Friday, October 17, 2014

Must Read! Lawrence Solomon: Crippling Medical Research

Hat tip to my Dad for sending this one to me.

Think Big Climate, kids....

("The science is settled, etc...) 

You MUST read this whole thing. 

Kudos to Mr. Solomon for penning this extremely fine essay. I look forward to further installments.

"Over the last 30 years, spending on medical research and development soared more than five fold, but it didn’t produce five times as many research geniuses whose insights brought us five times the life-saving discoveries, not by a long shot. Instead of the extra billions finding their way to a new generation of ever better funded, ever more empowered intellects, the money went mostly to medical mediocrities spawned by the expanding government bureaucracies that sucked up the monies, and that, too often, helped squelch rather than advance knowledge."

"What hasn’t declined in the medical field is dogma, as best illustrated by the 2005 Nobel Prize for Medicine, awarded to Barry Marshall for an outside-the-box discovery more than two decades earlier. Marshall, a trainee in internal medicine in Australia, realized that ulcers — then a very serious ailment — were caused by an easily treated bacterial infection rather than by stress, as commonly believed. '

"Marshall was ridiculed, called a quack, dismissed when he presented his findings to an annual meeting of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, dismissed by the pharmaceutical companies, dismissed by funding bodies that held the purse strings to research grants, dismissed by important medical journals."

"Although he soon successfully cured his own patients without subjecting them to conventional treatments — like antidepressants to allay the patients’ presumed stress-induced gastric acids or surgical removal of their ulcerated stomachs — the medical world treated him as a fraud, asserting his results couldn’t be replicated and in any case couldn’t be true. Even after Marshall, in desperation, decided to prove that infections caused ulcers by infecting himself, and then curing the resulting ulcer with an antibiotic, he remained a charlatan to most for another decade."

"Why the dogma and the personal attacks on Marshall? How could so many for so long ignore the evidence that was so obvious and so easy to verify? An answer lies in the willful blindness of the vested interests that dominate the medical field. Money provides one vested interest. "