Eric Edney has lived with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for over eighteen years. At his diagnosis, he was told by a doctor that, “without the slightest doubt,” he would be dead within a few months.
The author’s struggle to stay alive forms the basis for this book. Edney believes his survival can be attributed to avoiding toxins in the environment and removing toxins from his body, following a proper diet, and taking dietary supplements. He believes a diet should include alkaline foods to balance the body’s pH, and that foods and supplements should be organic.
Edney recounts his personal story and relies on several anecdotes—he calls them “medical lessons from my family and friends”—to offer proof that natural treatment methods are superior to traditional medicine, including prescription drugs. The author makes a strong plea for the recognition that “most drugs do not cure, most drugs do not treat the cause, and most doctors prescribe drugs excessively.”
Along the way, Edney uses several pieces of data to support his claims. One of the more stunning statistics he cites, for example, is the fact that there were about 700,000 heart disease deaths and 550,000 cancer deaths in 2001, but he writes, “in the same year, there were just under 800,000 deaths caused by conventional medicine.” He makes the point that “our highly regarded medical system is really the number one killer of people in the U.S.A.” Unfortunately, he does not cite his source for this data, or explain the specific causes of these deaths.
Edney does provide some compelling arguments against prescription drugs, such as whether “Big Pharma” cares more about profits than cures, why doctors tend to rely on prescription drugs rather than natural substances, and the alarming number of deaths associated with prescription drug use.
While Surviving Without Your MD raises valid questions, it is a loosely constructed, uneven book that relies heavily on one person’s opinion rather than on substantiated claims. Footnotes and/or endnotes would have been beneficial for readers curious about the sources of the many facts and statistics included here.
Readers who already believe that doctors too often rely on prescription drugs and that natural remedies are preferable will find much here to confirm their beliefs. But skeptical readers will find that Surviving Without Your MD falls short.