Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A Medical Doctor Wants To Sleep With A Clear Conscience


Medicines That Kill: The Truth About The Hidden Epidemic
James L. Marcum, MD, Tyndale House Publishers Inc., USA, 2013


A Medical Doctor Wants To Sleep With A Clear Conscience

Becoming a doctor was my first choice as a career. I didn’t make it. Still, anything medical grabs my attention and I eat it up. I am also one of those growing millions who are on prescribed medications daily. What more reason did I need to review this book when given the opportunity?
Here is the bottom line: We get sick; we see medical professionals; they prescribe medicines; and we take them. But do our doctors and us really know what we’re taking and what these little pills can really do? Marcum says “no” and he has dozens of illustrations to prove it. His book is full of very alarming statistics that if nothing else should cause every reader to read everything they can and ask their medical caregivers every conceivable question with respect to their prescriptions.
Marcum divides his well-researched dissident account into two parts: The Problem and The Solution. In the former he outlines his credentials (very impressive) and then explains why “death by medicine” could happen to you. He identifies many actual medical mistakes, talks about adverse reactions and what research knows and does not know about them.  Then he turns the camera on us, the “users” and writes about both willful and unintentional misuse of medications. An excellent chapter covers the “slow” death that can occur from some deadly combinations of medicine that many take.  And if you thought “OTC” (over-the-counter) drugs are immune from guilt in this whole affair, you’re very mistaken as this board-certified behavioral cardiologist who cohosts a radio program and hosts two television programs, all about health, while running a thriving practice at the prestigious Chattanooga Heart Institute, clearly shows us. Check out your medicines.
In part two of the book, Dr. Marcum, continues his observations and recommendations based on his personal experience over years of practicing medicine and observing life and death. He pulls no punches.  He is not against medicine; he still prescribes them daily. But he believes there are numerous specific things you can do to prevent being killed by them and he shares these with his readers through chapters entitled, Sometimes You Need To Think; Let’s Get Practical part 1; and Let’s Get Practical part 2.
It is at this point that Marcum then takes his biggest risk with his audience. He says there is more to this story of survival (the “if life won’t kill you, medicines might” struggle) and introduces the role that he has found for faith in an Almighty God, a topic that has become very politically incorrect these days. But Marcum handles it with the sensitivity of a skilled practitioner who also has excellent bedside manners (a rare commodity these days). He lays out the facts clearly and shares from his scientific background as well as his heart.
Finally, let me state clearly as the author makes the point several times in his book – he is not at all recommending that we just stop taking our prescriptions – not at all. We need the right medicines in the right dosages and in un-opposing combinations.  But he introduces a spiritual law that is as strong as any scientific law you can name – it’s the law that says being loved and loving in return is the most potent medicine that the human body can have.  With that, he lets us, the patients, make up our own mind on to what our ‘reaction’ will be to his advice.
In the book’s appendices, the reader gets additional insight into the various Medication Classifications of the Food and Drug Administration; how a medication gets to market; and a listing of the most prescribed medications.  All of which is most interesting and informative.
The book helped me understand the complexities of prescribing, administering and taking drugs – even those that are meant to help us.  The variables and players are just too many to control easily. This reader has already checked all the written material on his medications, developed a series of questions for his next visit to the doctor, and decided on actively pursuing a lifestyle that hopefully will enable him to reduce, if not eliminate, some of those miniature pucks or tiny gelatin-like footballs that just innocently dissolve in his mouth or stomach. A good read and highly recommended. Dr. Marcum can, on my account at least, sleep with a clear conscience having done his job to warn me about medicines that kill.
    -- Ken B. Godevenos, Accord Resolution Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario. 15/11/04

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