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Thursday 11 December 2014

The rise of Superbugs. The failure of conventional medicine

It has been reported that 'drug-resistant infections' will kill an extra 10 million people a year worldwide by 2050 - more deaths than currently caused by cancer apparently.  Already, it is estimated that they are causing about 700,000 deaths per year.

Jim O'Neill, who was appointed by the Prime Minister to review the problem of antimicrobial resistance, has also estimated that the costs of this disaster would be around £63 trillion.

The deaths would be caused by the many new Superbugs, and by resistance to drugs once thought capable of treating diseases such as Malaria, E-Coli and TB. As a result he predicts serious population reduction, and a large reduction of economic output. But many surgical interventions, such as joint replacements, transplant surgery, Caesarian sections, et al, will also be affected as they rely on antibiotics to prevent infections.

So what is the conclusion reached about this pending health disaster?

More and better drugs, and using these drugs in a way that will reduce the rise of resistance! Yes, the very cause of this potential disaster is seen as its solution! Indeed, some might say that this is a triumph of hope over experience! O'Neill has apparently said that some scientists were more concerned about this problem than they were about climate change.

Presumably, in order to tackle climate change, the strategy of these scientists will be to burn more fossil fuels, and to increase the amount of carbon and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere!

So if antibiotics has led to the creation of superbugs, we just need new antibiotics. The warfare waged between our bodies and the chemicals we have developed to fight and destroy many different organisms (that mostly live quite happy around and within our bodies) is to be intensified! The assumption must be that we can develop drugs so powerful the bugs and bacteria and viruses that attack us will not be able to resist anymore.

The problem with such a bellicose medical strategy is quite simple - will we ourselves be able to survive such an onslaught by Big Pharma chemical?

The lesson we need to learn is quite different - that the maintenance of health, and the recovery of good health, is not a battle between what is happening within our bodies and the efforts of the conventional medical establishment to control it. The bugs, the microbes, the viruses which the pharmaceutical companies have fought to destroy are actually part of us. We have, I believe, always lived quite happily and peacefully with MRSA until antibiotics sought to destroy it. Now, it would seem, it has evolved in a ways that can destroy us!

This is the main lesson that alternative medical therapies teaches us. Homeopathy, Herbalism, Acupuncture, Reflexology, et al, all recognise that life, and good health, is not a battle, a declaration of war against the elements that surround, and are part of us. It is all a matter of co-operation and balance. We don't need drugs that are 'anti-' anything. We don't need drugs that 'suppress' or 'block' or 'inhibit' the natural functions of our bodies.

Whatever it is that we attack with drugs will resist, adapt, and change, to such an extent that we will no longer be able to live in harmony with them. What conventional medicine has sought to do for centuries, but particularly over the last 100 years, is a road leading to inevitable disaster.

So more of the same will not help us prevent the impending disaster being predicted. What is necessary is to recognise why conventional, drug-based medicine, has been a mistake, a wrong turn, and the cause of the disaster, not its solution.

The science that has transformed our world, in terms of travel, communications, technology, and much else over the last 100 years and more, has failed to transform our health. Why? It has failed disastrously because it has never recognised the basis of illness. It studied the sick body, analysed meticulously what was happening within it, but then mistook the body's reaction to disease with the disease itself! It was, and continues to be, a fundamental mistake.

What science has so brilliantly observed was the body trying to heal itself! Fever, for example, is in most cases a defence mechanism, not a threat to health. In many similar ways, particularly with the bacteria and viruses that live alongside us, what medical science observed within the sick body was not necessarily an enemy, but a friend that should not have been attacked and destroyed. Effectively, conventional medicine has made an enemy from what should have been an ally.

In the years to come, good health is likely to become the preserve of those who recognise the difference between working alongside the body, and its incredible ability to heal itself through its immune system, and a now dominant medical system that sees illness and disease as something that has to be fought and destroyed.

The failure of antibiotics, as with the failure of all conventional drugs over the last century, is not a disaster. It is an inevitable consequence of conventional medicine's failure to understand that to live in harmony, and in good health with our world, we have to stop attacking it!

The solution to drug resistance is not more drugs. It is to discard drugs, to recognise their failure, and to move towards adopting gentler, safer, more effective medical therapies.