When Pharmaceutical, Vaccine and Medical Device Corporations Rule the World’s Healthcare Industries
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 24 Sep 2018
Too Late, It Already Happened
“Corporations should not be involved in any aspect of the democratic process. They should not be involved in education at any level. They should not be involved in health care. They should not be involved in the administration of social services. They should not be involved in the administration of justice. WHY? Because they are incapable of understanding and conforming to higher human aspirations and needs. Better to leave these areas to government, and to non-profit organizations, both of which are administered by humans in the human interest… The corporation is sociopathic in its disregard for human goals and values; in fact its behavior fits the World Health Organization’s criteria for defining the psychopath.”
– Wade Rowland, author of Greed, Inc. Why Corporations Rule the World.
I have a heavily-underlined book in my library that was written in 1995 by David C. Korten. It was titled “When Corporations Rule the World”. Around the time that the book was published, I was a small-town family practitioner still trying mightily to follow the Hippocratic Oath, which I took back in 1968. I was also still trying to honor my patient’s inalienable right to be fully informed about the risks and benefits of any drug I was considering prescribing before he or she consented to the prescription. It was time-consuming to follow those ethical principles.
Korten followed up with a sequel in 1999. He titled that book “The Post-Corporate World”. Here is an excerpt from page 7 of the sequel that nicely summarizes what he was warning his readers about:
“’When Corporations Rule the World’ told the new story as I had come to understand it:
“Our relentless pursuit of economic growth is accelerating the break-down of the planet’s life support systems, intensifying resource competition, widening the gap between rich and poor, and undermining the values and relationships of family and community. The growing concentration of power in global corporations and financial institutions is stripping governments – democratic and otherwise – of their ability to set economic, social, and environmental priorities in the larger common interest.
“Driven by a single-minded dedication to generating ever greater profits for the benefit of their investors, global corporations and financial institutions have turned their economic power into political power. They now dominate the decision processes of governments and are rewriting the rules of world commerce through international trade and investment agreements to allow themselves to expand their profits without regard to the social and environmental consequences borne by the larger society. Continuing with business as usual will almost certainly lead to economic, social, and environmental collapse.
“To a considerable extent the problem originates with the United States. Its representatives are the primary marketeers of the false promises of consumerism and the foremost advocates of the market deregulation, free trade, and privatization policies that are advancing the global consolidation of corporate power and the corresponding corruption of democratic institutions.
“Resolving the crisis depends on civil societies, mobilizing to reclaim the power that corporations and global financial markets have usurped. Our best hope for the future lies with locally owned and managed economies that rely predominantly on local resources to meet the livelihood needs of their members in ways that maintain a balance with the earth. Such a shift in institutional structures and priorities may open the way to eliminating deprivation and extreme inequality from the human experience. Instituting true citizen democracy and releasing presently unrealized potential for individual and collective growth and creativity.”
In 2005, Wade Rowland wrote a book titled “Greed, Inc. why Corporations Rule our World.” Other similarly-themed books on my library shelves that warned about the evils of global capitalism include Antony Sutton’s “Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler” (1976) and William Greider’s “Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American Democracy” (1992).
I am saddened to admit that I was so late in understanding that what these authors were warning their readers about in their books, and that is this: the evils of global capitalism also applies to the medical, psychiatric, pediatric, family practice, pharmaceutical, vaccine, medical device industries, etc, each of which once was physician-controlled and therefore altruistically adhered to the “first do no harm” oath – the Hippocratic Oath pledge that all physicians take when they graduate from medical school. Times have changed – and not for the betterment of either our profession or our patients.
Three decades into my practice of medicine (about the time that Korten wrote his book), my small rural northern Minnesota family practice clinic was acquired by a regional hospital that was also acquiring other clinics in the area. Over the years, the acquiring group turned into a consortium of clinics and hospitals that eventually became Essentia Health of Duluth, Minnesota.
Essentia would eventually become a medical corporate power-house with scores of locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and even Idaho.
Today Essentia competes on its western border with an even larger corporate power-house, Dakota-based Sanford Health, the largest employer in North and South Dakota. Sanford is larger than Essentia in that it owns 45 hospitals and 289 clinics in nine states and three countries. It has over 28,000 employees, including over 1,300 physicians in more than 80 specialty areas of medicine. It monopolizes the practice of medicine in many of the states where it has hospitals.
Just before my small clinic was acquired by the corporate entity that was to become Essentia Health, I was still trying hard to honor the Hippocratic Oath and the Principle of Informed Consent, but my clinic’s business manager couldn’t help but complain about my spending “too much time” with each patient. (And my family was also understandably complaining about how late I arrived home after finishing my charting.) My patients didn’t complain however, and that was what counted to me. But, partially because of the increasing pressure to conform to a business-oriented drive for increased “efficiency” and “productivity” (meaning spending less time with each patient and therefore making more money), I chose to leave that practice before the acquisition occurred. I don’t think that I would have tolerated working for a corporation.
But Essentia is no different in its corporate structure or methods than any other giant, for-profit medical corporation. The nature of all corporations is to enlarge, decrease the cost of doing business, resist unionization of its employees, and overcome the competition – actually trying to become a monopoly in their area of business.
Essentia’s website says:
“Essentia Health is an integrated health system serving patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Idaho.
“Headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota, Essentia Health combines the strengths and talents of 14,700 employees, including more than 1,900 physicians and advanced practitioners, who serve our patients and communities through the mission of being called to make a healthy difference in people’s lives.
“Essentia Health, which includes many Catholic facilities, is guided by the values of Quality, Hospitality, Respect, Joy, Justice, Stewardship, and Teamwork. The organization lives out its mission by having a patient-centered focus at 15 hospitals, 74 clinics, six long-term care facilities, three assisted living facilities, three independent living facilities, five ambulance services and one research institute.”
It hadn’t been many years after my graduation from the University of Minnesota Medical School that I became uncomfortable with the politics of the American Medical Association and even my Minnesota Academy of Family Practice, which – despite their flowery proclamations of being highly ethical organizations where the patient came first – I later came to understand were mainly lobbying groups for whatever legislation or new technology was considered profitable for the industry.
But it took me awhile before I became aware of how much Big Pharma corporations were in control of the medical profession. I guess my first clue was the prevalence of the salesmen and saleswomen (we called them “drug reps”) from every conceivable pharmaceutical or medical device company that was targeting me to prescribe their latest, patent-protected and therefore most expensive drug or product.
The drug reps always managed to act very friendly – as do all successful salespersons – to all the clinic staff members. The reps were always well-dressed, attractive (especially the women) and always came bearing gifts of food and free drug samples of their products – as an incentive for me to hand out their samples to some of my patients who would then be expected to come back for a follow-up office visit and a potential prescription for life that the patient would hopefully (for the drug company) be perpetually refilling. I later tumbled to the fact that the drug rep would be getting a cut of the profits for as long as the patient continued to take the drug, which explained the enthusiasm of the reps. The best drug reps made better money than most of the physician-targets that they were seducing to prescribe their corporation’s drugs. Of course, the CEO’s were making tens of millions of dollars off the same sales, and I was contributing to their schemes.
The drug rep would also often leave me with official-looking medical journal articles that supposedly provided “evidence” of the wonders of the new drug. Of course, I rarely had the time to actually read these reprint hand-outs with any thoroughness or skepticism. It was only much later that I discovered that many of these articles were ghost-written aby paid writers from Big Pharma and/or published in obscure journals that were often illegitimate or even non-existent.
I could tell a hundred similar stories about cunning of the huge multinational medical/pharmaceutical/vaccine “Corporations that Rule the Healthcare World” that would explain why I have lost any pride that I once had in my once honorable profession and now am embarrassed by my profession’s gradual acquiescence to greedy global corporations that meet the definition of sociopathic entities. Being sociopathic, the spokespersons for Big Pharma and Big Vaccine can’t help being serial liars when they try to sell physicians on the so-called “benefits” of their unaffordable patented and over-prescribed products that are so heavily advertised on TV that patients come in demanding to have the newest relatively untested drug or vaccine or other product prescribed for them – as long as the don’t have to pay for it out of pocket.
The Big Pharma propaganda campaigns are much more potent today than in the days before my retirement a decade ago. At least back then there were no drugs (oral or injectable) that cost tens of thousands of dollars per year. Now there are dozens and dozens of drugs that can cost $60,000 to $120,000 per year! Even wealthy patients would refuse to pay out of pocket for such drugs, so insurance companies are being forced to raise premium rates dramatically. And the sociopaths in Big Pharma and Big Vaccine feel no guilt. It is just the way business is done.
What pains me the most is witnessing the huge influence that the massive propaganda campaigns have over both the prescribers of the risky drugs and vaccines and the patients of those prescribers, despite the huge amount of valid scientific information that is never advertised or even written about in the mainstream media, which is addicted to the huge sums of money from Big Pharma and Big Vaccine. The immense amount of financial power that the soulless pharmaceutical and vaccine corporations have has been overwhelming, thanks to the huge advertising budgets and the reality of the thousands of non-scientist medical journalists who write about what the corporation feed to them.
Giving short shrift to the informed consent principle is legal nowadays, for there is another principle called the “Community Standard of Care” which is a legal principle that has nothing to do with medical ethics. I don’t recall being taught about it when I went to med school. Below is one definition of “standard of care” that I found on the internet:
“In legal terms, (standard of care is) the level at which the average, prudent medical provider in a given community would practice. It is how similarly qualified practitioners would have managed the patient’s care under the same or similar circumstances. The medical malpractice plaintiff must establish the appropriate standard of care and demonstrate that the standard of care has been breached.”
In other words, the standard of care in one community could be considered malpractice in another community depending on what is considered normal or average. So an injured patient-victim of malpractice in one community couldn’t sue for malpractice if the “guilty” physician was practicing in a way that was considered normal or average in that community.
Corrupt capitalist principles – including the need for the individual physician to be highly “efficient” and “profitable” and “quick” has gradually taken over the once honorable practice of medicine. Fulfilling the Fully Informed Consent principle is too time-consuming to be fulfilled when there are dozens of potential adverse effects from every drug or vaccine that should be explained in detail to the patient. Those adverse effects include immediate reactions; delayed reactions (which are often not recognized [and even illogically and diabolically denied] by the physician); permanent disability; and even death.
No physician that is employed by a large healthcare corporation is allowed the valuable time to explain to the patient about the many potential adverse events, so physicians and nurses have been told by their corporate rulers to just mention a handful of the problems. Giving short shrift to fully informing patients of side effects and then obtaining informed consent (signed or unsigned) from the patient has now evolved into what is a new standard of care in most communities.
Essentially all Big Healthcare, Big Pharmaceutical and Big Vaccine Corporations are now managed by non-physicians who have Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degrees and are competent enough and sociopathic enough to guiltlessly manage gambling casinos, for-profit penitentiaries, hedge funds or any other questionably ethical corporations, for all MBAs know how to milk the system in favor of their bottom line and their investors, ethics be damned.
Following are a number of quotes that refer to the ethical problems and even the criminal activities of medical-related corporations that have taken control over what once were ethical endeavors.
Let the prescriber and the patients of the prescribers beware.
“The corporation is a true Frankenstein’s monster – an artificial person run amok, responsible only to its own soulless self…representing capitalism at its very purest, completely unconcerned with anything save profit and power.” – William Dugger, author of Corporate Hegemony.
“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical (and vaccine) industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” – Arnold Seymour Relman, MD (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine
“The case against (corporate) science is straightforward: much of the scientific (and medical) literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.” – Richard Horton, MD, Editor-in-chief of the highly esteemed British medical journal the Lancet
“Industry-controlled ‘science’ is not really science but a smokescreen to pave the way for products that may be harmful – but what do they care as long as they profit? There are many great scientists but there are also some who are willing to be hired to ‘prove’ that something doesn’t cause cancer, or that something is ‘safe’. You cannot trust the EPA, the FDA, or industry science.” – Blogger
“The only time the “cure” word is used anymore is by corporate research organizations (and patient advocacy groups) when they solicit funds from the public during their annual charity drives or their ‘walks for the cure’. Clearly all of the financial incentives are to mount a never-ending, unsuccessful search for the cure without ever actually finding it.” – quote from www.healingmatters.com
“The transcripts of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) meetings also show that some of the Committee members had extensive ties to pharmaceutical companies and that the JCVI frequently co-operated with vaccine manufacturers on the strategies aimed at boosting vaccine uptake. Some of the meetings at which such controversial items were discussed were not intended to be publicly available, as the transcripts were only released later, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). These particular meetings are denoted in the transcripts as “commercial in confidence,” and reveal a clear and disturbing lack of transparency, as some of the information was removed from the text (i.e., the names of the participants) prior to transcript release under the FOI section at the JCVI website.” – Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD
(Dr Tomljenovic uncovered documents that reveal vaccine manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and health authorities have known about multiple dangers associated with vaccines but chose to withhold them from the public. This is scientific fraud and suggests that this practice continues to this day. The documents were obtained from the UK Department of Health (DH) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), who advise the Secretaries of State for Health in the UK about diseases preventable through immunizations. The JCVI made continuous efforts to withhold critical data on severe adverse reactions and contraindications to vaccinations to both parents and health practitioners in order to reach overall vaccination rates.)
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgement of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).” — Dr Marcia Angell, former Editor in Chief of the NEJM
“So-called ‘vaccinologists’ are so blinded by their obsession with forcing vaccines on society that they never even considered that there might be factors involved that could greatly affect human health…’vaccinologists’ like to think in concrete terms-that is, they are very narrow in their thinking and wear blinders that prevent them from seeing the numerous problems occurring with large numbers of vaccinations in infants and children. Their goal in life is to vaccinate as many people as possible with an ever-growing number of vaccines.” — Russell Blaylock, MD
“For two years, I have worked with a team of doctors and respected scientific researchers to assemble every published study on Thimerosal, the mercury-based vaccine preservative still present in dangerous concentrations in US flu vaccines and pediatric vaccines worldwide. We have assembled and digested close to five hundred peer reviewed published pharmacological, toxicological, clinical, animal and human epidemiological studies in leading publications. These studies overwhelmingly implicate Thimerosal in a host of neurological injuries including ADD, ADHD, Speech delay, Language Delay, Tics, Misery Disorder and Autism.” – Robert F. Kennedy, JR
“The FDA is there to serve the drug industry. It is NOT there to serve the public.” – Dr. David Graham, Senior Official in the FDA’s Office of Drug Safety (2005)
“You are not going to solve the contagious disease problem of immunocompromised children who are growing up in awful conditions by subjecting them to a barrage of vaccines…the first thing that must be done – before over-vaccinating them – is to provide hygienically controlled living conditions, fresh water, sanitation, good nutrition, etc.” – John D. Stone (parent of a vaccine-injured child)
“Of course the biggest problem with Andy Wakefield was that he actually listened carefully to the parents of his vaccine-injured patients, believed them, took thorough medical histories, did appropriate tests and made accurate diagnoses… where would the practice of medicine wind up if all physicians did that?” – John D. Stone
“If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been “taken”. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – Carl Sagan, author of “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark”
“Mercury at one month of age is not the same as mercury at three months, at 12 months, prenatal mercury, later mercury. There is a whole range of plausible outcomes from mercury.” When asked about the risk of aluminum adjuvant toxicity, Verstraeten stated: “the results were almost identical to ethylmercury.” – Dr Tom Verstraeten, senior CDC epidemiologist
“It should be of concern that the effect of routine vaccinations on all-cause mortality was not tested in randomized trials. All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children (from other causes) than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis. Though a vaccine may protect children against the target disease it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infections.” — Dr. Peter Aaby
“In the field of chemical toxicology it is universally recognized that combinations of toxins may bring exponential increases of toxicity; ie, a combination of two chemicals may bring a 10-fold increase in toxicity, three chemicals 100-fold increases. This same principle almost certainly applies to the immunosuppressive effects of viral vaccines when administered in combination, as with the MMR vaccine, among which the measles vaccine is (known to be) exceptionally immunosuppresive.” – Harold Buttram, MD
“Prior to the mercury phase-out (pre-2000), babies received 3,925 micrograms (mcg) of aluminum in their first year-and-a-half of life. After pneumococcal and hepatitis A vaccines were added to the immunization schedule, babies began receiving 4,925 mcg of aluminum during the same age period—a 25% increase. In 2011, CDC recommended that pregnant women receive a pertussis vaccine (Tdap), which also contains aluminum. Studies show that aluminum crosses the placenta and accumulates in fetal tissue. Thus, millions of babies in utero, infants, and young children were injected with, and continue to receive, unnaturally high doses of neurotoxic substances—mercury and aluminum—long after unsuspecting parents were led to believe that vaccines were purified and made safe.” – Neil Z. Miller
“It just won’t go away.” – Thomas Verstraeten, PhD, epidemiologist in the National Immunization Program of the CDC, referring to the connection between infant exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental injury (including autism). Verstraeten’s study analyzed the data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink and found a significant correlation between thimerosal exposure via vaccines and several neurodevelopmental disorders including tics, speech and language delays, and possibly ADD. Verstraeten was part of the infamous CDC “Thimerosal Cover-up” and left the CDC shortly after the infamous Simpsonwood cover-up conference to work for multinational vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline in Belgium. Among the other vaccine manufacturers that had been invited to CDC meeting were huge vaccine manufacturers GSK and Merck.
“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell
Dr Gary Kohls is a retired physician from Duluth, MN, USA and a member of the TRANSCEND Network. In the decade prior to his retirement, he practiced what could best be described as “holistic (non-drug) and preventive mental health care”. Since his retirement, he has written a weekly column for the Duluth Reader, an alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns mostly deal with the dangers of American imperialism, friendly fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, and the dangers of Big Pharma, psychiatric drugging, the over-vaccinating of children and other movements that threaten American democracy, civility, health and longevity and the future of the planet. Many of his columns are archived at http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2; http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/gary-g-kohls; or at https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles; firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 24 Sep 2018.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: When Pharmaceutical, Vaccine and Medical Device Corporations Rule the World’s Healthcare Industries, is included. Thank you.
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