenings every one to two years but that younger women would derive no benefit from mammography.


1. The OTA concluded: “There are no mechanisms in place to limit dissemination of technologies regardless of their clinical value.”
Shortly after the release of this report, the OTA was disbanded.


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I think I will stick with an apple a day, to keep the evil doctors away!!!