Death by Medicine

It’s official. The leading cause of death in America is not heart disease, not cancer -- but medicine itself!

A new book co-authored by nutritionist Gary Null called -- appropriately enough -- Death by Medicine claims that over 700,000 Americans die each year as a result of medical treatment. A study by the Nutrition Institute of America attributes over 783,000 deaths a year to “iatrogenic” causes -- induced inadvertently by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures. In 2001, in comparison, just under 700,000 Americans died from heart disease and 550,000 died of cancer.

According to a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) article by Dr. Barbara Starfield published in 2000, the United States ranks 12th out of thirteen industrialized countries when judged by sixteen health status indicators. Japan, Sweden and Canada (the country health privateers attack as having “socialized medicine”) rank one, two and three respectively. In 1990, the United States ranked 24th out of thirty-eight developed countries in infant mortality, with a rate of 9.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Meanwhile, in 2004 the United States spent $ 1.9 trillion on health care -- 16% of our GDP. Maybe that old saying “you get what you pay for” needs to be modified slightly to “you get what you pay for, and sometimes a whole lot less.”

But that isn’t even the bad news, folks.

Many of you reading this already are wary of “Newtonian medicine,” where every symptom must be attacked with an equal and opposite force-- so you avail yourselves of alternatives. Chances are you’re among the more than one third of American adults who are using some form of Complementary or Alternative Medicine (CAM). If certain forces have their way, however, that won’t be for long.

Let me say here that I just finished writing the section of my Spontaneous Evolution book with Bruce Lipton called “Institutionalized Insanity,” which is about how false, dysfunctional and obsolete beliefs express themselves in society’s institutions. One of the chapters in that section is called “The Unhealthy Care System.” Even sprinkled with a little humor, it’s not a cheerful read. But as Swami has said, “The truth shall upset you free.”

One of the few downsides in being among those who value the Golden Rule over the rule of gold is that we tend to “misunderestimate” the dark powers. In our desire not to “go there,” we may not notice it when “there” comes “here.”

I am quoting here from a communiqué by the Health Solutions Network asking us to take preemptive action in order to head off what can essentially make practicing alternative medicine illegal. Here is the note from Dr. Rima Laibow:

The US FDA is at it again. They have been notorious for decades for their biased attacks and uneven handling of natural, non-drug/surgery/radiation based health options. This time, though, they are playing for keeps.

The goal is simple: through a "Guidance" about the regulation of "CAM" (which they conveniently define as "Complementary and Alternative MEDICINE" the FDA hopes to serve the interests of Big Pharma by eliminating all CAM practices and products. ALL of them.

Here's how this deadly game is played:

1. By using the term "Medicine" rather than "Modality" for CAM practices, the FDA sets the stage so that anyone who is not a licensed physician is breaking the law by using these modalities since they are therefore 'practicing medicine without a license'.

2. By using the term "treatment" rather than "therapy", the FDA limits those who can perform these practices to licensed physicians and, again, anyone who is not a licensed physician is breaking the law by using these modalities since only licensed practitioners can treat. So people using these modalities are therefore 'practicing medicine without a license'.

3. By using the terms "Medicine" and "treatment" instead of "Modalities" and "therapy", all substances, including vitamins, minerals, herbs, co-factors, etc., automatically become untested drugs since they are being used to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure disease states. Such use can only legally take place with FDA approved drugs.

Here's How We Protect CAM Practices, Practitioners and Products

Numbers. Sheer volume of response. Nothing more and nothing less. NOW is the time to act. Our window of opportunity slams shut on April 30, 2007.

This is the link which allows you to send a comment directly to the FDA about their deadly "Guidance.” Will it matter? Yes, if millions of people respond. So I am asking you to take this "viral".

Here is what you need to do NOW if you value your freedom:

1. Click on the link below and add your name to the letter. When you click "Send" it will be electronically delivered to the FDA docket site and posted.

2. Write a brief note (or copy the information in this email) including this link , , and mail it to every one you can. In your email please:

  1. Include everyone you know and tell them that their freedom to choose their own health modalities and options is under serious attack.
  2. Send the same email to the the companies which make the vitamins, minerals and herbs you use and ask them to send it out to their entire mailing list.
  3. Impress upon the people you contact that we are facing a virulent and highly organized assault on ALL natural products and procedures because they do not feed the pharmaceutical coffers and that their help is crucial.
  4. Include a link to the Natural Solutions Foundation website ( ). Ask them to become familiar with the site in order to lend their support to the health freedom battle which threatens their right to make their own health choices.

If you have ever thought about taking action to protect your health freedom, NOW is the time to do it.

If you have never thought about taking action, now is the time to think about it and do it.


That's our goal. Two weeks, five million comments to the FDA, all asserting our fundamental right to control our own health.

Can we do it? It's up to you.

Here's the link:

The future of natural health and health freedom is literally in our hands!

ours in health and freedom,
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Medical Director
Natural Solutions Foundation

Apologies if the tone of that note was “alarming,” but I guess the purpose of an alarm to wake people up. So ... don’t hit “snooze” ... do something.

As you contemplate taking action and what action to take, I offer two stories. The first story you may be familiar with. It is the story of Kitty Genovese, the Queens woman who was murdered some forty years ago while 38 neighbors watched from their apartment windows. While this story has been used to illustrate the careless uncaringness of modern society, there’s a little more to the story than we think. According to Malcolm Gladwell’s account in The Tipping Point, the real reason why no one took action was precisely because so many people were watching. Each expected that someone else would report the crime.

Let’s not make that mistake. Let’s make sure everyone -- all fifty or sixty million of us who avail ourselves of alternative medicine -- report the crime before it happens.

The second story is about a picnic I attended about twenty years ago. A group of us were trying to play volleyball, but a rambunctious and persistent little Shelty dog kept “herding” children onto the volleyball court. What was “cute” the first two times, became increasingly “uncute” the fifth, sixth and seventh time. Finally I had an idea. I instructed everyone that the next time the dog herded the kids on to the field, we -- all twelve or so of us trying to play volleyball -- would turn as one and chase the dog. Sure enough, next time we did just that, and you’ve never seen a more confused herding dog. He kept looking back as we chased him, and I’m sure the thought going through his little doggie head was, “No! No! No! They can’t be herding me, I have to be herding them!”

This turning of the tables worked, and that was the last time the dog disrupted our game. So now it is our turn to turn the tables. We have to gather all our numbers and all our momentum to chase this “bad dog” of an idea so far off the field that it forgets where the field is.

Please take the time to go here and educate yourself. The life you save may be your own.

Book by this author:

Swami for Precedent
by Swami Beyondananda (aka Steve Bhaerman).

Info/Order this book

 About the Author

Steve Bhaerman is an internationally known author, humorist, and workshop leader. For the past 18 years, he has written and performed as Swami Beyondananda, the “Cosmic Comic.” Swami’s comedy has been called “irreverently uplifting” and has been described both as “comedy disguised as wisdom” and “wisdom disguised as comedy.” This article was first published in Steve’s spiritual / political “uncommontary,” sent to subscribers of Notes From the Trail (subscribe on his website). Visit his website at


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