Philosophy and Medical Care
excerpt from The Vaccine Guide
Randall Neustaedter OMD
Philosophy and Medical Care
Modern (allopathic) medicine is based upon several underlying assumptions. The first is the concept of reduction. The body can be reduced to its parts, the organs, the tissues, and the “systems.” This allows for the manipulation of one part, for example the immune system, without any regard for the effect this will have on the integrity of the person as a whole. The second assumption is that diseases are bad and need to be combated. This leads to the concepts of chemical warfare conducted against the kingdom of diseases. If some innocent civilians lose their lives as a result of the weapons employed, then that is the unfortunate cost of war. This has certainly been the stated position of leaders in the vaccine campaign. The third assumption is that diseases should be prevented by chemicals. This takes the form of lifelong medication with drugs, for example flouridation of water systems to supposedly prevent tooth decay, estrogen replacement in all postmenopausal women to prevent bone loss, and periodic vaccine administration beginning in infancy to prevent infectious diseases.
It is important for parents to examine their beliefs about these assumptions because the administration of vaccines implies tacit approval of the allopathic medical philosophy. Parents do have a choice about the medical treatment of their children. The United States constitution is based upon the principle of freedom of choice. The widespread belief that vaccination of an entire population is necessary, however, has threatened the basic rights of parents and their ability to legally make an informed decision.
The history of mandatory vaccinations reads like the story of martial law in an occupied country. The freedom to choose is suspended in an all out effort to eradicate an enemy. This is the mentality of war. The problem with warfare lies in its basically destructive principles. The casualties are usually heavy. In the vaccine war, the casualties have been devastatingly damaged children with resultant lifelong retardation, seizure disorders, autism, and fatalities directly caused by the vaccines. The crime, and the shame, of the vaccine industry and the medical establishment has been the routine and blatant denial of these casualties in public testimony and in daily practice. In their view the good fight has been staged and these supposed casualties represent merely the deluded suspicions of parents with a sick child who are all too eager to point at vaccines as the cause of their problems. The Vaccine Injury Act was instituted not because the vaccine industry admitted its culpability in these tragedies, but simply because the drug companies refused to continue production of these substances that resulted in multimillion dollar lawsuits. The government chose to subsidize vaccine production by paying awards out of tax dollars and limiting the amount to an administrative budget. Litigation against drug companies was eliminated and parents were left seeking recompense from a government bureaucracy. This guaranteed protection of the drug companies assured continuing profits. Vaccine production was reestablished. Parents’ claims were deflected, continued to be denied, and no recourse was left to the victims. The war could then continue unabated. The drug companies’ production of vaccine and the government’s requirements for their administration has been a very successful partnership. When a consumer evaluates medical pronouncements about drug prescriptions for the entire world’s population , one should never lose sight of the fact that drug companies reap the tremendous profits. The same companies that make and sell these drugs fund their research. In fact, research and marketing go hand in hand. The next simple step is for the drug companies to assist in legislative efforts to make drug prescribing mandatory for all citizens. The need for profits shapes the law.
The war on disease represents the driving force behind vaccine use. The basic assumptions of our culture fuel the policies adopted for our citizens in the areas of medicine and defense. Waging war provides a simple black and white perspective. Identify an enemy and declare war. In medicine the concept of disease provides us with the unwitting, elusive, and destructive enemy. The lowly virus and bacteria become the identified targets, the carriers, the weapons, and the tangible troops of the invading army. The analogy is striking. It has become so integrated into our personal belief systems that it seems ludicrous to question it. Who would call disease an ally?
Yet the analogy upon which all of allopathic medicine is based falls apart. The body is not a battleground. Hostile enemy forces are not threatening our way of life and biochemical war is not the only solution to illness. There is another philosophy of medicine which has been ignored in the assumptions of the allopathic world view. In our population and in our lifetime a shift in consciousness has already occurred. This awareness encompasses the notion that the body itself has an innate intelligence and healing ability. In this view the body needs to be nurtured, not attacked with chemicals. The body does have a fundamental order and integrity. This ordered and harmonious function benefits from life promoting activities and suffers under the stressful influence of hostile interventions. A philosophy of healing that respects the natural order inherent within the body and the body’s innate healing abilities may provide us with an approach to prevention that avoids chemical warfare. When the organism is seen as a whole, when we view nutritional factors, lifestyle, the body’s natural integrity, and their overall effect on healing, then we can view vaccines from a different perspective.
All actions have the ability to influence the inherent order of the organism. The body seeks to maintain a healthy balance or homeostasis. Some actions will promote order and others will tend to disorder the internal balance that the body has created. For example, when a child makes a transition from one environment to another, like going to a new preschool, this has the potential to create disorder. The transition may be interpreted by the child as threatening and the resulting internal disorder might manifest as a tantrum. The parent can then take actions which reassure the child and reestablish balance and homeostasis. Other actions may have a more disordering effect. To continue the analogy in the emotional realm, the death of a pet or a family member will provoke a deeper injury and greater imbalance. These emotional reactions, the fear and grief, may cause symptoms. When managed appropriately, with respect for the child’s feelings and emotional maturity, these stresses can result in a stronger, more resilient personality. Similarly, different physical stresses on the system will cause varying degrees of imbalance and disorder. When we view the body as an organism in balance, then everything that occurs is potentially ordering or disordering. An apparent stress can result in order. A continued stress can upset the balance and a toxic stress can cause damage that throws the body into a tailspin. Drugs have the potential to cause a significant degree of imbalance because of their inherent toxicity. Vaccines can provoke toxic reactions as well, and they are also capable of causing these same types of imbalances. They can be just as devastating as other severe shocks to the system. The degree of the imbalance and disorder will depend upon the toxic potential of the vaccine and the susceptibility of the organism. By contrast, when an infectious disease causes stress on the body, the result can be a stronger immune system. Antibodies are produced against that specific disease organism and the body learns how to manage other viruses and bacteria as well. Illness can thus be seen as a strengthening process. The immunization decision involves weighing these considerations and viewing them in the context of an underlying philosophy of health and disease.
Looking at the body as a whole, as an integrated organism, encompasses a philosophy in contrast to the allopathic reduction of the body to a set of parts. Modern technological medicine views only short-term reactions and localized effects of its interventions. There is little attention to long-term effects because there is no model for viewing or evaluating these. The double blind study looks at limited effects on distinct physiological systems in the body. Vaccines stimulate specific antibody responses in the immune system. That is the desired effect and the ultimate goal is prevention of a specific disease in the tested population. These tests run for a few years at the most. The issue of long-term detrimental effects of vaccines never arises in these study designs because that concept defies the nature of those tests. Politically, it would not be useful to look for these effects because the studies are conducted by vaccine manufacturers who have a vested interest in the product. They have no interest in revealing vaccine toxicity. This intentionally myopic view encourages the limited perspective of allopathic medicine. Parents and consumers of medical services in general are questioning this limited view. They increasingly seek the perspectives of other medical systems that do view the body as a whole. The systems of Oriental medicine, homeopathy, and naturopathy all share the belief that interventions have global, long-term effects in the body. Their goal is to bring the body into a higher state of order and balance. Their interventions create harmony. Within these systems diet, drug use, herbs, medicines, exercise, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and relationships all play a role in the overall health of each person. The physical body and the mind are linked in the sense that an imbalance in one realm will affect all others. Physical illness can cause emotional stress and emotional turmoil can cause physical reactions. When the natural energetic balance and harmony of body systems is upset, then the resulting disorder may manifest in symptoms and destructive physiological processes. A persistent unremitting stress may cause chronic problems. For example, repressed anger can result in physical changes within the body causing high blood pressure or a depressed immune system and consequent cancer growth. Vaccine critics have postulated that the constant stress caused by manipulating and altering the immune system with vaccines could also result in these types of imbalances and disease processes. Healing systems that address these imbalances intend to have the opposite effect, to create harmony and reestablish balance in the body. The goal is a healthy life and prevention of illness. The crisis oriented approach of allopathic medicine and its attention to isolated, disjointed reactions exists in sharp distinction to the curative and preventive healing approaches of these other medical systems.
The subject of immune system deficiencies has occupied a great deal of attention in the health care industry, especially the health foods arena. Many products now exist which purport to strengthen the immune system including herbs, mushrooms, algae, meditation and movement techniques. This interest stems from the widespread rise in immune system disorders and new diseases that never existed prior to the modern chemical era of industrial pollution and drugs (AIDS, cancer, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypothyroidism, and a whole array of autoimmune disorders). Opportunistic viruses may also play a role in the declining health of the population, but concern over the fundamental underlying immune system failure lies at the core of the efforts to develop immune enhancement. The possible role of vaccines in causing these immune system deficiencies has been the subject of much speculation and controversy. Many health care providers and consumer advocates have pointed to vaccines as a cause of immune failure. The coincident emergence of these diseases and the mass immunization of populations has led to suspicions that an entire generation has suffered immune system crippling from the vaccines which should be protecting us from illness. Eloquent indictments about the toxic effects of vaccines on immune system function have recently been written and parents would do well to consider the information they contain (Scheibner, 1993; Murphy, 1993; Miller, 1992). Other body systems may also be impacted by the vaccines. The nervous system seems to be particularly sensitive to the toxic properties of vaccines. Subtle nervous system damage caused by vaccines has been identified as a possible source of the recently identified epidemic problems of attention disorders, criminal behavior in children and the emergence of autism as a new disease since the advent of mass immunization (Coulter, 1990). More immediate and dramatic nervous system reactions can occur soon after vaccine administration, often after the third or fourth dose. These include convulsions sometimes resulting in lifelong epilepsy, persistent high pitched screaming, bizarre grimacing, and sudden unexplainable death (SIDS). Of course, these types of reactions are continuously denied by the vaccine industry (Stratton et al., 1994).
Another significant shift in consciousness that affects the way parents make health care decisions involves the evolving view of the doctor. Some parents have discovered that the exalted position of the medical doctor who dictates all treatment decisions may involve misplaced trust. Doctors are trained by drug companies, both in medical schools and later in their offices and clinics. Medical textbooks teach drug prescribing, clinical training involves learning the proper way to prescribe drugs, and seminars for doctors in practice teach the latest advances in drug development. All of this information is derived from research conducted by the pharmaceutical industry whose only goal is to sell drugs. Increasingly, drug companies own the health care delivery institutions themselves. In this way they can supervise and design the delivery of their products. This phenomenon has not escaped the consumer’s awareness. If an individual citizen in the role of patient wants something other than drugs, then he or she must turn to sources outside the medical establishment simply because the world of physicians represents the position of the drug manufacturing industry. Many parents have realized that accepting the opinion of their physician about vaccines is similar to believing the car salesman’s pitch. Both have a product to push. Vaccines represent consumer goods and parents should research this product even more carefully than other purchases. Their children’s lives could be at stake. The doctor-as-god philosophy is gradually declining. Consumers want information. The scandals and tragedies associated with drug company products have created a more wary public. Thalidomide, the IUD, silicone breast implants, unnecessary mutilations in the form of mastectomies and hysterectomies have resulted in widespread mistrust. People have discovered that drug companies may not have our best interests at heart. Doctors do what they are told. The consumer who does not beware is the unwitting participant and potential victim.