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Informed Consent for Medical Treatment – What Are Your Rights?

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Over the last week I’ve been having some involved discussions with people about the topic of conventional medicine steamrolling the alternative sector of health. If you have a health issue and you seek help from a conventional doctor, what are the chances that you’ll be offered a full range of choices about your health condition?

By full range of choices, I’m referring to accurate facts and information about conventional treatment you’ll receive, as well as information about alternative treatments. I’m here to tell you that chance is almost zero. Doctors are liable for everything they say, and for the most part, you won’t receive encouragement or information about alternative treatments from conventional medical doctors.

Steve Jobs passed away last week, and the world has been talking about it ever since. Dr. Mercola, M.D. shared a very informative interview on his site with Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D. who has treated cancer patients successfully for the last 25 years with alternative therapies. Dr. Mercola and Dr. Gonzalez discuss the fact that Steve Jobs delved into alternative treatment, and was even recommended by his own acupuncturist to seek out Dr. Gonzalez’s help. Natural News talks about the life of secrecy maintained by Jobs and the fact that he received a liver transplant.

What rights do we have as consumers and patients? 

The American Medical Association claims to provide informed consent to patients.  But is this really happening to the full extent that it should in clinical settings?  By law, this ethical principle must be carried out in modern medical practice with medical interventions involving risk of injury or death. “Implicit in the concept of informed consent is the right to refuse consent or, in the case of vaccination laws, the right to exercise conscientious, personal belief or philosophical exemption to mandatory use of one or more vaccines.” (Source, National Vaccine Information Center).

By law, informed consent must be applied to every person who receives medical treatment and be informed of all possible risks and side-effects of any drug, surgery, or procedure. Just as Barbara Loe Fisher advocates for the recognition of patient and consumer rights  to be informed and educated about the ingredients and side-effects of vaccines through the National Vaccine Information Center, patients should be informed about all risks and side-effects (not just whatever the drug company is putting on the label) of treatments such as chemotherapy drugs and radiation. Even though informed consent is the law, these facts are often glossed over or omitted altogether. Patients should also be granted the choice to seek alternative therapies and treatments – without reproach, criticism, or dissuasion.

Current law states the following:

“To satisfy informed consent in biomedicine, physicians must disclose the nature of the problem, the purpose of the proposed treatment and the probability of its benefits and risks, as well as the probability of benefits and risks of alternative treatments or doing nothing. Whether such disclosure must, or should, encompass complementary and alternative modalities has not yet been addressed in the literature.”

- Source, Complimentary & Alternative Medicine Law Blog, Michael H. Cohen, Esq.  

It’s perfectly legal, however, for medical professionals to exert authority to use coercion, threats, and intimidation to influence patients into choosing treatments that are have a proven track record of being unsafe and risky, and even without fully explaining the consequences of such activities. This act has the effect of violating deep-seated beliefs patients may have. This is especially true where vaccines are concerned, and if patients or parents of children decide that vaccination in general – or more commonly, a particular vaccine –  is not necessary or appropriate for their children.

The role conventional medicine plays in health decisions

Although a lot of Steve Jobs’ personal activities were concealed, he was reported to have used alternative therapies during the early stages of his disease.  His acupuncturist urged him to see Dr. Gonzalez, and he chose not to. Somewhere along the way, his attitude was shifted and then his willingness to pursue alternative therapies diminished. I believe it was pressure from  powerful entities within the conventional medical community, which is the predominant force in the world in terms of getting medical treatment.

Billions of people will read Steve’s story and be influenced by him.  Many will still believe chemotherapy, radiation, and liver transplants are effective, even though he died. Some people might say to themselves, “Steve couldn’t beat cancer, so maybe I can’t either”.  But that’s not the attitude people should have.

You will also hear people who say that they or someone else they know survived chemotherapy and radiation treatment.  But even the statistics on chemotherapy show that the expected life span after receiving this treatment is about 5 years.  Those treatments aren’t solving the problem though. You can remove “the cancer” but you haven’t actually solved the reason for it being there.

I’m not implying we are capable of escaping death; sooner or later, we’ll all meet that fate. What it does mean is that while we are here, we have choices and options about our health. That’s what conventional medicine doesn’t give us.  It is built on fear, coercion, and threats, if those methodologies are not used. It gives credence only to anything involving surgery, drugs, or other conventional treatments.  The system thinks nothing of stealing people’s confidence in themselves…their own intuition of their own bodies and conscience…of respect, and of their own dignity of researching, deciding, and choosing for themselves.  And why? Because of the enormous profit to be made from selling drugs, expensive surgeries and other procedures.

Money and privilege are no guarantee you’ll have access to sound, reliable information from medical professionals who have your best interest at heart. Wealth doesn’t preclude anyone from making a bad decision…including anything influenced by conventional medicine. I believe this is what happened to Mr. Jobs. Even with all his money, he wasn’t impervious to this force, nor did he have the proper support he needed to continue with alternatives.

Alternatives in managing disease

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a revolutionary in treatment of chronic and fatal diseases believes that the body is resilient and can heal from anything. In her book, Dr. Lawrence Wilson, M.D.  Like Dr. Gonzalez, Dr. Wilson has worked with the late Dr. William Kelley, a pioneer in alternative cancer treatment.  Anyone can and should do these therapies singly or as a complete health care protocol.  However, if you have chronic or terminal health issues, I recommend obtaining guidance from a trained practitioner who has experience in detox, nutrition, and healing from disease.

I personally know and have worked for a nutritional consultant who uses this same protocol and is successful at healing late-stage cancer treatments. I’ve heard people say that chemo and radiation “works”, but from what I know about health, I know it doesn’t actually solve the cause of the cancer. That’s why cancer can return.  In order to destroy tumors, cancer drugs suppress and weaken the immune system. Dr. Gonzalez says that the drugs which kill tumors don’t help the body to successfully remove the toxins left over in the body, which cause a lot of damage and often that’s what ends up killing patients who don’t survive from chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Like many others, the cancer industry keeps going because it’s a money-making machine. It uses propaganda and marketing to its advantage to get people to hold fund-raising events and donate billions upon billions each year.  The alternative cancer treatment industry is simply not making the kind of money generated in the conventional cancer industry.  This branch of health appeared as a result of frustration with the conventional system, and because people who needed help weren’t getting results they needed.  Alternative medicine’s methods of treatment and education are vastly different. Unlike conventional medicine, it is based on hope, faith, support, trust, due diligence, healing,  respect for the client, and prevention.

In the Dr. Gonzalez interview, he revealed after his death from pancreatic cancer some years ago, the wife of actor Michael Landon donated $38 million dollars to the oncologist that was treating her husband. Dr. Gonazlez also talks about other physicians who are decorated as heroes and given accolades by the press, even though their patients have died.  How crazy is this?  Properly used alternative treatments are safe and effective for cancer and other diseases, and save lives…and yet, they are shunned and criticized. Why? Because there is no profit in healing, only treating sickness. Even Steve Jobs couldn’t escape that reality – and maybe even more so because he had unlimited resources.

The blame for all of this certainly doesn’t rest on Steve Jobs; it’s obvious that even with all his influence and money, the mainstream medical camp won him over. Most ordinary people don’t have the resources he did, so it’s infinitely harder for us to counteract the effects of conventional medicine’s influence.  It is with a very heavy heart that I bid farewell to Mr. Jobs. What a truly terrible waste.  And, what a waste for so many others, who were and are deprived of confidence in their own ability to choose for themselves – a freedom of choice that is an inalienable right for human beings.

Remember – if you don’t have the right to stand up for yourself, someone else will. Do you want another person making that decision for you?

More information: 

Who’s right? Finding the truth about medical knowledge, science, health, and nutrition

Prevention – could this be an answer to our healthcare woes?

Want healthcare reform? Start with the food system!

 

This post is part of Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday Carnival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activism Green Living Healthy Living Healthy Meat Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

Prevention – Could This Be An Answer to Our Health Care Woes?

www.mypicshares.com

Do you want change in our health care system? If so, it is critical to start thinking about health care change in the form of preventative action rather than remaining with the Status Quo.

Our current health care system relies too heavily on reactionary treatments that wait until the problem is acute (and sometimes too late) instead of emphasis on changes in lifestyle that would support a preventative system and better health.

When people get sick, what do they do? The normal course is to make an appointment to see the doctor, and get a prescription for medication or antibiotics. It’s less common to hear of someone treating their ailment or disease at home, with real food and natural remedies.

Why is this the case? Our system is built upon the premise that a doctor who gives you medication will be able to “cure” your disease.  But is this really true?  How often do you hear your doctor talking about real food or natural remedies as a treatment for your health problem? The answer is, you won’t hear this as an emphasized way to improve your health because if you were making less trips to the doctor, soon you would start to see a lot of doctors closing their doors.

The medical system as a whole has made consumers feel powerless to take charge of their own health. As a culture, we believe as though we couldn’t possibly have any of our own answers about why our bodies get sick and that we should rely upon treatment by a licensed medical doctor to get well, or we will continue to stay sick. And yet, in our developed nation where we have the “best health care system” available and the “safest food system in the world”, we are still seeing record numbers of disease and illness, and it’s continuing to rise.

As one example, just look at the statistics on the steady rise in obesity in the United States since 1989 – the numbers are staggering.  Heart disease, cancer, auto-immune disease, and other health problems are also increasing at staggering rates. If our current system was effective, wouldn’t these numbers be going down?

How is prevention different than our current system? Let’s take a look:

  • Prevention assumes that everything you do affects your health, which it does. It comes from a holistic approach, rather than than a compartmentalized view taken by allopathic medicine. In other words, allopathic medicine waits until the problem is noticed by the patient and then treats symptoms, not causes. Preventative medicine knows that every day counts in making your health optimal. It considers diet, stress, sleep, physical, spiritual, and emotional needs.
  • Preventative measures are ongoing. They are continual in nature, whereas allopathic treatments are used only when there is a symptom occurring. Many people have health issues and aren’t even aware of it. It can take days, weeks, or years sometimes to notice negative effects of poor lifestyle habits. That is why preventative medicine is so important.
  • Preventative medicine does just what its name implies – it prevents issues from occurring before it happens or lessens the severity of a problem because action is constantly being taken. Allopathic or reactionary medicine doesn’t prevent anything except the body’s reaction to poor lifestyle, and then can cause or exacerbate other issues in the body because everything is connected. Our organ systems are not isolated from one another and when one system is compromised, it puts a strain on the others.
  • The cost of preventative health care is paid incrementally and falls under a “cost of living” item, and is much less compared to costly intervention recommended by allopathic treatment after a condition has gone on for a long period of time.

Political leaders, CEOs of agricultural and food corporations, the government and leaders in health continually praise our food system. They claim that it is the “safest in the world”. In 2007, President Obama talked about how we spend less than 4 cents of every health care dollar on preventative care. The U.S. Preventative Medicine organization praised his appeal for modernizing health care by investing in prevention. But is he just giving lip service?

The main point here is, it doesn’t seem to matter who’s been in the oval office, the correct approach to health is ceasing to be employed. Our health care system needs a recognizable preventative component. We need to see some results from the money we pour into the health care system – not higher numbers of disease and illness.

We need action and leaders who will deliver!

The time has come to address this issue and put pressure on government and health decision-makers about creating a health care system that values and utilizes preventative care for citizens of our country. As long we as rely on pharmaceutical and allopathic care for the primary treatment of health issues and undervalue the importance of lifestyle changes that really work, we will continue to see a rapid decline in the health state of all people, everywhere.

Write letters to your congressmen and women, and to the president expressing how important preventative care in our health care system is to you.

Grassroots are the key to change

It sometimes seems as though the government and legislation will never listen to our concerns. So even though it is important to become active in the larger, political sphere, it’s even more critical to become involved locally wherever you can. Become an activist and make waves in your local community, or run for office. Start a blog and get involved on message boards and social network sites where you can make your voice heard. The only way we will see change in our current system is from people who get involved and want action.

Any prevention plan that works will include eating diet of whole foods and encourages you to avoid processed foods. That means, literally, foods that are as close to nature as possible. If our ancestors didn’t eat it, it’s probably not healthy to consume.

If you have been noticing the proliferation of food recalls in the news lately, it’s because our food system is one of the most dangerous in the world – a system relying upon automation, heat treating, irradiation, pasteurization, genetic modification, and use of dangerous chemicals and other toxins to produce it. If the situation with our industrialized food system doesn’t change, things will only get worse.

That’s one reason why we are seeing disease and illness in such numbers – because of the consumption of processed foods like grains, corn, nuts, soy, pasteurized dairy products, and meats and meat products laden with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and are from animals on feedlots.

To learn more about the health benefits of raw dairy, read The Truth About Raw Milk, Part I and Part II. To learn more about the benefits of meats and meat products that come from animals on pasture, read Whole and Healthy Meat…Does It Really Exist?

For the past 50 plus years, common medical rhetoric tells us to avoid foods with fat and cholesterol – but in doing so, we’ve caused many of the very debilitating diseases and conditions which have become so chronic in our culture. To learn more about which fats are healthier to consume, read Which Is Better For You – Polyunsaturated or Saturated Fats? 

There are many courageous health care practitioners and doctors who are now coming forward and telling the truth about how important fat is to our health and how we’ve been lied to about this for decades and decades. 

Enjoy Eating Saturated Fats, They’re Good for You- video, Dr. Donald W. Miller, M.D.

Heart Surgeon Speaks Out on What Really Causes Heart Disease – Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D.

Dutch Get it Right and Recognize Saturated Fat Is Not A Problem – Dr. Joseph Mercola

Although a preventative lifestyle will not grant anyone perfect health, it will certainly go a long way toward preventing degenerative disease and illness. A return to traditional, whole foods is the only diet philosophy which supports a truly preventative way of looking at health.

Want to know more about why our current food system is making us sick? Is Cheap Food Really Cheap? The Hidden Costs of Industrial Food

Want more information about healthy foods? Read How Well Do You Know Your Food? Find Out!

Want more information about natural remedies? My Home Medicine Cabinet – What  I Use To Remedy Ailments

For more information about how the role of traditional diets prevents disease, visit the Weston A. Price Foundation.