Libertarian Commentary #16-17E, 21 April 2016 By Nathan Barton
Medicine in the world of the statist
A few articles have passed my desk in recent days, talking about medical advances.
In one, researchers at a university in Hong Kong and one in Glasgow have found what MIGHT be a reversal of Alzheimer’s: a special protein naturally occurring in the brain which is severely deficient in Alzheimer’s patients. First reported in the Daily Telegraph, the Brit’s National Health Service has a good summary. It looks like it could save people.
Mama’s Note: This protein MIGHT help some folks, of course. The test mice were “bred to have Alzheimer’s” and are not human beings, a real concern with such research. The technical information pretty much blows their whole story, however.
“Dysfunction of the innate immune system is involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD); however, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these dysfunctions are unclear.”
So, what we learn from this is that Alzheimer’s is another problem related to an unhealthy immune system, which can best be improved with a healthy, natural diet, stress management and very low intake of toxins. A healthy lifestyle is available to any person today. Nobody has to wait five years (or forever) to get shots of a special protein and pay millions of dollars for them. And nothing says anyone will ever understand fully the psychological mechanisms involved anyway, but my long experience tells me that this is a symptom, and can be dealt with best by preventing the disease. Those who choose to make their life healthy will benefit themselves and their families, not the drug companies. Easy choice for me.
In another, Siastat Daily (an Indian newspaper) reports on an antiviral treatment that may cure hepatitis C in six weeks. “Scientists have found that a direct-acting antiviral treatment may cure acute hepatitis C over a short duration of six weeks. In a new study, researchers found that all patients with acute hepatitis C who were given the combination of the drugs sofosbuvir and ledipasvir over a duration of six weeks had undetectable hepatitis C virus (HCV) after a 12 week follow-up. … The study included 20 patients.” It could save people. It is being tested in India and other parts of the Commonwealth.
Mama’s Note: Something to watch. May be valuable to a lot of people. I was exposed to all kinds of hepatitis over my long nursing career. Ordinary sanitary precautions, safe blood and equipment handling, and total avoidance of the other easy ways to contract this disease worked for me. I never was infected. Too many people want a magic pill to cure their disease, rather than taking the effort to protect themselves and their loved ones. Their choice, of course.
In yet another, Gizmag reports the development of a truly portable (smartphone with an earbug) that can provide timely detection of epileptic seizures, called EPItect, It connects with a data-processing unit to evaluate and then sends out a warning to the patient, family, and their doctors and nurses. Again, it could save people. It is being developed in Germany.
Mama’s Note: I am quite sure that any number of devices will soon be available to detect and even treat all sorts of medical problems. The only real danger is if these things make tracking and surveillance more invasive, or if people become so dependent on them that they lose touch with other human beings. It will be interesting to see what happens.
What do all three of these beneficial medical discoveries or inventions have in common? The fact that it will take FIVE years or longer for any of these to be available to the “general public.” Why? Because of government regulations and stupidity, especially here in the Fifty States, where the FedGov’s Food and Drug Administration has successfully stifled medical innovation for a century. As a result, people die earlier than they need to, have miserable lives (you know, that “quality of life” thing?), and are not allowed to make their own choices except at great risk and often insanely high cost.
The news seems to regularly report about how some “child” (often a teenager) is stolen from parents by the state, either because the parents try to find a life-saving or health-restoring option that is not approved by the State. Or refuse some BOGUS “health cure” that is anything BUT, but which is “approved by the State” and so becomes mandatory. (Example: the HPV vaccine – or for that matter many vaccines.) Often, not only are the children ripped away and put into a foster home (often rife with abuse and neglect), forced to submit to treatments that are worse than ineffective, and often the parents end up in jail and/or bankrupted by legal costs.
And all too often, the children die. Just as we see with this particular treatment for Alzheimers, and another recently discovered in Australia, and first reported more than a year ago in Science Alert, involving sound waves in the brain, with a 75% cure rate in mice; people are dying. The two treatments are not expected to be available to the ordinary person for at least five years, during which time many people (like my own aunt) will DIE of Alzheimers. But the patients and families are NOT given the choice of deciding for themselves whether to take the risk of being test subjects, just in case the cures MIGHT work. Because, so goes the government line (and lie) that we are TOO STUPID to decide for ourselves: the almighty, all-powerful government will be the benevolent dictator that decides.
Enough is enough