Medical Murder in the Matrix
Medically caused death in America: An exclusive interview with Dr. Barbara Starfield
by Jon Rappoport
April 17, 2012
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Once in a while, I insert a plug for myself in an article. The purpose of this is to sell my products at www.nomorefakenews.com. Since the year 2001, I’ve probably written as many articles as anyone on the internet. They’re all free. So visit my store. End of plug.
I rerun this Dr. Barbara Starfield article — wherein I show you the email interview I did with Dr. Starfield in December 2009 — regarding her paper published in JAMA in July 2000 entitled Is US health really the best in the world?, just to push the wheel another turn.
The Starfield paper can be downloaded freely (as a .pdf) from here (via http://www.drug-education.info via en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Starfield). The paper is fully cited as Starfield B. Is US health really the best in the world?. JAMA. 2000; 284(4):483-4. Dr. Barbara Starfield’s wiki page is here.
Each time I do this, I try to write a new introduction. Here is one…
After working as a reporter for 30 years, I’ve come to understand a few things about public reaction to the truth. People like to say they’re enlightened. They like to say they’ve seen through the major propaganda operations that are launched and are spinning all around us. But when you bulldoze a hole in a part of the Matrix where certain subjects are engraved on stone pillars, and when those subjects are firmly entrenched in the public mind as foundations of Reality, the usual response is silent shock.
Even when people are able to accept the truth, they tend toward silence. They don’t pass the truth on.
Retired propaganda master, Ellis Medavoy, whom I interview in THE MATRIX REVEALED, once explained it to me this way:
“You’ve taken them out of a state of hypnosis, a state of trance, but the truth you’re giving them puts them in another trance. In that part of their mind where they’ve been asleep for so long, they’re used to that narcosis. So even though they see truth now, they respond with new sleep. It’s not really an awakening at all. It’s as if they’ve walked out of one war zone into another, dazed.”
Ellis describes perfectly what happens to many people when they see the truth of medical murder in the US. It particularly happens because there is no logical way to understand it, given the expectations people have about what murder is, what murder means.
And there’s another problem. As you’ll see, the figures on medically caused death in America I’m citing come from an author with absolutely impeccable mainstream credentials. The review she wrote was published in one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world. It was all “on the up and up.”
That’s precisely why I use her figures, rather than those compiled by outsiders, who, by the way, probably have better numbers that are even more chilling.
I’ve had people stare blankly at me after a discussion of the interview below and say, outright, “This is impossible. It can’t be true. You see, if a really respected doctor is making these claims, and if her review is published in a prestigious journal, then mainstream doctors and medical schools and government would have to react. They would have to clean house.”
But they don’t.
And that is called a clue. We are talking about something similar to the experience of the German people during the rise of Hitler. They went along. They told themselves stories to make it all right. They used the familiar tricks of denial.
This is what makes the Matrix the Matrix. I’m speaking generally now. A grand illusion is accepted because people can’t believe Reality is fundamentally different than it appears to be.
They also can’t believe—and this is far more staggering—that on the other side of the Matrix THEY THEMSELVES have a power that is stunning. They may sense that’s true, but they’ve been taught to deny it. They’ve been taught that individual power is dangerous. They’ve been taught that having and using power beyond a certain point will cause them to be exiled by their peers, their friends, even their families. So it’s better and far more comfortable to cede that power to Someone Else and sleep on…
You see, it’s one thing to rightly accuse an elite group of exercising unlawful and destructive power, to see how huge that power is. But it’s a far different thing to know that you have tremendous power.
The Matrix is built and sustained on a reversal of power relationships.
My work is all about setting those relationships straight. That’s why I do this every day.
It’s especially why I go after the medical cartel again and again. Because they are exercising priestly hypnotic powers with their aura of science.
Okay. Let’s proceed to the issue at hand.
As you read what Dr. Starfield has to say in this interview, know that until her death last year, she was one of those people with impeccable mainstream credentials. She was respected and revered by her colleagues. She was a woman who had set off an explosion TEN years earlier, in one of the most high-profile medical journals in the world, and the media silence that followed was profound, eerie, and deafening.
If the mighty newspapers of our age had jumped in with both feet, Dr. Starfield would have become one of the most famous people in America. Her work would have shaken the medical cartel down to its foundations. She would have saved more lives and averted more suffering than anyone else in this nation. With no exaggeration, we would now be living in a different world.
The American healthcare system, like clockwork, causes a mind-boggling number of deaths every year.
The figures have been known for ten years. The story was covered briefly when Starfield’s landmark study surfaced, and then it sank like a stone.
The truth was inconvenient for many interests. That has not changed. “Medical coverage for all” is a banner that conceals ugly facts.
On July 26, 2000, the US medical community received a titanic shock to the system, when one of its most respected public-health experts, Dr. Barbara Starfield, revealed her findings on healthcare in America. Starfield was associated with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
The Starfield study, “Is US health really the best in the world?”, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, came to the following conclusions:
Every year in the US there are:
12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries;
7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals;
20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals;
80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals;
106,000 deaths from FDA-approved correctly prescribed medicines.
The total of medically-caused deaths in the US every year is 225,000.
2.25 MILLION PEOPLE KILLED PER DECADE.
This makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer.
The Starfield study is the most disturbing revelation about modern healthcare in America ever published.
On the heels of Starfield’s astonishing findings, media reporting was rather perfunctory, and it soon dwindled. No major newspaper or television network mounted an ongoing “Medicalgate” investigation. Neither the US Department of Justice nor federal health agencies undertook prolonged remedial action.
All in all, those parties who could have taken effective steps to correct this situation preferred to ignore it.
On December 6-7, 2009, I interviewed Dr. Starfield by email.
What has been the level and tenor of the response to your findings, since 2000?
My papers on the benefits of primary care have been widely used, including in Congressional testimony and reports. However, the findings on the relatively poor health in the US have received almost no attention. The American public appears to have been hoodwinked into believing that more interventions lead to better health, and most people that I meet are completely unaware that the US does not have the ‘best health in the world’.
In the medical research community, have your medically-caused mortality statistics been debated, or have these figures been accepted, albeit with some degree of shame?
The findings have been accepted by those who study them. There has been only one detractor, a former medical school dean, who has received a lot of attention for claiming that the US health system is the best there is and we need more of it. He has a vested interest in medical schools and teaching hospitals (they are his constituency). They, of course, would like an even greater share of the pie than they now have, for training more specialists. (Of course, the problem is that we train specialists–at great public cost–who then do not practice up to their training–they spend half of their time doing work that should be done in primary care and don’t do it as well.)
Have health agencies of the federal government consulted with you on ways to mitigate the [devastating] effects of the US medical system?
Since the FDA approves every medical drug given to the American people, and certifies it as safe and effective, how can that agency remain calm about the fact that these medicines are causing 106,000 deaths per year?
Even though there will always be adverse events that cannot be anticipated, the fact is that more and more unsafe drugs are being approved for use. Many people attribute that to the fact that the pharmaceutical industry is (for the past ten years or so) required to pay the FDA for reviews—which puts the FDA into an untenable position of working for the industry it is regulating. There is a large literature on this.
Aren’t your 2000 findings a severe indictment of the FDA and its standard practices?
They are an indictment of the US health care industry: insurance companies, specialty and disease-oriented medical academia, the pharmaceutical and device manufacturing industries, all of which contribute heavily to re-election campaigns of members of Congress. The problem is that we do not have a government that is free of influence of vested interests. Alas, [it] is a general problem of our society—which clearly unbalances democracy.
Can you offer an opinion about how the FDA can be so mortally wrong about so many drugs?
Yes, it cannot divest itself from vested interests. (Again, [there is] a large literature about this, mostly unrecognized by the people because the industry-supported media give it no attention.)
Would it be correct to say that, when your JAMA study was published in 2000, it caused a momentary stir and was thereafter ignored by the medical community and by pharmaceutical companies?
Are you sure it was a momentary stir? I still get at least one email a day asking for a reprint—ten years later! The problem is that its message is obscured by those that do not want any change in the US health care system.
Do medical schools in the US, and intern/residency programs in hospitals, offer significant “primary care” physician training and education?
NO. Some of the most prestigious medical teaching institutions do not even have family physician training programs [or] family medicine departments. The federal support for teaching institutions greatly favors specialist residencies, because it is calculated on the basis of hospital beds.. [Dr. Starfield has done extensive research showing that family doctors, who deliver primary care—as opposed to armies of specialists—produce better outcomes for patients.]
Are you aware of any systematic efforts, since your 2000 JAMA study was published, to remedy the main categories of medically caused deaths in the US?
No systematic efforts; however, there have been a lot of studies. Most of them indicate higher rates [of death] than I calculated.
What was your personal reaction when you reached the conclusion that the US medical system was the third leading cause of death in the US?
I had previously done studies on international comparisons and knew that there were serious deficits in the US health care system, most notably in lack of universal coverage and a very poor primary care infrastructure. So I wasn’t surprised.
Has anyone from the FDA, since 2000, contacted you about the statistical findings in your JAMA paper?
NO. Please remember that the problem is not only that some drugs are dangerous but that many drugs are overused or inappropriately used. The US public does not seem to recognize that inappropriate care is dangerous–more does not mean better. The problem is NOT mainly with the FDA but with population expectations. …Some drugs are downright dangerous; they may be prescribed according to regulations but they are dangerous.
Concerning the national health plan before Congress–if the bill is passed, and it is business as usual after that, and medical care continues to be delivered in the same fashion, isn’t it logical to assume that the 225,000 deaths per year will rise?
Probably–but the balance is not clear. Certainly, those who are not insured now and will get help with financing will probably be marginally better off overall.
Did your 2000 JAMA study sail through peer review, or was there some opposition to publishing it?
It was rejected by the first journal that I sent it to, on the grounds that ‘it would not be interesting to readers’!
Do the 106,000 deaths from medical drugs only involve drugs prescribed to patients in hospitals, or does this statistic also cover people prescribed drugs who are not in-patients in hospitals?
I tried to include everything in my estimates. Since the commentary was written, many more dangerous drugs have been added to the marketplace.
106,000 people die as a result of CORRECTLY prescribed medicines. I believe that was your point in your 2000 study. Overuse of a drug or inappropriate use of a drug would not fall under the category of “correctly prescribed.” Therefore, people who die after “overuse” or “inappropriate use” would be IN ADDITION TO the 106,000 and would fall into another or other categories.
‘Appropriate’ means that it is not counter to regulations. That does not mean that the drugs do not have adverse effects.
This interview with Dr. Starfield reveals that, even when an author has unassailable credentials within the medical-research establishment, the findings can result in no changes made to the system.
Yes, many persons and organizations within the medical system contribute to the annual death totals of patients, and media silence and public ignorance are certainly major factors, but the FDA is the assigned gatekeeper, when it comes to the safety of medical drugs. The buck stops there. If those drugs the FDA is certifying as safe are killing, like clockwork, 106,000 people a year, the Agency must be held accountable. The American people must understand that.
As for the other 119,000 people killed every year as a result of hospital treatment, this horror has to be laid at the doors of those institutions. Further, to the degree that hospitals are regulated and financed by state and federal governments, the relevant health agencies assume culpability.
It is astounding, as well, that the US Department of Justice has failed to weigh in on Starfield’s findings. If 225,000 medically caused deaths per year is not a crime by the Dept. of Justice’s standards, then what is?
To my knowledge, not one person in America has been fired from a job or even censured as result of these medically caused deaths.
Dr. Starfield’s findings have been available for ten years. She has changed the perception of the medical landscape forever. In a half-sane nation, she would be accorded a degree of recognition that would, by comparison, make the considerable list of her awards pale. And significant and swift action would have been taken to punish the perpetrators of these crimes and reform the system from its foundations.
In these times, medical schools continue turning out a preponderance of specialists who then devote themselves to promoting the complexities of human illness and massive drug treatment. Whatever the shortcomings of family doctors, their tradition speaks to less treatment, more common sense, and a proper reliance on the immune systems of patients.
The pharmaceutical giants stand back and carve up the populace into “promising markets.” They seek new disease labels and new profits from more and more toxic drugs. They do whatever they can—legally or illegally—to influence doctors in their prescribing habits. Many studies which show the drugs are dangerous are buried. FDA panels are filled with doctors who have drug-company ties. Legislators are incessantly lobbied and supported with pharma campaign monies.
Nutrition, the cornerstone of good health, is ignored or devalued by most physicians. Meanwhile, the FDA continues to attack nutritional supplements, even though the overall safety record of these nutrients is excellent, whereas, once again, the medical drugs the FDA certifies as safe are killing 106,000 Americans per year.
Physicians are trained to pay exclusive homage to peer-reviewed published drug studies. These doctors unfailingly ignore the fact that, if medical drugs are killing a million Americans per decade, the studies on which those drugs are based must be fraudulent. In other words, the whole literature is suspect, unreliable, and impenetrable.
Yes, that’s right. By Dr. Starfield’s published figures, FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs kill over A MILLION Americans per decade.
Does that sound like a legitimate ongoing subject for journalism to you?
At its height, if I recall correctly, when I published this interview in 2009, Google entries ran to about 40,000. Other websites picked it up. I sent it to a well-placed CBS reporter. The overall major media response? ZERO.
You can take that as a reason to give up. Or you can press down harder on the gas pedal.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com