The Rise of Medical Chauvinism

Medical Chauvinism: the belief in one single practice of medicine, excluding all others as alternatives of little value.

Chauvinism: “Excessive or prejudiced support for one’s own cause, group, or sex” (gender). Oxford English Dictionary. “undue partiality or attachment to a group or place to which one belongs or has belonged” Merriam-Webster.

Medical chauvinisms are on a steady rise. Chauvinism is often a combination of ignorance and marketing.  Ignorance has two sides – ignoring facts that are clearly worthy, and not understanding true realities in the situation. Both types of ignorance are often present in medical chauvinism. And then there are the marketers. Today, it seems medicine knows nothing about cures – and everything about marketing.  Ask your doctor if that might be good for you. Let’s look at a few examples of medical chauvinism:

Cure Chauvinsims:

The Perfection of Cures: Current medical theory has little belief in cures. The non-belief in cures is often supported by the suggestion that a cure must be perfect and permanent, or it’s not a cure – today’s medicine wants zipless cures.  This is simplistic nonsense, medical chauvinism. If we don’t consume a diet with healthy amounts of Vitamin C, we get scurvy.  If we change our diet, the scurvy can be cured.  But if the cause returns, we get a new case of scurvy.  The illness is cured when the cause is addressed.  A new illness occurs when a new cause arrives. Why does no medical treatment reference dare to use the word ‘cure’ with regards to scurvy. 

Cure Ignorance: Many cures are simply ignored. Cures are often forbidden. The words cure, cures, cured, curing, and incurable do not appear in many medical dictionaries, and are not defined in medical treatment references.  When we fail to recognize, or refuse to acknowledge cures, we fail due to medical chauvinism. There are no statistics for cures. No health (medical) insurance company will pay for a cure – they pay for treatments. It is not possible to prove a cure has been accomplished for any disease not caused by a parasite, because ‘cured’ is not medically, not scientifically defined for those diseases.

There is no cure for the common cold. Medical chauvinism. People get and cure colds every day. The common cold is cured by health, not by medicine. People who are healthier get fewer colds and their severity and duration is less. People who are less healthy get more colds, of higher severity and longer duration. There is no medicine that can cure the common cold, because no medicine improves healthiness. Medicines are designed to attack symptoms of disease, not improve healthiness.

 

Medicine Chauvinisms:

Conventional Medicine Chauvinism: The belief that only a medicine, only an medical treatment approved by the government can be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. It’s nonsense. Many, perhaps most illnesses are cured by health, by healthicines, not by medicines.

US/FDA Guidelines: One of the most egregious examples of medical chauvinism comes from the US/FDA page on supplement labeling, which requires that manufacturers “must also state that the dietary supplement product is not intended to ‘diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease‘, because only a drug can legally make such a claim.” The statement that only a drug can claim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, is medical chauvinism, made without any attempt to clearly define: supplement, diagnose, treat, cure, prevent, or drug. It’s nonsense, medical chauvinism, but it’s also the law.

Alternative Medicine Chauvinism: The term ‘alternative medicines’ is medical chauvinism, creating and supporting a belief that conventional medicines are not ‘alternatives’.  In truth, any medicine that does not cure is an alternative medicine.  And many illnesses can be cured by different medical alternatives. The phrase ‘alternative medicines’ is a marketing tool, not a scientific tool.  A clear example of medical chauvinism.

Most medicines, including most alternative medicines are designed and marketed to treat the signs and symptoms of an illness, with no attempt to cure.  Currently, the only medicines that can cure any disease are medicines that attack parasitic diseases.

The battle between medicines and alternative medicines comes down to a simple, nonsense question:

“Which medicine DOES NOT CURE better?”

Chronic Disease Chauvinism: 

Chronic Diseases are incurable: The belief that chronic diseases are mysterious evil incurable things is simply medical ignorance. Medical chauvinism.  There are two kinds of chronic diseases.

The first type of chronic disease is an illness with a chronic cause.  Any illness is a chronic illness, when the cause is chronic. This is no mystery. It is possible to get a chronic infection, if the patient has a chronic cause.  A patient can get scurvy because of a chronically deficient diet. No medicine can cure a chronic illness.  Providing a healthy diet for a a short time period cures an instance of the illness, but not the chronic illness.  The cure is not just to address the cause, but to also address the chronic nature of the cause. To claim, or suggest that this type of chronic illness is incurable, because no medicine can cure it, is medical ignorance, medical chauvinism.

The second type of chronic illness is a disability or a blockage. A disability cannot be cured.  However, many illnesses that are mistaken for disabilities – are actually blockage illnesses, illnesses caused by something that blocks healthiness. Blockage illnesses are cured by transformation.  The modern medicine is familiar with some blockage illnesses, because they are cured by surgery. Cataracts are a blockage illness, cured by surgery.  There are many different blockage illnesses, of the body, the mind, the spirit, even the community. They are chronic illnesses that are cured by transformation, in many cases, by transformations much less severe than surgery.  Type 1 Diabetes is generally believed to be a disability illness – although there is some dispute.  Type 2 Diabetes is believed, by many people to be a blockage illness, an illness caused by a blockage that can be transformed.

Placebo Chauvinisms:

The belief that any medicine, treatment, or benefit we cannot explain is due to a placebo.  In truth, a placebo is any treatment, medicine or benefit we cannot explain.  It’s not the same.

Placebos: The word placebo is vastly overused by medical chauvinists, who – in most cases – do not understand the basic definitions of placebos.  There are two distinct types of placebos:

  • Real Placebo: when the doctor prescribes a medical treatment that, in theory, will have no effect on the illness – in the belief that it will help the patient. When a real placebo works, both the patient and the doctor benefit. When it fails, there is no harm.
  • Fake Placebo (also known as Clinical Placebo): A clinical placebo is administered, not prescribed, to a patient with no intention to help the patient.  The intent of administering a clinical placebo is to test a drug.  If the patient is helped by the placebo, it disrupts the clinical study, and is ignored. When the placebo “works”, the patient receives no benefit. 

Medical chauvinists often dismiss treatments that work as ‘placebos’ when they are neither of the above. What they are trying to say is it was an “invalid treatment”, or “they don’t believe the treatment that produced the benefit”, that the benefit is a placebo effect. Medical chauvinism facilitates ignoring the benefit, ignoring the cause of the benefit, by adopting the ‘placebo excuse’.

Placebos, real placebos, cause real positive effects (not fake effects) – as documented by Oxford’s dictionary. Fake placebos are designed to cause no effect. The alternative health product you purchase a drugstore, or at a health food store, is not a placebo.

Placebo Effect: The Oxford Dictionary of the English Language defines placebo effect as “A beneficial effect produced by a placebo drug or treatment, which cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment.” The view that ONLY  the drug or treatment can produce a beneficial effect on an illness is simply nonsense.  The statements that “a beneficial effect produced by a placebo drug or treatment” followed by “cannot be attributed to the treatment” is contradiction of terms.  Either it was produced by the treatment, or it cannot be attributed to the treatment. The restraint that it “must therefore be due to….” is untested speculation, nothing more. Placebo effect is medical mysticism, medical chauvinism.

It is important to understand that there is no dispute about the benefit of a placebo effect.  Placebo effects are real, positive effects on the patient’s condition. If the effect is negative, it is called a nocebo effect. As with placebos, there are exactly two types of placebo effects.

  • A placebo effect occurs when something – not the treatment – caused a beneficial effect.  Something we don’t understand. As responsible researchers of science and medicine, we need to study and understand the cause, not simply dismiss all placebo effects as caused by “the patient’s belief in the treatment‘”.
  • A placebo effect occurs when the treatment actually caused the benefit, but we do not believe the treatment could cause the benefit.  eg. We don’t understand.

As long as we believe we understand, as long as we sweep the positive effects under the placebo effect rug, we will fail to understand, fail to learn, fail to make use of the real cause.  Every placebo effect is a real, positive effect.  Every real, positive effect has a real cause.

Prevention Chauvinisms: 

Prevention is better than cure.” – Desiderius Erasmus, 1456-1536. “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of Cure“: Benjamin Franklin. Both of these statements are often used to support medical chauvinism, to support medical treatments that supposedly ‘prevent’ disease. There is an important message here, but taken to extreme, the message leads to nonsense, to medical chauvinism – especially when the preventative is a medicine itself.

A simple (nonsense) example – we can prevent pedestrian accidents by never crossing the road. But this preventative action is simply not justified, and is not “better than the cure”. When pedestrian accidents occur, we need to treat the patient, not advise them to stop crossing the road.

In truth, the best preventative is health. The best cures come from healthiness, not from medicines. When we prevent illness by improving the health of the patient.  When we attempt to prevent disease without improving the health of the patient, we can easily cause more harm than good.

Clinical Studies Chauvinisms:

Clinical Study Treatments: The belief that only treatments tested and proven in clinical studies can provide benefits. This belief ignores the simple fact that every treatment tested and proven in a clinical trial could have provided benefit – before it was tested and proven in a clinical trial. It also dismisses many treatments where there might be substantial benefit to the patient, but no benefit to a clinical trial. eg. A positive treatment with little or no potential to make profits. Note: Most clinical studies to not test cures, because cured is not defined and a cure cannot be documented if it occurs.

Clinical Study Chauvinism: The belief that treatments tested and validated in clinical trials are proof of positive benefits.  Clinical studies are marketing tools, designed and implemented with specific intent to produce a marketable product.

Vaccine Chauvinisms:

Vaccine Chauvinism: The belief that every vaccine, past, present, and future, and every vaccine ingredient, is perfection – and that no person, doctor, researcher, or scientist should dare to challenge those facts or attempt to exercise individual choices for themselves or their children.

Vaccination Chauvinism: The belief that the best way to prevent any disease is to vaccinate against it.  Health is the best preventative.  Health is the best cure.

Wakefielding: Wakefielding is the tendency of vaccine chauvinists to make ridiculous, nonsense exaggeration with regards to Alexander Wakefield’s beliefs, motivations, and actions. You can often spot this when it occurs on radio and television programs, because the host or guest makes a blanket statement and follows it with “ha ha”. In today’s political “medical chauvinistic” climate, it is impossible to criticize any aspect of vaccination, without being dismissed as a heretic.  Medical chauvinism.

Medical Chauvinism

This is the initial post about the concept of medical chauvinism.  I would love to read your input, and your observations of medical chauvinism to add to the list.

To your health, tracy
Founder: Healthicine

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About Tracy Kolenchuk

Founder of Healthicine.org. Author of two books about healthicine; Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness Healthicine: Introduction to Healthicine
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