I got all fired up again recently about my passion for natural family health. This is a broad topic I’ve been wanting to write about since I began GrowingSlower, and this seems like a good time to start. What refueled the fire was reading what Heather at The EO wrote about her health experiences. You can read Part One in which she underwent tubal ligation during a Cesarean, and her doctor did not warn her of the potential (and not at all minor) side effects and Part Two in which the same doctor tries to blame breastfeeding for the symptoms she is experiencing. If you are considering tubal ligation at anytime in the future, please read this first!
Health care professionals can offer you great advice from a medical-technological perspective. In addition to giving you excellent medical care, that perspective may include several other aspects. (I reference news articles in links throughout the text.)
When offering advice and treatment your health care providers may consider the following:
- The Party Line: The organizations of medical professionals promote and lobby for the business interests of medical professionals. Some accept money and support from drug companies. Last year they spent $39 million on campaign finance and $59 million lobbying. These same organizations also fund research and set health recommendations and policies that doctors across the nation follow. The many potential conflicts of interests are obvious.
- Fear of Lawsuits: Last month a survey of doctors showed that 96 percent of orthopedic surgeons ordered tests, referrals to specialists, and hospitalizations that were unnecessary except to help them avoid malpractice lawsuits! This behavior causes a shocking monetary waste of $2 billion a year. The more alarming issue to me is the harm done to the health of patients undergoing $2 billion worth of unnecessary procedures. All of these tests and procedures are not without risk. This is just the most recent of findings throughout the medical specialties showing doctors basing decisions on fear of lawsuits. In addition, another February study showed that one-third of doctors did not feel that they needed to share serious medical errors with patients. Fear or recourse also prevents hospital employees from reporting mistakes. Yikes!
- Pharmaceutical Companies: Drug and medical device companies have influence over doctors, medical trade organizations, and policy makers. They make money when you are prescribed lots of medications and tests. Nearly 40% of doctors do not feel the need to disclose their ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Yes, even small perks have been shown to influence doctors prescribing practices. Drug companies make their weight felt at the federal level getting their products pushed through the FDA even though they may not be safe. They also spent a shocking $181 million last year lobbying policy makers.
- Time constraints: Depending on where you look, doctors visits last an average of 13 to 20 minutes . They must diagnose and treat you based on what they see in such a short amount of time. They may not have time to holistically consider your particular case and symptoms or to discuss all of the risks or side effects of treatments.
How have you advocated for your family’s health?
This is the first in a series about natural health. Next up, I’ll be posting about the 5 steps I use to make natural health decisions.