When the doc’s wrong, he’s still right

The doctor is right, and when he’s wrong, he is still right, and if it’s eventually determined he was wrong all along, he’ll be right again soon enough.

Many a patient has come up against this wall of medicine’s dogmatic certainty, and the crying shame is that it is the patient who is so often right in these situations. After all, any patient who challenges the recommended treatment has probably done her homework and thoroughly researched the condition and the best innovative new treatments. Treatments that are safer, and more effective, than that being proposed by the doctor.

For his part, the doctor is toeing the line of recommended best practice, as laid down by his governing body. To do otherwise could leave him open to a charge of malpractice; better to follow the agreed protocols and the patient dies than go out on a limb and save a patient’s life.

Right now, we’re in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of those who need critical care survive, but many don’t. That means the standard treatments often can’t meet the challenge of the new virus, and intubation and antibiotics are two of the only responses that emergency doctors are recommended to use. 

As one hospital explained on its website, “The first thing to say is that we do not have a specific cure for Covid-19. The only treatment we have is to give the patient what are called supportive cares—treatments to keep the patient going whilst their own immune system tries to fight off the virus.”

And what’s one of the ways we can give our immune system that fighting chance? It’s high-dose vitamin C, a treatment that has been ignored, and even denigrated, by some emergency doctors—but not all. In fact, around 5,000 have signed a petition to get the therapy into intensive care units (ICUs), and their group, Vitamin C for Covid (www.vitaminC4covid.com), is raising funds to explore how it can help elderly residents in care homes.

The group’s director, nutritionist Patrick Holford, says: “Vitamin C can reduce the number of people getting severely infected and dramatically reduce the risk of death in those critically ill in hospital. It is safer than water, inexpensive and widely available. The appropriate use of vitamin C as early as possible in infection, and in high intravenous doses in ICUs, would potentially be a game-changer.”

He has prepared an extensive review of the vitamin’s effectiveness, especially as a therapy for infectious diseases such as Covid, and has concluded that up to 8 grams orally reduces the incidence and duration of respiratory infections, while up to 24 grams given intravenously reduces death rates and time in intensive care.1

As it is, vitamin C therapy is dismissed as “fake news,” and it’s a tragedy, says Holford. That’s what Sally J. Roberts thought, too, when she came up against the dogma of conventional cancer care. Her seven-year-old son, Neon, had just completed successful surgery on his brain tumor, but the oncologists wanted Neon to endure a follow-up year of radiotherapy and chemotherapy “just in case” any cancer remained.

Sally did the research that her oncologists hadn’t and discovered the treatment could reduce Neon’s IQ and stunt his growth. There was also a safer treatment, proton beam therapy (PBT), that didn’t come with those life-destroying side-effects.

The oncologists didn’t know anything about PBT and hadn’t been trained in it, and so they dismissed it as quack therapy. Sally ran away from her home and went into hiding with Neon but was discovered by police in a dawn raid on her cottage.

Brought to the UK’s High Court, Sally lost her parental rights, and Neon effectively became a ward of the state and was forced to have the year-long therapy, as she relates in her book, The Treatment (Matador, 2020).

The irony is that PBT last year became one of the standard treatments for brain tumors in the UK, and the oncologists who decried it as quack therapy have all been trained in the new technology and advocate it to patients. Yes, if it’s eventually determined the doctor was wrong all along, he’ll be right again soon enough.

Whether it’s PBT or high-dose vitamin C—or a myriad of other therapies dismissed by the orthodoxy as quackery—it’s the patient who suffers, even if she does know better than the doctor.

 

References

1 

Nutrients, 2020; 12, 3760