I admit that I was somewhat naive in the past, perhaps because of the fact that I started out life so very young. For instance, I believed in Santa Claus. I even believed that if a licensed physician said something, then as long as my parents believed it, I also presumed that it must be true.
That was my simple perception… until eventually I heard of the idea of “getting a second opinion.” Should I be offended by this suggestion that if you consult a variety of physicians, some of them might have more than one way of measuring health and of understanding various symptoms? Exactly how offended should I be if someone disagrees with something my own physician said (such as my own physician at a later time)?
And what about this issue of specialization? It was as if some physicians had more expertise in some areas than in other areas! This whole issue of whom to trust was getting rather complicated.
I later learned that most physicians did not personally do a lot of research. They might read several journals each year, but how many clinical trials did they personally participate in?
This all got very serious for me sometime around the late 20th century (perhaps in the 1980s). One of the great paranoias that I was trained to have at that time was in relation to cancer. Cancer was very bad. Cancer was very frightening.
But what exactly was cancer? A decade ago, I might have told you that it was the cause of a certain type of illness. I could list a few people that I would say “cancer killed.”
However, cancer is a label for an effect. It is not a cause. It is just a label for an effect. It is not a living entity (a demon) that possesses certain organisms and attacks them and spreads through them like a parasitic infestation.
While many people worship cancer as a demon that has power over them, I eventually considered such religions to be delusional and hysterical. I considered habitual statements like “your cancer is killing you” to be mindless curses invoked in rituals of witchcraft called “the practice of medicine.”
I was not emotionally triggered by the issue of cancer. I noticed that some people were. However, I personally did not suffer from cancer. No one close to me was possessed by the demon of cancer and then “abducted by mortality.”
So, as I listened to a variety of people talk about cancer, I noticed some wide variations in how they related to that word. Not everyone worshiped it as a powerful demon. Some people related to it as merely a predictable effect. In other words, some people demonstrated a scientific perspective on cancer, even logic and intelligence.
For instance, some people talked about how cancer rates changed suddenly in a particular area right after a nuclear explosion. They spoke of measured data, not just presumptive speculations made with no respect for language. (For the grammar police among you, I mean whether the word cancer should be treated as an active, causal entity by using the word cancer with a transitive verb).
Other people talked about cancer as a possible effect of smoking a certain amount of cigarettes. Was there really a connection between specific behaviors and possession by the demon of cancer?
Some people (such as the Center for Disease Control) talked about a specific type of cancer called skin cancer and how different races of people had differing levels of vulnerability to skin cancer (or at least different rates of incidence). Hispanics were several times more vulnerable than Asians or Africans. White people were several times more vulnerable than Hispanics. Further, the skin of white males was demonically possessed by cancer significantly more frequently than the skin of white females. Was it possible that there both behavioral factors as well as genetic predispositions?
I noticed that different people spoke very differently about how easy or challenging it would be to produce the effect called cancer (as well as to stop producing that effect). To some, cancer was very mysterious yet not very important. To others, cancer was something that they were personally motivated to research and understand.
So, the issue came to my attention that some people are more interested in a particular subject (than most people) and so they get more expertise and more precision. Others lack a devoted, calm personal interest (and have only a hysterical interest or only a casual interest) and so perhaps they just learn a popular protocol from a medical school and carry on their business of treating cancer patients as they were programmed to do (and rewarded for doing).
I noticed that various people used words like “safe and effective” in regard to various treatment protocols. Some were so interested in these issues that they cited legitimate research or even conducted their own rigorous measurements. Note that when I say legitimate research, I mean research that is credible scientifically such that there is no logical controversy about it.
I noticed that there were controversies among licensed physicians about whether certain treatment protocols were safe and effective. Some of the disagreements seemed to be over what exactly was meant by the word “safe.”
I reviewed the terminology used by the US government’s Department of Health and Human Services. A publication of theirs stated that “On October 1, 1988… the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was established to… [provide] compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines.”
I learned that in over 4,000 cases a total of over $3 billion dollars had been paid by the US government on behalf of the vaccine industry, which prior to 1988 was legally liable for the injuries determined to be caused by vaccines. Other claims were rejected, such as allegations of a facial deformation caused in Beyonce, pictured above, after taking a skin cancer vaccine that made her in to a white male.
Anyways, I was curious about why this program did not have more publicity, given that large segments of public school curriculums are dictated by federal authorities. Why was there so much hysteria promoted about “the fatal effects of cancer” (which is bad grammar if cancer is an effect rather than a cause)? For every 100,000 white males, 4.3 of them are murdered by cancer each year!
Why was there so little paranoia promoted about the apparent dangers of vaccines? How interested should I even be?
Ultimately, my curiosity was only so strong. Perhaps the same lobbyists that in the 1980s persuaded the US government to transfer liability from the vaccine industry to the US government also did not want the budget for publicizing that compensation program to be more than $10,000 or $20,000 per year. I was satisfied by that explanation and moved on to other issues of greater interest to me.