This isolated case in UK – a tragedy of anaphylactic death from a tetracycline for zits- is the tip of the mountain that thinking western society refuses to confront.
As London University philosopher AC Grayling says in his short but illuminating essay on Kuhn and Popper in The Form of Things:
- Austrian-refugee British philosopher-economist Karl Popper (b1902), who in Grayling’s view preached the crucial “spirit of scientific inquiry, that science proceeds by conjecture and refutation, subjecting ideas to rigorous testing to try to prove them false. If they survive, they are not guaranteed to be true, but they can be used as long as they remain unrefuted.”
- American physicist Thomas Kuhn (b1922) made famous the term ‘paradigm shift’, and the now-dominant cynical pragmatism that has led the world to the war-torn economic anarchy we now wallow in: “crucially, old and new paradigms are ‘incommensurable’, so when difficulties accumulate making the existing paradigm of enquiry unsustainable, it is arbitrarily replaced by a new ‘normal science’, even if the new is not better”. This is the havoc caused by two millennia of the power-mad Christian (and it’s offspring Islamic) hierarchies (not their pious thinking followers of their prophets and Books) , that led to the shift from pagan GrekoRoman oligarchy BC to unprovable mind-controlling religion- based society AD, back to to the equally amoral genocidal oligarchy ( Christian, Islamic, Asian) societies of the past 1500 years. And finally the young Milton Friedman(b 1912) and Henry Kissinger(b1923) during the post-WW2 years developed “free market” economics that they spread from the Nixon administration onwards, recruiting Ronald Reagan, George Bush sen.(b1924) and jun.(b1946) , Dick Cheyney(b1941), Donald Rumsfeld (b1932) and Paul Wolfowitz (b1943) (even Bill Clinton b1946) post Vietnam in abolition of trade barriers, minimum wages and rights for the poor workers, disaster capitalism, two foreign wars on the go at any time to boost the USA economy. And the same Bush quartet, with Henry Kissinger, have seen to the pursuance of that policy- with a vengeance- until last month. And not least, the escalating FDA’s War against Humanity, in the interests of the American Disease Industry. As Grayling writes, the enforcement of convenience science- and pseudoscience like the statin and Women’ Health Initiative trials – that suit and confirm the legitimacy of the dominant social institutions.
- Grayling thus reasons that Kuhn’s American (pseudo) science viewpoint has been embraced by postmodernists, relativists, capitalists, precisely because it is empiric and opportunistic; whereas old-world Eurocentric Popper’s evidence-based doctrine (like Ivan Illich, Fritz Schumaker and Linus Pauling) brings us closer to the enduring truth of things. (I happened to hear Schumaker speak on Small is Beautiful in Yorkshire in 1974, and happened to be in London in 1994 when two of the ethical icons of the 20th century – Popper and Pauling – died in righteous old age).
We know only too well the history of oppressive ruthless medical terrorism in the Western world the past two centuries, from
- forced female institutionalization, castration and clitoridectomy by eminent Victorian physicians, through to mass criminal medical negligence if not murder in our lifetime in “European”- descended countries- to
- Australian and Nazi sterilization policies
- to the infamous USA Tuskegee syphilis experiment that was allowed to run until the 1970s, to
- the already scientifically unjustified disastrous 1950 Chicago Lying-in Hospital trial of DES diethylstilbestrol (whose ongoing manufacture was still allowed to continue to blight women for another 20years) to
- the blockade in the USA for decades of already well-proven evidence-based lifesaving lithium and metformin,
- to the ongoing promotion and protection till today of oral xenohormones- equine estrogen and synthetic progestins by regulators despite evidence that they are as good and safe as the parenteral human hormones that have been proven by evolution and now use for sixty years, to
- the increasing move by the Disease Industry and it’s Regulators to suppress or make prescription-only (after far more mandatory testing than most patented drugs went through) the natural and best unscheduled over-the-counter drugs ( the nutritional supplement and therefore unpatentable vitamins, minerals, and biologicals including eg coQ10, carnitine, carnitine, chondroglucosamine, and therapeutic herbs, and human hormone creams)-
- while making statins mandatory for all, available over-the-counter, chronic designer for-profit inventions whose safety was never tested in even medium-term (5 year) RCTs before release, and whose use has never been justified for mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia considering their poor longterm compliance due to terrible incidence of serious insidious adverse effects, and the obvious fact that (unlike eg the 50year proven metformin and other natural supplements), they do nothing for the other half of major chronic morbidity and premature mortality- the non-cardiovascular plagues like obesity, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer.
To return to a single unnecessary death after treatment of acne: the fact that the drug was a different generic minocycline to that prescribed is a smokescreen that must not distract from the core problem of the failure of western culture and medicine:
a sick (TV- media-dominated) poorly educated society that puts cosmetic perfection at the pinnacle: and
a for-profit disease-industry-dominated allopathic culture that teaches and encourages synthetic modern designer drugs and technology to be used as first, not last resort.
Why should a young man with what was apparently simple acne- spots, zits (nowhere do the media reports use the words “gross” or “globular” or “deforming” or “scarring” to describe his condition) – be prescribed an antibiotic let alone Roaccutane ?
Were all the safer remedies tried, from diet change to de-stress to reassurance to homeopathy to safe oral and topical nutritionals?
Since when is simple acne an indication for an antibiotic let alone a systemic antibiotic? when
1. there is lethal mushrooming of antibiotic resistance and
2. deadly complications can follow most modern designer drugs, whether from the drug itself or the additives necessary to make pills and lotions.
The same question applies to most modern drugs, especially for chronic non-life-threatening conditions.
Unlike our natural armamentarium of the best drugs available- wholesome food topped up with long-proven vigorous safe vitamins, minerals, and biologicals- fish (oil)- and plant- derived;
modern designer drugs rarely address the underlying cause– in this case as always, multi-factorial including the degraded food chain and atmosphere, competition and worsening global bad news rammed down our throats every waking minute by the media, thus stress & nutritional/pollution immuno-incompetence and hormone domination.
It’s the same question that must be considered in every consultation: why- except in the rare severe refractory case- prescribe any major procedure / investigation or modern designer drugs- antibiotic, statins, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, bisphosphonates, xenohormones, psychotropes, antihypertensives until the old and proven have been tried?
When no modern designer drug (from eg the above $trillion- a- year army) has been or will be tested long-term ie for beyond 2 years before it’s launch, or has a record of at least 20years of good and safe experience behind it eg
*in all cases including acne, osteoporosis, mild infection (which is often indistinguishable from transient allergy) the listed supplements plus sensible heeded diet-lifestyle ; plus
* low-dose reserpine plus low-dose amiloretic for hypertension (>40years experience and trial);
* metformin (>50 years experience in use, 20year RCT) for overweight, lipidemia, PCOS, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cancer;
* human hormones by the most appropriate route for hormone deficiency states.
Hence for this death it is the Regulator, the medical schools, the national health and legal system that should go on trial- not the drug or the too- obedient doctor who blindly followed the rules.
I nearly succumbed twice from rapid paroxysmal atrial fibrillation recently: the first time under general anaesthetic for a dental extraction. But the extraction was necessary because of a broken, dead, unsavable tooth, that my dentist could not shift in his rooms; so I was in a hospital theatre with a maxillofacial surgeon, a skilled anaesthetist, on a monitor; and an intensivist close by. Now, after subsequent severe acute heart failure from worsening decades-old lone atrial fibrillation that was no longer controlled by fish oil, I am in mostly sinus rhythm on digoxin, verapamil, furosamide, spironolactone- and 4 grams fish oil a day since the prescription drugs do not prevent my atrial fibrillation without the fish oil. So I delay the offer of nodal ablation since there is no guarantee that this will not leave me worse off.
Thirty years ago I was blinded for a few days by severe allergy from chloramphenicol eyedrops prescribed by a consultant ophthalmologist- for what started as a lawn- cutting grass-induced conjunctivitis…
It begs the point of JUSTIFICATION to argue that serious reaction is rare, and death even rarer, from oral tetracycline, or eyedrops, or NSAID, or ACEI or statin or bisphosphonate or psychotrope, when safe natural remedies should have been exhausted first, and step-up to riskier or modern drugs justified..
So it is the NHS that should be indicted, not the drug. It is the well-paid NHS politicians, Regulators and top management in their own personal capacity , not the taxpayer, who should pay the bereaved family compensation for negligent death.