What Einstein knew about the drug industry…

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I get so frustrated when I talk to people who are concerned about the side effects of the drugs they are taking, especially the elderly who are almost always taking a daily cocktail of drugs ranging from joint pain medication, statin drugs, drugs to control their blood pressure and blood sugar levels… the list goes on and on.

It upsets me because it seems like patients believe they have no choice when it comes to the drugs they are told to take.

Your health, your choice, your responsibility

In the 1930s, Albert Einstein risked being arrested in Germany when he spoke out against censorship and the persecution of minorities. He said: “Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.”

I know those words do not directly speak about prescription drugs, but they do relate to the freedom to think independently for yourself.

You see, it’s your right to be fully informed about the benefits and risks of all medical interventions. And it’s your right to exercise the freedom to make a voluntary decision about whether or not to accept the risks associated with drug therapies and medical procedures.

It’s called informed consent. And it’s your right to exercise it.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Big Pharma’s stranglehold on mainstream medicine, many patients believe that what doctors say is the ‘law’, so they don’t question what they are being told. Many even feel pressured into taking drugs that their gut-feeling tells them are dangerous. So, they consent to taking something that they know might harm them.

And if you look at the harm done to patients with the over-prescription of dangerous drugs (the opioid epidemic in the US, and the Avandia and Vioxx drug scandals for example), you’d be forgiven for thinking that the medical oath to “first do no harm” is all but an empty promise.

That’s because medical care has become a massive and very profitable market place, treating patients like consumers and not like people who need help to heal.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that all doctors are reckless when it comes to caring for their patients. Many of my friends are doctors and I know they operate with the best of intentions. But doctors face challenges: They often have to follow nonsensical prescription guidelines (some of which go against their better judgement), they have ridiculously short consultations times, and many of them are overworked and underpaid.

The bottom line is this: Pharmaceutical drugs are supposed to offer short-term solutions instead of being a life-long crutch. It’s your doctor’s job to get you off drugs, not to put you on more. So, work with your doctor to achieve this goal. And remember that along with exercising your right to informed consent comes the responsibility of being accountable for your own health and well-being.



Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Sources:

Biography Online. Albert Einstein quoted by Virgil Henshaw in Albert Einstein: Philosopher Scientist (1949) edited by Paul A. Schilpp.

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