commentary: 'Never Events'
Modern Medicine and Health
Martin G. Collins
Given 14-Jul-12; Sermon #1111c; 13 minutes
Martin Collins, focusing on an article titled "To Err is Human," highlighting medical error, maintains that medication error constitutes the deadliest form of "never events" or medical mistakes. Michael Adams blames junk science conducted by pharmaceutical companies, designed more to sell drugs than to test for safety of the product. Unfortunately, research to find the causes of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes seems to be bogus and non-starting. The medical community seems more interested in "managing the disease" than in finding its cause or eliminating it. After decades of research, the medical/scientific community has found the cure to "nothing," but has implemented questionable procedures that seem to miss the cause of the problem altogether. Sadly, science without ethics is not science at all. Scripture relates that health problems often have their source in sin and that good health can be promoted by fear of the Lord, wise and pleasant words, and maintaining a joyful heart. In God's Kingdom, an environment free of sin, all the inhabitants will experience robust health. In the meantime, the apostle James gives us guidelines for maintaining and restoring physical health.
The Institute of Medicine released a report during the last decade titled, "To Err is Human," that made front page news. It revealed that up to 98,000 patients were dying each year in the United States due to medical errors. Deaths from medical error were exceeding deaths from breast cancer and motor vehicle accidents. The report estimated the deaths and injuries from preventable medical errors cost the nation from $17-$29 billion each year in healthcare, lost income and other expenses.
In the medical profession, there are medical errors that should never happen because they can be avoided. And these errors are called "never events." There are 28 medical errors that should never occur, known as never events, as compiled by the National Quality Forum. (They're associated with the medical association.) They are widely recognized by hospitals and insurers, and I want to give you just five right now.
» Artificial insemination with the wrong donor sperm or donor egg.
» Unintended retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery or other procedure.
» Patient death or serious disability associated with an electric shock or elective cardioversion while being cared for in a health care facility,
» Patient death or serious disability associated with a fall while being cared for in a health care facility.
» Patient death or serious disability associated with a medication error.
This last never event—patient death or serious disability associated with a medication error—that's what I'd like to comment about today.
Let me give you some excerpts from the article, "In U.S., Science is Distorted to Promote Political and Corporate Agendas," by Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com. He writes,
Medicine is another field where so-called science stops resembling science. Instead, it becomes propaganda designed to sell drugs. The clinical trials used by the Food and Drug Administration to make drug approval decisions are conducted almost entirely by the drug companies themselves. These companies go out of their way to hire scientists willing to design and run these studies to produces precisely the result that the drug companies want. This is easy to accomplish; any researcher refusing to play along with this fraudulent science game is not offered additional work. In the worst cases, they are terminated and blackballed from the industry.
This manipulation of drug trials is routine today. Drug companies are able to support almost any conclusion, no matter how ridiculous or preposterous, by pumping enough money into the studies. They can then picking the studies they want to forward to the FDA and make sure that on-the-take researchers are involved at every stage of the game. The FDA then bases its drug approvals on these junk science manipulations.
While distorted science is used to promote synthetic chemicals that are extremely dangerous and almost universally ineffective, the same sort of distortion is used to attack anything that could compete with high-profit pharmaceuticals. Bad science is used to attack vitamins, nutrients, and all natural therapies that powerful corporations can’t patent to make real money.
When it comes to cancer, the "search for the cure" is also a sad joke. We've had tens of thousands of people working on a cure for cancer for decades. The "search for the cure" industry is absolutely huge, and yet with all the scientists and all the money and all the research, we still have no cure from the world of medicine. Not only that, they have delivered no cures for Alzheimer's, diabetes, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, strokes, dementia, osteoporosis, or kidney disease. In fact, after decades of research and tens of billions of dollars in funding, conventional medicine has cured nothing!
What have the scientists been doing all this time with all this money? Members of the public are running around in circles raising money, funding the "race for the cure," dumping their hard-earned cash into a huge financial black hole of so-called research. We're standing by waiting for cures from a scientific community that, it turns out, isn't even interested in curing disease. The industry is far more interested in treating and managing disease, because that's where the profits are found.
If the US medical research companies were interested in real science, they would stop trying to research the disease and start trying to research the causes of the disease. If you identify the causes of cancers—which is quite possible without a $100 million government grant—then you can halt the diseases.
Science today seems largely dedicated to conning people out of their money or conning people into believing falsehoods about health or the environment. Junk science has become the tool of corporate and government con artists, and sadly, the public isn't educated well enough about skeptical thinking to know the difference between real science and junk science. For example, few people understand the difference between absolute vs. relative statistics on the efficacy of drugs, and because of that, drug companies are able to convince people their drugs are effective for nearly everyone when, in reality, many drugs only work on about 5% of the population.
Science without ethics isn't science at all... it's just propaganda for either profit or power.
Compared with the corruption in modern medicine, the approach to health in the Bible is refreshing, to say the least. It is honest, practical, and free. But more importantly, it rightly puts the focus on our creator God.
The mention of health and the Bible usually refers to the general state of one's physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Scripture uses the concept of health literally and directly to speak only of the physical body, but metaphorically and indirectly, the term is used of the mind and spirit, especially in the first book of the Psalms.
David was inspired to write in Psalm 31:9-10,
Psalm 31:9-10 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body! For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.
Scripture frequently speaks of a lack of health, and health problems are often connected with sin and foolishness, as I just read in Psalm 31. Also in Psalm 38, David writes,
Psalm 38:3-8 There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness. I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are full of inflammation, and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.
However, many allusions to health deal with physical welfare, as we find in III John 2:
III John 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
We are to pray for good health for others. The Eternal has good health in mind as He promises to remove sickness from His people if we worship and obey Him:
Exodus 23:25-26 “So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.
In stark contrast to the way modern medicine views the remedies for sickness and promotion of health, we find that God's inspired Proverbs advised these attitudes to promote good health. I've just chosen 3 main ones: fear of the Lord, wise and pleasant words, and a joyful heart. Isn't that amazing? That's what the Proverbs emphasize for good health. It's just that simple in many ways, especially the fear of the Lord and obedience to Him.
God's people, in their sinless, glorified bodies, and all inhabitants in the New Heavens and New Earth, will enjoy perfect health in an environment free from sin, suffering, sorrow, pain and death. The proper responses to health concerns are prayer and faith, exercised by both the ill person and by the healthy. You're very familiar with what the apostle James tells us:
James 5:13-16 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
It is clear from Scripture that those who do not seek God in sickness show a lack of faith. Faith helps us to endure illness. Along with a proper response to God, sick people may also seek medical help. Jesus Himself said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick" (Luke 5:31).
It's prudent for all of us to ask God for wisdom when making decisions about our health, especially regarding are dealing with the medical profession. Proverbs 12:15 says,
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.
What is the council of a 104-year old woman? Certainly she would know something about good health, wouldn't you think? In an unusual story of Rosario Shielzeth, a woman who turned 104 years old in June of this year, newspaper reporters wanted to know her secret for a long life. Her answer consisted of just two simple rules that she always lived by:
1) Watch what she eats
2) Stay away from doctors.
Before you assume that this lady lives in some far-off country where her life principles can't be questioned or proven, know that she lives in Sarasota, Florida. She needs a walker as an aid in moving around, but other than that, she has perfect vision since her cataract surgery and doesn't need a hearing aid. And she still manages to go to the movies, and the mall, and the beach for ice cream. Another amazing thing about her is that she's a round-the-clock caretaker of her 87-year old daughter, who has Alzheimer's disease. It would be wise to take her advice.