Feb 03 2012

Clearly you are a moron if you think medicine works anything like this.

Some people have some very strange ideas on what we do in the medical field. It’s quite strange that people explicitly spread such utter bullshit and indeed believe such nonsense. I write this article in response to an anti-vaccine comment that medicine is close minded because it matches these ideas. And I figured I should break it down. I shall post their arguments here (It is a TL:DR post so I am warning in advance) as well. As a short key all points labelled (a) refer to medicine, all points labelled (b) refer to quackery in general (really? Take your pick)

1a. One-sided: Different or opposing views are either ignored, misrepresented, under-represented, or denigrated. 1b. Many sided: Issues examined from many points of view; opposition fairly represented.

1. We only represent evidence. In the same way a science class is not going to teach you about how the aztec gods sacrificed themselves to create humanity or the stork theory, science isn’t going to accept anything that is not grounded in demonstrable proof. Not all points of view are equal.

2a. Uses generalizations, “allness” statements, and lack of specific references and data. 2b. Uses qualifiers: Statements supported with specific references and data. 

2. Generalisations are for the lay public. You clearly cannot understand what we say so we are forced to use generalisations to help you understand. Because you don’t have the necessary education to understand in much the same way that a theoretical physicist would have to generalise things for me to understand.

3a. Card Stacking: Data carefully selected – even distorted – to present only the best or worse possible case. Language used to conceal. 3b. Balanced: Presents samples from a wide range of available data on the subject. Language used to reveal.

3. We actually have to compare worst case outcomes and state those. We also have to use our rationale in using a middle figure between best and worst figures and we do post all our stats and have to ensure they are available.

4a. Misleading use of statistics. 4b. Statistical references qualified with respect to size, duration, criteria, controls, source and subsidizer.

4. Actually it’s because anti-vax simply do not understand stats. There is a 100% decrease in the amount of smallpox cases from 1985 to now because we made it extinct by vaccination. Prior to the 1970s roughly 2 to 3 million people would die from it across the globe and prior to european vaccination schemes roughly a million people would die from it in Europe alone. The earliest mass vaccination scheme for smallpox was actually seen during the American War for Independance where the americans adopted smallpox vaccination while the british did not. The deaths were spectacularly different from smallpox. (It was balanced out. The british rum and lime rashion ensured they never got scurvy.)

And medical statistics are famous for their use of controls, duration, sizes of research and sources use have to be heavily documentated as plagiarism is treated as a serious crime in medicine. It’s career suicide to plagiarise someone’s work particularly in the world of the internet. And I assume subsidiser means sponsors? Plenty of research is government sponsored.

5a. Herding: Ignores distinctions and subtle differences. Attempts to bring together superficially similar elements together. Reasons by analogy. 5b. Discrimination: Points out differences and subtle distinctions. Use analogies carefully, pointing out differences and non-applicability.

5. We actually realise that most people are basically the same internally. No matter how special a flower you think you are, your bowels still function like everyone else and your faecal samples still smell and are filled with bacteria just like everyone else.. There are few exceptions and we recognise those better than the alt med quacks. The Alt. Med however recognise non existent differences which is completely bonkers. We may as well determine which people are sanguine and which people are choleric.

6a. False Dilemma (either/or): Only two solutions to the problem or two ways of viewing the issue – the “right way” (writer or speaker’s way) and the “wrong way” (any other way). 6b. Alternatives: There are many ways of solving a problem or viewing an issue.

6. There are multiple ways to solve a problem. There is however the most effective way and lesser effective ones. The problem is that the alt. medicine way is practically as useless as a chocolate teapot made with poisoned chocolate.

7a. Appeals to Authority: Statements by selected authority figures used to clinch an argument. “Only the expert knows” approach. 7b. Appeals to reason: Statements by authority figures and concerned parties used to stimulate thought and discussion. “Experts seldom agree”.

7. Doctors treating people is not an appeal to authority in the same way that licensing a car driver is not an appeal to authority. A doctor is someone trained and tested in treating patients while a car driver is someone who is trained and tested in driving cars. They are both licensed for a reason. In addition you wouldn’t hire a non qualified person to wire your electricity, you wouldn’t hire some guy on the street to represent you in a court of law and last I heard NASA and the LHC aren’t given to asking lay people to make decisions for them. I mean, I wouldn’t give you my car to repair. I would give it to a qualified mechanic. I know I am not qualified to repair the damn thing. I know the mechanic is. It’s not an appeal to the mystical authority of the mechanic. It’s an acceptance that mechanics have knowledge that I do not, and know how to apply that knowledge. I could learn if taught but I have better things to do with my life.

And not every “expert” is a good one. There are plenty of “experts” who think laetrile is good for treating cancer. Doesn’t make them right! It makes them dangerously stupid.

8a. Appeals to consensus or bandwagon approach: “Everybody’s doing it so it must be right”. 8b. Appeals to fact: Facts selected from broad data base. Logical, ethical, aesthetic and psycho-spiritual aspects considered.

8. Medicine has made incredible stances on really bad practices ranging from installation of sewages to construction of clean drinking water. The original cholera epidemics were combatted by doctors. The father of epidemiology was a doctor with a wrench who would steal pump handles in cholera striken areas to stop the sprea
d. Added to which our stance on exercise and healthy eating is well known even if you don’t chose to recognise it. No proper sane doctor has recommended eating burgers or pies. We accept that those things are delicious so we say “Make it a treat” because life is to short to go without burger and pie. Similarily our drives to get healtheir eating habits for children at schools and to stamp out smoking and to decrease the amount of salt people consume are all well known.

And the application of the words Logical and Ethical to alternative medicine is frankly oxymoronic while aesthetic and psycho spiritual healthcare is just plain moronic.

9a. Appeals to emotions and emotional responses: Uses words and pictures with strong emotional connotations. 9b. Appeals to people’s capacity for thoughtful, reasoned responses: Uses emotionally neutral words and illustrations.

9. The Autism MMR campaign is the textbook defintion of this. And medical textbooks look at suffering objectively. It is testament to the fact that anti-vax have never read a medical document in their lives. If you think we use charged and emotional language in medical literature then you must be a vulcan. An illogical vulcan.

But that’s the catch 22, if we use charged language your response is “See they are appealing to your fear and compassion. How dare they!” and if we treat it objectively your response is “How can you soulless automatons treat human beings like that? Don’t you feel anything inside! You logical bastards!”.

10a. Labeling: Uses labels and derogatory language to describe proponents of opposing viewpoint. 10b. Avoids labels and derogatory language: Addresses the argument, not the people supporting a particular viewpoint.

10. The individual who prompted me to write this is clearly extremely smart and a wonderful person which is why she is incapable of understanding the most basic of science and math, fails at reading and comprehension, and is actively delusional to the point of being a textbook case of it. To top it off she actively deny the deaths of millions of people across the world to diseases and are actively part of the group of people whose ideology helped spread the disease going so far as to support the work of the South African president Mbeki who was responsible for the infamous Salad Bar at a HIV and AIDS conference and is responsible for nearly 3 million extra HIV cases due to his policies which caused an increase in rate as he pulled money from functional HIV programs and retroviral therapy to put money into vitamins and “healthy eating”. Clearly she is a role model for all time. Quick! Let’s take down statues of Albert Schweizer and put up statues of her! Oh wait, she is clearly a moron of the highest order and an all around opposing force to human development and progress. It’s a statement of fact. I don’t have to respect idiots. If you came out and stated that NASA shouldn’t be allowed to fly rockets lest it punch a hole in the tapestry on which the stars are held up we would call you a fucking moron. Same rules apply here.

11a. Promotes attitudes of attack and/or defense with the aim of selling a position or product. 11b. Promotes attitudes of openness and inquiry. Aim is to discover.

11. This point doesn’t even make any sense. We attack and defend our position because it’s not a game to faff around with. It’s actually people’s lives. Alt. Med are parasites feeding off the fears of real medicine portraying their bullshit as harmless. Either treating healthy people as if they were sick or convincing healthy people that they must use supplements that are often extremely expensive while charging them for water and things that simply do not work while encouraging them to ignore things that do work with horrific consequences. And lest we forget that Alt. Med do not work for free and charge (often quite steeply) for their consultations.

12a. Ignores assumptions and built-in biases. 12b. Explores assumptions and built-in biases.

12. We don’t make assumptions. They are confusing educated guess with assumption. If you have a painless lesion and peripheral neuropathy with systemic infection signs, but with no viable culture, I can use my knowledge of disease to infer that it is leprosy because it fits the hallmark of symptoms and M. Leprae cannot be cultured in vitro. We can culture it on mice feet but you know what? It’s simpler to start the treatment and poke around 10,000 fields (yeah that’s right… 10,000 microscope fields) for Acid Fast bacteria from the exudate of the lesion. And we actually are phenomenally good at identifying bias. It’s why we keep hamstringing the frankly criminally stupid posts of the anti-medicine luddites. We can clearly identify bias, we clearly understand your motivations for lying and we clearly point it out. We are completely unforgiving to other people’s research. We don’t accept research without hardcore evidence and often repeat research.

13a. Language promotes lack of awareness and unconsciousness. 13b. Language usage promotes greater awareness and consciousness.

13. What does that even mean? I shall assume it means the language is difficult and confusing to them.

It’s very very simple. Offside! Now this word means a lot to the average european or the average african or the average south and central american. To the average USAmerican? Fuck All. Do you know what travelling is? No? The average american does. A googly or a doosra? Or Reverse Swing? Most brits will not, american simply would think I am having a stroke, but ask an Indian or a Pakistani and they will go into immense detail about such cricket terms. Now why do these terms exist? Because they describe things that occur in a specific context and allows people withing that context to communicate. The same rules apply to car mechanics who know names of parts of machines that I do not and to people who understand things like quarks and indeed to medics. It’s because you are uneducated in medicine that you do not understand the language and terminology. It’s there for us to communicate specifically with other doctors across the globe using the same notions and terminology about things. It’s not there for obfuscation purposes since we actually explain terminology online and are willing to explain it.

A lot of the terminology you see is infact pharmaceutical short hand which stops errors from occurring. It’s just short hand to ensure we can write a lot of information in a single line of note paper so that pharmacists can read it easily. 300 mg. Paracetemol. Stat means patient can take 300 mg of paracetemol when the fever requires it. If we wanted to obfuscate we would actually use the old medical terminology in Latin or not tell people our secret language on the bloody internet. A lot of the names we use are descriptive. I mean Bone tumour is just cancer to you but there are different types of bone tumours ranging from benign to malignant. Osteoma, Osteosarcoma, Giant Cell tumour, Haemangioma, Neurofibroma, Multiple Myeloma, Osteochondroma… And many more. Each are different and each have different prognosis and outcomes. An osteoma is awkward and painfu
l. An osteosarcoma is practically a death sentence if it’s not caught early since it metastasises easily.

14a. Can lead to tunnel vision and bigotry. 14b. Can lead to breadth of vision and understanding.

14. Most medical practitioners are extremely broadly based. And many are insanely talented at many other things. And the medical profession are some of the least bigotted people on earth. I think you mean bigotted against bullshit. As I said, empirically prove your nonsense. We will give you a million dollars. Because not one person has been able to prove in a moderated and unbiased test that their nonsensical quackery actually works. In the words of Tim Minchin.

Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved.
If you show me
That, say, homeopathy works,
Then I will change my mind
I’ll spin on a fucking dime
I’ll be embarrassed as hell,
But I will run through the streets yelling
It’s a miracle! Take physics and bin it!
Water has memory!
And while it’s memory of a long lost drop of onion juice is Infinite
It somehow forgets all the poo it’s had in it!
You show me that it works and how it works
And when I’ve recovered from the shock
I will take a compass and carve Fancy That on the side of my cock

15a. Referenced studies conceal conflict-of-interest funding sources.. 15b. Referenced studies reveal conflict-of-interest funding sources.

15. While anti-vax refer to people such as Mercola, Andrew Wakefield and Mike Adams who directly profit from their research. Most papers are published as part of hospital research with little to no funding or with hospital grant funding such as my friend’s reasearch into GPU heart modelling or another friend and his medical research into detection of patent foramen ovale through ultrasound and microbubbles. They actually don’t get any money from “conflicting interests” and even when sponsored, doctors tend to be incredibly untrustworthy of non transparent research. We often compare multiple independant studies before we adopt a medicine. It takes roughly 10 to 15 years to adopt a new drug.

16a. Statistics always presented to show maximum damage from problem and minimum damage from solution. 16b. Statistics presented to show many aspects of problem, not always from a non-max/min approach.

16. Statistics show minimum effective dose and maximum tolerable dose to provide a therapeutic dose value. And it’s the maximum damage from the problem we are trying to prevent. I mean if 80% of the cases of untreated meningitis is death, why are we so worried about the 20% of cases. I mean good grief we also take in median values of cases and a whole bunch of other statistics.

17a. Emphasis on removing symptoms. Aims for quick results. 17b. Emphasis on removing causes through knowledge and its integration into living habits. Aims for long-term results.

17. Shows that the individual clearly has no fucking grasp of medicine beyond chronic diseases. We have plenty of treatments for acute diseases. The treatment for amoebic dysentary are both symptomatic and causative. Metronidazole for causative organism (Entamoeba Histolytica), ORS for rehydration, anti-pyretic for fever and stomach ache and anti motility drug to reduce diarrhoea. Three symptomatic reductions and one curative. We rarely even use a single drug for most things because we understand what synergistic drug use means. We understand that we can combine drugs to improve their effect far more than the individual drug and we understand that many diseases require combinations that work together to both alleviate symptoms and cure causative agent. The diseases that are treated purely symptomatically either have no cure (Eg. Diabetes Mellitus because we cannot yet regrow bits of pancreas or Atherosclerosis because we don’t know how to reverse fatty infiltration once it gets past the initial stage or HIV because we don’t have a cure yet.) or aren’t worth the cure (the side effects of interferons aren’t as bad as the actual effect of the common cold.) One day we will have a fucking cure, just 15 years ago we didn’t have a cure for endemic stomach ulcers, now we do. (Omeprazole 6 weeks, 2 weeks clarithromycin and amoxicillin) We keep curing things all the time. It’s just that the average anti-vax conveniently ignore the hundreds of cures out there.

18a. Emphasis on management and control. Professional “manages” while patient “follows orders”. 18b. Emphasis on patient participation and recovery. Professionals “give guidelines” and patient directs his own therapy.

18. Patient management is the ability to see multiple patients over a day. Patient management is also the ability to increase compliance with a treatment regimen because people who don’t follow treatment regimens do poorly. Patient management is giving a child a lollipop so they associate visits with lollipops and come more often. And we expect patients to follow our instructions because not following instructions has dire consequences. We don’t write “Take before food” on medicine for shits and giggles. We don’t say “finish course of antibiotics” for no reason. There are reasons for that. Not following instructions is pretty much how most people hurt themselves with medication. Do not exceed this amount means do not exceed this amount. Take before food regularly means take before food. Do not miss dose means do not miss dose. Keep sugar pills on you means keep sugar pills on you. These aren’t suggestions but orders for a reasons. If you fuck up then it is our job and our livelihood on the line. Every Single Death That Occurs In A Hospital is subject do a mortality and morbidity meeting. Where department heads get together and discuss how and why each death occurred and indeed discuss deaths that could have been prevented. And believe me, if it is a doctor’s fault they will attempt to get you struck off unless the fault was patient centred.Since every death is a bad statistic. Even if a patient comes to the hospital with multiple gun shot wounds, the M&M meeting takes place for someone who clearly died from being shot.

19a. Assembly line methods geared for profit. 19b. Client-centered methods geared for autonomy.

19. Mercola and Mike Adams run stores… For Profit. As does every single homeopath out there. Last I heard most people in the western world live on money that they earn by working. So I don’t know where this “profit is bad malarky is leading” but alt. med actually have higher profit margins since homeopathy is basically water that’s been smacked around and is effectively marked up by a ludicrous amount. Some of the biggest charities in the world are the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders who are medical charities where doctors work for free often in warzones and places where no one else dares to go.

And there is autonomy in medicine, we offer a range of treatments to suit the needs of people. However in some cases you have no choice because there are f
ew actual options.

20a. Reliance on technological intervention and substitution, e.g., organ transplants, insulin injections, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, synthetic and frequently toxic drugs and vaccines. Focuses on replacing organs or systems and their functions. 20b. Reliance on harmless, noninvasive therapies and substances. Focuses on regenerating organs and systems and restoring their function.

20. Organs don’t always regenerate and many organs such as the brain and heart do not heal ever. I would like to see them regenerate a heart or a simple brain lesion… And seriously? They are bitching that we like to use technology? How the fuck do you diagnose a pregnancy without a HCG test? How the fuck do you diagnose a heart arrhythmia without a steth and an ECG. How the fuck do you diagnose a broken bone without an XRay and by very definition superficial examination cannot tell you any fucking thing about internal anatomy because unless your surname is Kent you cannot see through a human chest. It’s such a laughable little thing to claim “Well they use technology and technology is bad!”. Of course! Without technology a lot of diseases are wishy washy rather than concrete things and you can bullshit a lot of money out of people by making grandiose claims from superficial examinations rather than someone pulling out hard evidence from something like an MRI.

Without technology a lot of those diseases are eminently fatal such as diabetes and cancer. And a lot of toxic drugs are quite useful. I don’t know how we would ever treat Myasthenia Gravis without neostigmine (poisonous) or pesticide poisoning without atropine (also poisonous).

21a. Cost and dependency escalating. 21b. Cost and dependency de-escalating.

21. Cost of medicine actually has gone down. There are some really expensive things in medicine but we don’t need to use them all the time. And the profit margins on homeopathy are phenomenal considering it is just water… For example the Patrick Holford monthly nutritional pack is £60… In the UK we give out Insulin for a price included in your taxes. It costs the government £30 for Insulin which is recombinant DNA technology and insanely fancy technology. The price has actually gone down since the cost of hasn’t risen with inflation. When human analog insulin came out in the 1994s it was £28 ($50) and now it’s £30 ($55) while inflation should make it cost around £50 ($75) if the cost of production stayed the same. Cost of medicine drops all the time to the point that I can get a week’s worth of retrovirals for HIV (one of the more expensive drugs) for just $2 when during the 90s it was $20 a day… In short? The people who wrote this are lying.

22a. Disease and disability seen in terms of victimization and melodrama. 22b. Disease and disability seen as preventable.

22. We actually produce a lot of drugs to improve quality of life and to reduce melodrama. Many HIV patients live long lives. My dad has had diabetes for nearly 30 years now and hasn’t died because of the medication. Untreated it would have killed him in 3 to 5 years. Hell my aunt survived for nearly 20 years with no functioning kidneys because of dialysis machines. She actually would work in the mornings then come home in the evenings and go on the machine because “she could work” and “it gave her something to do”. And her work wasn’t “She works in a shop”. My aunt was a orthopaedician. She was a fucking doctor and she died unretired as a doctor and as an all round badass.

And we live in the world where medical science in ortho has reached the point where able bodied people are refusing to run with disabled people because disabled people may have an advantage. We live in the world of Oscar Pistorus. The Fastest man with no legs.

This man is insanely badass.

We are actually at a stage where we are seriously considering whether or not to regard some disabled people as normal because prosthesis technology has reached the stage where they have human equivalent movement. We may actually be on the cusp of a technological advance where artificial legs exceed the capacity of a human leg. We may actually see people replace healthy limbs with artificial limbs to improve functionality. Plenty of people today would like to undergo below knee amputation to use a prosthesis which functions better than say… a foot with palsy or partial paralysis or a fused ankle. It’s a matter of time before someone says “You know what? A robot leg would make me better at my job” or “That robot hand makes me insanely good at what I do” and treat it as no different from purchasing a screwdriver. We are seriously getting close to that level of technology and the idea of a cyborg. And all because we told disabled people that they can live a normal and healthy life and we provided them with technology that lets them do so and tried not to stop them and cuddle them like they were made out of glass.

23a. Mechanistic: Body seen as mass object containing discrete parts. 23b. Organic: Body seen as mass under which lies energy, living patterns and interacting fields.

23. We are biomechanical entities. Not “energy, living patterns and fields”. Our muscles work by a molecular ratchet mechanism. One molecule isn’t much… A couple of billion however is a force to be reckoned with. And energy? Seriously? Energy in our body is transferred via a chemical energy currency called Adenosine Triphosphate. And that the electrical field we generate is by calcium ion depolarisation which creates a net electron flow and is indeed chemically mediated?

Of course not. Because they have fuck all idea how the body works and would rather it be “mystical energy” than “ATP”. And we don’t treat the body’s systems as discrete. Holy fuck this is stupid and I really need a drink to deal with this tower of ignorance. Are they seriously confusing the speciality of a doctor as the assumption that the doctor only understands his system? A doctor’s speciality simply means that he sees cases pertaining to his speciality but he also knows how the rest fit together.

24a. Fragmented: Body and mind treated separately. Parts of body regarded separately and treated singly. 24b. HolisticL Body-mind treated as unity. Parts of body treated in relation to other parts and aspects of the body-mind.

24. The mind is a construct of your brain architecture and psychology is taught to every doctor. We actually know the value of psychology. W
e can prove this in motorcycle injuries since they normally show up with head injuries which shows that changes to brain architecture result in changes to personality and mind. Infact… the whole “mind” as a unique unchanging thing is just an extension of the religious soul concept. It’s this nebulous thing used by quacks to make it seem like they take care of your brain somehow.

25a. Atavistic: Disease seen as entity separate from patient. 25b. Contemporary: Disease seen as process inseparable from patient.

25. Diseases are breakdowns of normal physiological function… They aren’t normal. And they are part of the patient. Because I know of things that kill 100% of cancer cells but you simply cannot use in a normal human being… (Let’s see. Cyanide, Rattlesnake venom, Anthratoxin, Pneumolysin, Perfringolysin O) because they would also kill normal human beings. Nearly every disease is treated in context of a normal human being.

26a. Adversarial: Disease seen as enemy. 26b. Unifying: Disease seen as reflecting a self-corrective aspect of body-mind complex in response to internal change in body environment.

26. Disease is your obviously your friend! HIV just loves your CD4 Lymphocytes so very much that it hugs them to death… C. Perferingens loves you so much that it wants to move in with you and change all the curtains in your legs.

You can pray all you want to whatever gods you may have chosen to believe in. You can grovel in front of your quacks but not one of them can save you from acute appendicitis. Not one of them has cured a single leper and not one of them could treat a meningitis case or a case of Status Epilepticus or Pneumonia. Because your mind and body relationship means fuck All when compared to real physiology, pathology, biochemistry and neurology. Fuck A Duck point 26 is the most inane nonsense ever.

27a. Externalizes Casuality: Focus is outside the patient: viruses, bacteria, and stresses in the environment, while ignoring toxic environmental factors in the food, water and air that may be grounds for corporate litigation. 27b. Internalizes Casuality: Focus on patient, choices, attitudes, habits, and reactions to environmental influences.

27. Now look who is generalising. Diseases have various causes. Microbial, Genetic, Environmental, Habit,  Dietary, Age, Gender, Trauma, Psychological, Psychiatric. I take that back… Point 26 ties with point 27 for retardedness because I just fucking named eight more causes of disease than “Duhh… Environment”. They all cause diseases. (Common Cold,  Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, Hypothermia, Emphysema, Atherosclerosis, Parkinsons, Testicular cancer, Hypovolemic shock, PTSD and Schizophrenia if you need examples of each).

28a. Disease Oriented: Focuses on labeling, controlling and destroying disease entities. Research focuses on nature of condition as represented by symptoms, not causes. Absence of disease seen as result of technological intervention. 28b. Health Oriented: Focuses on support of natural healing, immune system, and addresses causes of conditions instead of symptoms. Absence of disease seen as by-product of health.

28. There is an entire field of medicine called preventative (or Community) medicine. Which is about education and infrastructure. You don’t see many practitioners in the UK (They basically are GPs) but in many third world nations they are the frontline doctor. SPM (social and preventative medicine) are the cutting edge of response to infectious disease in third world nations. Oh and labelling disease is vitally important. Because knowing what the disease is lets you treat it and recognise it earlier. Natural Healing? Oh good fucking lord! If you naturally healed from disease we wouldn’t give two fucking fucks about the disease. Do you see doctors bitching about Common Cold? No? Rhinovirus is not dangerous. Does this moron seriously think that not treating syphillis is a good way of treating T. Pallidum infections? Because it generally clears up after 3 years of dealing with lesions and being infection city.  (T. Pallidum is so infective that mere contact with healthy skin can transmit it even through such thick skin as palms). So you should totally walk around for 3 or so years without having any sex or touching people! Oh and it can also go quiescent after 3 years and return as neurosyphillis which is a horrible disease. But then again what do I know. I just treat early syphillis in the time it takes to give an IM injection and late syphillis in under a fortnight of pills and don’t really see any cases of neurosyphillis because I can treat syphillis in under 10 minutes and have it clear up in under two weeks. Now I am no mathematician statistician whizkid but I am of the belief that 10 to 14 days is a smaller number than 3 years. Maybe someone else can check my mathematics…

29a. Uses military rhetoric: “building defenses”, “fighting”, “battle against”, etc. 29b. Descriptive language suggests harmony and cooperation.

29.  Seriously? By that logic then one can use that argument to bitch about football too? I mean Attack, Defence, Midfield General and Goalkeeper are all also military terms. As are flanking and formation. It uses military terms because it’s the easiest way to describe a infection in terms of what people understand. And seriously? Do you know the level of cooperation your body’s immune system possesses to defend your body? Of course not! And because the army has no idea of harmony and cooperation at all. They just line up and run screaming at their enemies.

30a. Monolithic and coercive. 30b. Pluralistic, voluntary and multi-optioned.

30. Not all opinions are the same value. It’s why NASA doesn’t give credence to flat earthers and gravity fairy experts. Everything that works is medicine. We don’t give any value to stuff that doesn’t work. It’s not monolithic and coercive, it’s just that alt. med bullshit doesn’t work at all or doesn’t work as well as the alternatives.

31a. Negative: Builds on fear and distrust of the natural world (Darwinian Paradigm). 31b. Positive: Builds on cooperation with the natural world. A system of healthcare.

31. Darwinian Paradigm? Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution is basically the idea that nature selects against deletrious traits via the idea of “nature’s war” which eliminates the weakest members often preventing them from breeding. AKA if a strategy lets you breed then you are more likely to breed even if your strategy is likely to kill you. Eg. Peacocks. Their plumage is a liability. However the male peacock only has it and is basically a very flashy sperm delivery system. His death means bugger all in terms of survivability as long as the females survive and have sex with males before they get eaten by whatever predator catches them. Female Peahens are actually very drab and camoflauged. Survival of t
he whole species matters, the individual does not. Which is why plenty of species have really horrible life cycles such as “lytic birth” where the parent animal is eaten by it’s young from inside. Nature is not this nice cuddly thing.

The deer and buffalo are food for the tiger, we are food for pathogens. Now the deer fights back with speed but eventually it will get old then the tiger will catch it. The buffalo fights back with power and devastating horns. Eventually it will get old and the tiger will catch it as it can no longer fight. Eventually… the tiger will get old and either starve or be killed by a buffalo. That’s how life is. Horribly brutal and not some magic happy place. It’s sad to think but that’s what we came out of as humans and that’s what shaped our skills. .

The disease is a tiger. Sometimes we can beat it, sometimes we cannot. Medicine is a monsterous equaliser which means that more often than not we can beat it. In the same way that the spear turned us into the predator of the tiger rather than vice versa. This is the most hippietastic bullshit ever. It’s the assumption that even in a quiet field of grass nature is in some mystic harmony rather than a series of competitive species. Just because the animals that die are very small doesn’t change the fact that it’s merely a smaller scale equivalent of a tiger eating a baby deer.

Or a Crocodile

One of the best descriptions of nature comes from the phenomenal Terry Pratchett

“I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I’m sure you will agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged on to a half-submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature’s wonders, gentlemen: mother and children dining upon mother and children.” –  The Patrician

The problem with the anti-vax movement (Or should that be the anti-medicine movement?) is that they simply live in a delusional fantasy. Where you can somehow reason with bacteria and viruses and that the power of wishful thinking, prayer and self belief somehow can overcome bacteria.

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