Most people are well aware that an estimated 45 million Americans currently do not have healthcare, but is crisis simply lack of health insurance or even cost of health insurance? Is there a bigger underlying problem at root of our healthcare system? Although U.S. claims to have most advanced medicine in world, government health statistics and peer-reviewed journals are painting a different picture -- that allopathic medicine often causes more harm than good.
People in general have always felt they could trust doctors and medical profession, but according to Journal of American Medical Association in July 2000, iatrogenic death, also known as death from physician error or death from medical treatment, was third leading cause of death in America and rising, responsible for at least 250,000 deaths per year. Those statistics are considered conservative by many, as reported numbers only include in-hospital deaths, not injury or disability, and do not include external iatrogenic deaths such as those resulting from nursing home and other private facility treatments, and adverse effects of prescriptions. One recent study estimated total unnecessary deaths from iatrogenic causes at approximately 800,000 per year at a cost of $282 billion per year, which would make death from American medicine leading cause of death in our country.
Currently, at least 2 out of 3 Americans use medications, 32 million Americans are taking three or more medications daily, and commercials and advertisements for pharmaceutical drugs have saturated marketplace. Although our population is aging, exorbitantly expensive drugs are being marketed and dispensed to younger and younger patients, including many children who years ago would never have been given or needed medication, for everything from ADHD to asthma to bipolar disease and diabetes. Clearly, state of health in this country is not improving even though there are an increasing number of medications and treatments. Between 2003 and 2010, number of prescriptions are expected to increase substantially by 47%. In recent years, numerous drugs previously deemed safe by FDA have been recalled because of their toxicity, after original drug approvals were actually funded by invested pharmaceutical companies themselves.
According to media, thanks to advances in U.S. drugs and medical procedures, Americans are living longer statistically, but they are living longer sicker, with a lower quality of life, and often dependent on multiple expensive synthetic medications that do not cure or address underlying causes, but only suppress symptoms, often with a plethora of dangerous side effects to tune of billions of dollars for drug industry. Considering that U.S. is supposed to have most advanced technology in world and best health care system, it is at odds that we spend most on healthcare, yet are most obese and most afflicted with illness outside of AIDS epidemic in some third world countries.
Unless you have an acute emergency that requires emergency room care, being admitted to a hospital environment may also be more dangerous to your health than staying out. In 2003, epidemiologists reported in New England Journal of Medicine that hospital-acquired infections have risen steadily in recent decades, with blood and tissue infections known as sepsis almost tripling from 1979 to 2000. Nearly two million patients in U.S. get an infection while in hospital each year, and of those patients over 90,000 die per year, up dramatically from just 13,300 in 1992. Statistics show that approximately 56% of population has been unnecessarily treated, or mistreated, by medical industry.