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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Opioid Drugs. At least 456 patients have been killed by them after 'inappropriate' prescribing

There is an Opioid drug scandal currently hitting the headlines in the USA. Not even the mainstream media can ignore the number of people who have died, are dying, or have become dependent on them. The scandal, many have said, is bound to come to Britain, sooner or later, as these dangerous pharmaceutical drugs are used with equal lack of care here as there.

What was not expected was that the scandal in Britain was neither sooner or later, it is with us, now, and it has been with us for over 20 years!

At least 456 patients died after being prescribed opioids "without justification" at a Gosport hospital in what a review has described as a "dangerous" and "institutionalised regime" of prescribing. The enquiry, conducted by former Bishop of Liverpool James Jones, also found that an additional 200 patients with "missing medical records" may have also died due to "overprescribed opioids".

This conventional medical disaster dates back over 20 years, to the 1990's, when these pharmaceutical drugs were being routinely overprescribed. As usual, no one has been held to account for this human carnage. One doctor, who was responsible for prescribing the painkillers for over 12 years did face disciplinary action from the GMC, but she was found fit to continue to practise.

It would appear that the patients who have been harmed and killed by conventional medicine, and pharmaceutical drugs, can expect little redress. Relatives of the dead patients have had to toil for over 20 years for the situation to become known. Yet still no-one has been found to be responsible, not even been a doctor-scapegoat has yet been identified.

So be it! The problem is much deeper than a single doctor, much more serious than something that can be dismissed as a 'medical error'.

Even the report suggests a wider responsibility than one doctor, criticising "the exclusive focus on one individual when there were significant systemic problem at the hospital". Bishop Jones is reported as saying:
               "The documents seen by the Panel show that for a 12 year period a clinical assistant, Dr Barton was responsible for the practice of prescribing which prevailed on the wards. Although the consultants were not involved directly in treating patients on the wards, the medical records show that they were aware of how drugs were prescribed and administered but did not intervene to stop the practice."

This is almost certainly true. But this problem is worse, it is wider than just a single hospital. It is the problem of a medical system that relies on dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines that routinely causes harm to patients.

The report says that medical staff, doctors and nurses, had "a responsibility to challenge prescribing where it was not in the interests of the patient". The records, however, showed no-one challenged the prescribing at the time, and everyone continued to administer the unnecessary and harmful drugs.

There is a wider problem here too. When should medical staff intervene in this way? All pharmaceutical drugs and vaccine are known to cause harm, often serious harm. This harm is routinely discounted by the conventional medical establishment. Yet whenever this is exposed, as in this case, the blame is placed on a scapegoat, and individual members of staff.

So how much harm can a pharmaceutical drug or vaccine cause before medical staff have a responsibility to blow the whistle? 

               A serious side effect?
               A disease?
               A death?

Conventional medicine promotes treatments that harm patients. Then they routinely deny the harm caused by these treatments. They report no more that 10% of the adverse drug reactions, and possible no more than 1%. They do not tell patients about these side effects when prescribing them, and when they do they discount their seriousness. Then, when a major problem emerges, there is a search for a scapegoat, either an individual, or an institution.

It is the conventional medical establishment, the entire system of medicine in which we invest, that should be on trial here, not just individual medical staff, or individual institutions.

In 2003 a report written by Prof Richard Baker (who was involved with the Harold Shipman case) found evidence of the routine use of opiates, and that the drugs had shortened the lives of some patients at the hospital. In this review he concluded that there was a "disregard for human life". Nothing changed.

It is well known that opioid drugs, and many other pharmaceutical drug groups, cause disease and death. Yet this knowledge, year by year, crisis by crises, does little to change conventional medical practice. The drugs continue to be prescribed. Patients are routinely harmed. There is an outcry. The outcry dies down. And nothing happens, nothing changes.

Dr Harold Shipman was convicted in 2000. His use of Opioid drugs, and the death of 100's of his patients, caused consternation at the time. Surely, this would change medical practice? As this crisis in Gosport demonstrates it has done no such thing. It goes on. It is allowed to go on. Whilst the conventional medical establishment is totally dominant, an almost monopolistic presence within the NHS, it will continue to go on. So my prediction is a simple one to make.

Opioid drugs will continue to be prescribed, this year, next year, and for many years to come. Conventional medicine will continue to discount the mayhem it causes, and as usual will (quite literally) get away with murder. It has done so, time and time again.