ForeWord Reviews

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Death by Medicine

Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 2010

America’s medical system has not only lost its way but has become the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.

That shocking assertion is the premise of this compact but explosive book by Gary Null, an award-winning journalist, public radio host, author of wellness books, and strong proponent of alternative medicine and natural healing. Null believes the medical field is in serious need of repair; big corporations and the deep-pocketed pharmaceutical industry have effectively hamstrung government agencies and subjugated much of the medical community through threats and financial incentives. The end result? Not only are people not getting the proper care they deserve, they are dying.

In a systematic presentation, the author addresses the plague of needless surgical blunders, negative side effects of corporate drugs, frivolous operations, shameful neglect of the elderly warehoused in rest homes, and research universities’ growing dependency on grant money from big business. All of this is done at the expense of preventive forms of healing. Effective, alternative, and traditional types of care are left out of the loop of money and influence.

“Many complementary healthcare providers are denied publication through the intervention of pharmaceutical companies,” Null writes. “If they or their allopathic colleagues do manage to speak out against corruption in the establishment, they are considered traitors to the medical brotherhood.”

The author makes effective use of headline-grabbing statistics and shocking anecdotal evidence from a wide range of medical sources, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and numerous researchers of note. References and an index are included. The reader learns that 45 million unnecessary and/or inappropriate antibiotics are prescribed annually. About 8.9 million patients are unnecessarily hospitalized each year. Tons of unused drugs are regularly dumped into the water supply, polluting drinking sources.

This book is presented as an exposé, as the title suggests, to reveal cracks in the medical institutions that are killing people. The book is meant to outrage, warn, and light a fire under a citizenry the author hopes will demand reform. Do not look for balance, though. This book does not offer the voices of opposing sides of the argument. Refutations from representatives of “big pharma” won’t be found. The author wanted this vehicle to drive home his message. And it certainly does.

Karl Kunkel