Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Thank You Vermont Legislators

To: Vermont House Committee on Government Operations; Vermont Senate Committee on Government Operations; Vermont House Health Committee; Representative Michael Marcotte.

To all of you have taken the time to listen to me, I greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much. I know how difficult your job is. I was a village trustee, water and sewer commissioner in tiny Derby Center for seven years. Agreeing to do that when everyone else was too smart to is one of the stupidest things I've ever done. Like all elected officials, I was bombarded with people demanding things that would help them personally at everyone else's expense. I just don't have the temperament to gracefully deal with things like that.

Regarding the proposed state bills regulating naturopaths, I feel utterly frustrated. I know that I have been unable to communicate the facts to you or to the media. While there is one paper following my material closely, its editors have felt that given their limited space there are other things that they have to investigate and report  on rather than the very successful lobbying efforts of naturopaths in Vermont to legally obtain the same privileges MDs have without ever earning them.

I feel exactly like I did when I learned that silver was being sold as a "dietary supplement", a "natural antibiotic". I knew there would be new cases of argyria. Although I did everything I could to alert the public, I was unable to reach all the people the salesmen did before they were injured because there are so many more of them than there are of me and because they have huge resources. Some companies that sell silver supplements have taken in millions of dollars in just a few years. All the money they spend promoting their products is an investment. All the money I spend trying to alert people to their false claims is an expense. Every time I hear of a new case of argyria, skin discolored by silver, I feel like I've failed although I know that isn't rational. While I believe that I must have prevented many people from being disfigured by silver, I don't know their names. They don't have faces, but the victims of silver and alternative medicine do have faces and names. Some of them haunt me.

After investigating NDs for years, trying to talk with them and following their lobbying and marketing campaigns, my gut tells me that they are going to injure and maybe kill many innocent people because they routinely and traditionally promote, use, administer and sell "dietary supplements" before they are ever tested to evaluate whether or not they are safe and effective for anything. My greatest fear is that there are "remedies" out there used by large numbers of people that are totally useless which will eventually be shown to be as lethal as cigarettes but by the time that is discovered it will be too late to save many from premature deaths. 

Health care practitioners who routinely and traditionally use untested remedies, do not practice scientific medicine and are dangerous. If people want to risk going to them as they have been doing for years in Vermont, that is their right. I respect it. If they want to use silver internally, even intravenously, that is their right. I respect it although I believe that those promoting, using and administering it should be required to present the facts to their patients and customers so that they can make informed decisions. 

However, I most definitely do not believe that people should be considered the legal equivalents of MDs and have third parties reimburse for their services unless they are held to the same standards that practitioners of evidence-based or scientific medicine are held to. Granting people unearned privileges is not honoring anyone's freedom of choice. It is entitling them to things they don't deserve. Entitlement poses unreasonable dangers and unnecessary expenses on the community at large. It is also terribly unfair.

While I've failed miserably at communicating all this, I can't stop trying. Having failed everything else, I plan on taking my message to the streets. I plan to demonstrate around the state although I don't know how many times I can do that because of the difficulty and expense of traveling long distances. I'm also writing an eBook which is being edited by a professional right now. 

If I get lucky, one of the NDs whose office I picket will sue me and then I will have the opportunity to present evidence in court of the fallacies of the claims they and their handlers are using in their very successful but highly deceptive marketing/lobbying campaign to gain, without earning, all the same privileges that MDs have. 

Vermont legislators, naturopaths, NDs, entitlement, health care choice, freedom of choice, health care freedom, health care costs, dangerous medicine, untested drugs and therapies

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