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Half of Americans Subscribe to Medical Conspiracy Theories Options
Daemon
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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Half of Americans Subscribe to Medical Conspiracy Theories

Do you believe that government regulators conspire with the pharmaceutical industry to block access to natural medical cures or that the government knows that cell phones cause cancer but is not taking action because of corporate pressure? It turns out that Americans widely subscribe to these and many other medical conspiracy theories. Nearly half of the respondents in a recent US survey agreed with at least one of six common medical conspiracy theories. In addition to the two conspiracy theories noted in the above question, the survey asked about conspiracies involving genetically modified foods, vaccines, water fluoridation, and HIV. More...
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 3:49:52 AM

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I think many Americans believe in such conspiracy theories because they are barely aware that there is a world outside the U.S. where many natural medical cures have been exhaustively tested and found wanting.

I remember, therefore I am.
Hope2
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 9:08:21 AM

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And one can add a few more besides medical theories. List - Government, the necessity to have guns to overthrow an errant government, police, banks, the Masons, New World Order, Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Elvis, - just to name a few. Fortunately most people do not believe in these theories.

There is a whole list of conspiracy theories on Wiki. I am sure Americans are not the only ones who believe in some of these.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conspiracy_theories



Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. T. S. Eliot
curmudgeonine
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 9:51:48 AM

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There's so much money at stake, I don't see how there cannot be conspiracies out there.
Verbatim
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 1:42:50 PM
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The sure way to prove right the "cry wolf" popular saw: abundant conspiracy theories covering up the real conspiracies.
kenturner1
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 1:52:41 PM

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The money's in the medicine not the cure. "Big Medicine", "Big Pharma" exists.

**DISCLAIMER**
Hope2
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 2:00:38 PM

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curmudgeonine wrote:
There's so much money at stake, I don't see how there cannot be conspiracies out there.


I think of conspiracy as the following definition in TFD.

1. a secret plan or agreement to carry out an illegal or harmful act, esp with political motivation; plot
2. the act of making such plans in secret
And -
3. a group of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose.


When talking about money are you thinking of it more as this definition, and equating it with fraud by more than one person? There certainly is fraud by groups of fraudulent people!

2. a plan or agreement formulated, esp. in secret, by two or more persons to commit an unlawful, harmful, or treacherous act.
:::

And yes, Big Pharma exists - but that is definitely not a secret!

::
We filter our bathing and drinking water so adding fluoride into the water does not affect me. But as a general principle, I do not like legislation putting unnecessary chemicals such as fluoride into the water. Chlorine is bad enough. People can add their own fluoride if they want. But there is no conspiracy to dump a lot of chemicals into the water. Adding fluoride is not a secret. Therefore no conspiracy.






Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. T. S. Eliot
GreenBanana
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 2:10:14 PM

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Gee, how could anyone suspect an entire segment of our society of being greedy profitmongers when they only cater to the rich in the first place?

Make every post as if it was the first one in the thread.
Haz
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 2:24:12 PM

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I love how trusting of our awful governments everybody is; I AM NOT.

I consider myself to be reasonably educated and have concluded that drugs and medicines pushed on the public without any other options is wrong.

Drugs and medicines are tested on the general population and that is a fact.

I told a consultant that my three-year-old was not going to be put on an inhaler for her very bad cough. He told me I was 'only one person' and he dealt with hundreds of mothers. His contempt for me was palpable. My daughter outgrown her cough quite quickly without the need of any drugs.

I was born in the 60s when the Phalidomide drug was tested and passed for use as a 'morning sickness' treatment.... and look what happened then! Luckily my mother did not take it.

Natural will always be the best way. You should only seek medical attention for a serious illness and most serious illnesses can be avoided by ensuring we consume good, wholesome natural food.

I think we should try to remember... no matter how we vote, it is large corporations and industries that run our countries. They are the ones who select our governments.

Hope2
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 3:40:18 PM

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Quote Haz - "Natural will always be the best way. You should only seek medical attention for a serious illness and most serious illnesses can be avoided by ensuring we consume good, wholesome natural food."

Hi Haz, I agree with this in general although I am not sure a good diet will prevent most serious illnesses and I also believe an annual physical is a good idea. But one needs to be proactive and knowledgeable about one's care as well. If anyone has a reason to be bitter about the misdiagnoses, and missed diagnoses of the medical profession, it is I. And I would not be alive today without complementary medicine and my own vigilance. However, without the drugs and surgeries of western medicine, my husband would not be alive today. It is a combination of the two camps that we need. I chose MDs who were interested in doing things as naturally as possible, but could also prescribe drugs if necessary. So I would not be without Big Pharma, but we do need to control it with laws.

I just want to point out that herbs are considered to be natural but are really just the non synthetic form of drugs. I treat them as drugs too. Everything natural is not always good for us. Take arsenic for example. (Or better yet, don't take it. Pun intended. Whistle )

And yes, big corporations do run our countries. And the NRA does as well in America. Not sure how these are conspiracies, though, when we know perfectly well what is happening.

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. T. S. Eliot
Namkhang Le
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 6:33:55 PM

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I think there are a lot of theories but many may not be true.d'oh!

"All is Fair in Love & War"
Marguerite
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 7:20:55 PM

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You would have to exist in a bubble not to believe in conspiracies theories.
Haz
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 8:29:54 PM

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Hi Hope2

Thanks for your comments. I am in both camps as well and feel extremely lucky to be in a country where at least some vigilance is taken over our health services; though I believe nowhere near enough.

My mother was saved from cancer 20 years ago by conventional medicine. She now has terminal lung cancer and without our fantastic health service my mum would not be alive.

I get checked out and go to the doctor if I feel particularly poorly, otherwise I do my best to ensure I keep myself fit and healthy.

The fact that most doctors could not tell a sick person about good nutrition - and the health service does provide sick people with very poor standards of nutrition - proves that the pharmaceutical companies dictate what our services should practice.... the long-term provision of 'necessary' drugs.

How many people are taking drugs for diabetes, for the rest of their lives, when all it would require a great many of them to do is to seriously cut out the rubbish they are consuming and start looking after themselves effectively?

People are being kept ignorant and lazy so others can get rich and powerful, there is no doubt. Food, water, health; all vital too each and every one of us yet all controlled by unknown, faceless people. Scandalous!

Haz
Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 9:14:01 PM

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Quote:
A society whose citizens refuse to see and investigate the facts, who refuse to believe that their government and their media will routinely lie to them and fabricate a reality contrary to verifiable facts, is a society that chooses and deserves the police state dictatorship it is going to get.

Ian Williams Goddard
Hope2
Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 2:51:51 PM

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Haz. I agree. It is the people's responsibility to investigate the true facts and not believe every conspiracy theory that someone comes up with. Or what their government says.

That is different from your previous response where you said 'people are being kept ignorant and lazy'.

People nowadays tend to expect to have everything spelled out for them and done for them and are not even proactive about their own health. They do not do the research. They say they are too busy or have some excuse or another. There is no excuse for those of us with access to modern electronics.

To take an example from another field - it is the bartender's fault that one drank too much and he did not take away the keys so he is liable that one killed someone while driving drunk going the wrong direction. It should be the drinker's responsibility for drinking too much!

I do agree that doctors should be taught more nutrition. They have very few hours in that subject. My wonderful doc (who retired and I miss him tremendously) was an expert in body chemistry and nutrition. He was an MD but also in complementary care. The best of all worlds. I only ever heard or read praise for him. He paid someone to read the latest medical journals to point him in the direction of his interests and he was always up on the latest developments.

The conspiracies mentioned in the article are -

Officials are dumping other dangerous waste chemicals into the public water when they add fluoride.

U.S. regulators prevent people from getting natural cures.

The U.S. spy agency infected a large number of African Americans with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The government knows cell phones cause cancer but does nothing about it.

Genetically modified organisms are being used to shrink the world's population.

Routine vaccinations cause autism.

So how many of these conspiracy theories that we are discussing do people in this thread believe?

Quotes from the article to show what the study was about -

"Science in general - medicine in particular - is complicated and cognitively challenging because you have to carry around a lot of uncertainty," Oliver said.

"To talk about epidemiology and probability theories is difficult to understand as opposed to 'if you put this substance in your body, it's going to be bad,'" he said.

...Instead of viewing patients who believe in conspiracy theories as crazy, he said doctors should realize those patients may be less likely to follow a prescription regimen.

"It's important to increase information about health and science to the public," he said. "I think scientific thinking is not a very intuitive way to see the world. For people who don't have a lot of education, it's relatively easy to reject the scientific way of thinking about things."






Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. T. S. Eliot
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 4:58:53 PM

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Haz wrote:
I love how trusting of our awful governments everybody is; I AM NOT.

I consider myself to be reasonably educated and have concluded that drugs and medicines pushed on the public without any other options is wrong.

Drugs and medicines are tested on the general population and that is a fact.
Well, yes and no. It is a long road to a new drug, from lab bench through small safety trials to phase three trials.

Phase three trials usually take place in several different locations (multicenter trials) and will total several hundred to perhaps a thousand or so volunteer patients. These trials may take more than a year to complete and they occur after the basic safety has been investigated (not assured, investigated) and there is some small evidence of efficacy.

Being fairly generous, perhaps three thousand people are exposed to a new medication prior to release--the total in all phases. In the U.S. alone, this represents less than 0.001% of the population. There is no guarantee that the trial population really mirrors the general population: remember, these are volunteers.

Yes, there is a fairly large risk of previously undiscovered adverse events possible when a medication is finally released for general use. Yes, there is a risk to being an early adopter. Ask your doctor about the medications she is proposing: Are they new or old? What is the evidence? What are the known side effects? What class do they belong to and what are the common side effects / adverse effects of that class?

The fact of the matter is that even with the best run clinical trials, the medical situations found in the general public will be more varied than those in the trials. The odds are something will be discovered about a new drug after it is released. Sometimes, that will be a wonderful advantage, but many times it will be a problem. That's life--and a good reason to stick with the tried and true until necessary to do otherwise.


I told a consultant that my three-year-old was not going to be put on an inhaler for her very bad cough. He told me I was 'only one person' and he dealt with hundreds of mothers. His contempt for me was palpable. My daughter outgrown her cough quite quickly without the need of any drugs.
One runs into bad physicians the same way one runs into bad contractors or bad plumbers. The bad apples, however, are not indicative of a conspiracy.

I agree that patients need to insist the physician explain why the treatment is being proposed and fully explain the potential risks an side effects as well. Medical treatment decisions are not black and white: they come in shades of grey. There are potential adverse effects to all treatments and it is the patient's decision as to what is acceptable risk.

In general one assumes the parents are the best to make the final decision for children. But, what does one do with the parents who wish to use prayer to heal culture-proven bacterial pneumonia in an infant? What about parents who wish to refuse a shunt to drain fluid in hydrocephalus?


I was born in the 60s when the Phalidomide drug was tested and passed for use as a 'morning sickness' treatment.... and look what happened then! Luckily my mother did not take it.
Ah yes, but you see, for those of us in the U.S., the FDA never approved thalidomide for morning sickness, so from my point of view this is a governmental/regulatory success story.

Today, thalidomide is used in treating leprosy, multiple myeloma and a relatively large number of 'orphan' diseases for which there are few or no other treatment options. Thalidomide is effective for many of these problems for exactly the same reason it was such a disaster during pregnancy.

It was about three decades before we discovered what went wrong. People who work hard on a project will tend to be invested in the results and believe they have discovered the next new breakthrough. They may be overly optimistic; they may fail to see warning signs, but they do not generally have evil intent.


Natural will always be the best way. You should only seek medical attention for a serious illness and most serious illnesses can be avoided by ensuring we consume good, wholesome natural food.
Certainly eating well, exercising, getting fresh air, drinking clean water are good for people. Nevertheless, plenty of people living good, healthy lives will experience severe infectious disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic lung disease and many, many (many, many, many) other problems. Lifestyle is important: it is not a panacea.

Our lifespan has been significantly extended due to modern medicine. Initial extension was largely due to prevention of young deaths and much of that had to do with control of infectious disease: vaccines and antibiotics. Preventing deaths from childhood diseases, puerperal fever, pneumonia, infected injuries had a lot to do with the initial 'extension' of life.

Now we are truly seeing an extension at the upper end of the spectrum. We are better able to support people with chronic age-related conditions. If one lives long enough, one will develop some amount of cardiac insufficiency and renal insufficiency. One's risk of cancer goes up with age. One will, overall, have less in reserve to come back from a stress, whether the stress is a broken bone, a cold, or a heart attack. Our ability to support people through crises large and small means more individuals do recover and live for another day, month, year.

There are complex questions: how much treatment, at what cost to the individual, at what cost to society for what quantity and what quality of further life life? When will the results, for the individual as well as society, be better under palliative treatment or comfort care rather than active treatment? There are no clear answers: it's another grey-on-grey balancing act. At least we have an act to balance.


I think we should try to remember... no matter how we vote, it is large corporations and industries that run our countries. They are the ones who select our governments.
Big money, whether corporate or individual/familial has an inordinate effect on government. We (both U.S. and U.K.), however, are still democracies. It is only when individuals decide they are helpless and refuse to participate that we will lose our democracy.

It is work to maintain good government and it takes more than going to the polls (though that is essential). It takes work to ferret out accurate information. It takes work to study and make decisions. It takes work to make one's voice heard. It takes a great deal of tenacity, because one often fails to prevail the first time, the tenth time, sometimes the hundredth time--and it is necessary to persevere to make one's voice heard. No one said it would be easy.

Hope2
Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 5:54:23 PM

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Ruth,

Thanks once again for such a knowledgeable post. As much as the practice of medicine has evolved and improved in recent years, it is still an art.

Applause Applause Applause



Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. T. S. Eliot
dusty
Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014 1:12:21 AM

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most things in life proceed in a successive progression that for the most part, cannot be avoided, however it is important to recognize the portions that are deleterious and can be avoided.

Medical advances up until the last ten or twenty years has been a blessing and the benefits of these advances cannot realistically be argued against. And truthfully there have been many many incredible advances and miraculous benefits that are still to this day occurring. We just need to be wary of the new direction that the industry or business end of health care seems to be pointed, because there are some bad directions the business is headed.

I am not sure the capitalistic model that was responsible for many of the great benefits and advancements of the past is the best model to continue. The problems, as I see it, seems to occur when the industry begins shifting a significant amount of their budgets into sales.

Certain mandatory industries such as power, agriculture, and medicine or health care (which includes pharmaceuticals) and any other goods or services that must be provided for society to function should not include the element of sales in said industries. We don't need sales teams to keep the markets "competitive" or viable because they are industry which we must have to survive. When such industry begins to have billion dollar sales teams we are in trouble, esp once such lucrative sales teams and positions become well established, it begins to cause a self destruction of the industry.

Because so much money is involved, it seems almost impossible for human nature to not become involved in the sales aspect, it at first appears so innocent from a business point of view. More than just innocent, I think we fool ourselves into believing that sales is necessary, but it only ends up harming as it becomes more like skimming profits, and eventually resembles the typically unethical business practices like that of cartels. Once a group becomes dependent of that type of "making a living" it becomes all but impossible to reel it back in.

Something has change or else we will see collapse before things get better

To be concerned of the fate of the world is not bad, but bearing false witness is to not be
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