The Catholic Church has been convulsed in recent years by sexual abuse scandals. There are two aspects to this. One has been the harm inflicted on children from the abuse but in many instances as much if not more damage has arisen from the secondary harms these children and later adults have incurred in their efforts to get believed.
The second aspect has been the Church’s management of abusive clergy. This has played as big a part in the collapse of trust in or allegiance to the Church as the abuse itself. What in God’s name have bishops been doing, and perhaps even popes, in moving known paedophiles from one setting to another putting other unsuspecting children at risk? This looking after what is often called the institution’s interests, a we stand or fall together mentality, makes it look like every clergyman is an abuser. Following the Pell case in Australia, this has left people defecating on Church altars in Melbourne and Sydney.
Somewhere along the line there seems to be a working assumption within the cleriarchy that while priests may have done harm, the benefits they, or the Church, bring outweigh any harm done.
Note it would be wrong to say the hierarchy here – the word hieros means sacred or moral – the one thing the cleriarchy in this case do not seem to have been.
The Church attitude sounds very like the justification of colonialism, trotted out by the English or French when in the past they have pointed, and still now point, to the benefits of civilisation and science they brought to savages as justifying invasions and massacres. To make this argument work, however, they have to continue to some extent to view the savages as savages.
This comes out most clearly in Jose Mario Bergoglio’s response in Chile in 2018 when facing anger about the Church’s failure to confront child abuse, he effectively responded: if you have faith you believe in us [the clergy] but for us to believe in you [the abused] we need proof. The powerful are innocent until proven guilty. The powerless (the savages) have anecdotes but not evidence.
It also resembles a risk benefit argument pharmaceutical companies have traded on since 1990, when Lilly put forward the argument that it would not be right to put warnings on Prozac as these warnings might deter people from availing of the benefits Prozac and other SSRIs could bring. This is an approach that all companies have adopted since and it completely bamboozles regulators.
Sticking a warning on a priest who might abuse a small number of minors (who’ll get over it) risks denying the sacraments to so many more people who might benefit from them.
Rather like the Church who claim a privileged insight on whether their clergy and sacraments actually do deliver a benefit, pharmaceutical companies engineer the public statements about the benefits of their sacraments, while as we now know sitting on data that often proves just the opposite to what they say in public – more people are in fact harmed by drugs like Prozac than benefit.
This could be turned around so that SSRIs produced more benefits than harms with the right kind of warnings but doctors are far more scared of pharmaceutical companies now than kids are of the Catholic Church – they are not about to speak up.
The risk benefit argument is also one hospitals increasingly make. It’s not just me who sees more and more people who are killed or injured by treatment in hospital, the official figures point this way. In response hospitals and their managers do root cause analyses which focus largely on whether everyone communicated with all the people they should have communicated with and whether everyone kept to the guidelines rather than on the question of what caused the injury or death.
But if those communicating don’t mention that the patient’s agitation started after taking sertraline or montelukast or isotretinoin, then ticking the did-communicate box conceals rather than reveals what happened. And in the case of on patent pharmaceuticals the information about them constitutes the greatest concentration of Fake News on the planet. Adherence to NICE guidelines which in the case of on-patent pharmaceuticals are based primarily on Fake News is a recipe for more deaths and injuries than not.
But hey, if we say this death or injury was anything other than an Act of God, we risk deterring people from seeking treatments from which they (and we) might benefit.
The beauty of the current medical system is that not a single doctor or manager needs to be moved on to the next health organization. They might be moved for other reasons like bullying but not for killing anyone.
You need to believe in us but for us to believe in you we need proof and faced with a choice between us who have kept to the guidelines and ticked all the boxes of process and you who are confused and angry, there is not a coroner on earth who will pick you over us.
You have to wonder how much more proof is needed.
When it is so obvious that if you take a drug and your behaviour changes radically, that you are so ill, you fear for your life, that the doctors are throwing countless drugs at you – how daft does it get.
Why is every single organization in the UK suffering from No Proof Disorder.
Most won’t even dialogue, they sit tight like a Duchess in a Girdle – this Campaign of We Don’t Believe you
We know where most of it comes from and we know how Pharma has cuckolded them, but, in the 21st century when everything is supposed to be transparent –
It all has to be turned around, and is the Tide really Turning?
We have some small concessions coming our way but how far will this reach out – I think not far, and not far enough.
Coroners are the last to see the body, and the body of evidence, but, so little is asked of them, and they remain in the darkness.
Before them, it was the doctors,and before them, it was no lead forthcoming, and before no lead forthcoming it was benefits v. risks.
Some speak out, petitions abound, patients have testimonies, blogs blog, but, at the end of the day there is a Big Black Hole of general consensus that heaves itself like a mighty juggernaut carrying all the dead bodies without a scrap of interest.
No matter how much is going on in the legal world, in the US, how many new studies go in the right direction, how much work is done by strident individuals, how many articles appear in the press, the ears remain shut.
The ears of people who could, and should, be making a difference and I am at a total loss of why those with clout are so silent.
Is it fear of losing face, is it fear of becoming unpopular, is it fear of losing their job, is it fear of leaving the club – whatever it is, it is a very dangerous stance to keep up – and I don’t see any evidence that the ‘activists’ are going to shut up anytime soon, do you?
How long will they remain holed-up in their bunkers?
If you haven’t already watched this then please do so.
I’ve often aligned psychiatry with religion, particularly the history of the two and the stubbornness.
I urge you all to watch the late Christopher Hitchens in this 5 minute video. I’ll leave you to draw your own comparisons.
That’s a good parallel analogy showing the same modus operandi at work in both hierarchies.
I would add that it is not just the NICE that is no longer fit for purpose, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is as well, due in large part, to the revolving door syndrome. As the post points out, the accumulative miss-trust, finds its way eventually to the front-line clinical staff.
MHRA demonstrate repeatedly by their actions that their reason for being, is to protecting the large pharmaceutical companies from loss of profits instead of protecting the public from harmful health care. Is it no wonder that a petition has been started to have them disbanded (I’ll let the petition website speak for itself: https://mhracorrupt.st/ )
The keen younger doctors may find time to read the science and checkout what NICE pontificates, but from what I see on the web, they haven’t been taught anything at all, as to how to read and evaluate a science paper properly.
Like with the current Church, the problems in healthcare are also more deeply rooted than at first appears — things like this are seldom so simple. For instance, my, yours, and the Parliamentary ‘pension funds’ together represent the largest stock holders of pharma shares. Which MP would be willing (except for perhaps two or three) would be willing to sacrifice a statistically signifiant part of their wealth by rocking the boat. They no doubt have a investment portfolio that periodically sends them an update. If they bother to read it, they will see how well their (and my) health sector shares are doing. Also, every MP who has one or more pharmaceutical companies in their constituency will fight tooth and nail to protect those jobs that the company creates. As for the UK Treasury — well. Just GSK and AstraZeneca have UK revenues of $ 18.83 billion and $11.31 Billion respectively. The Treasury would thrash around as if having an apoplectic fit, at even a whiff of losing some of those taxes an export earnings. The UK economy, like a house of cards would most likely collapse. Verily, the big pharmaceutical companies have painted the UK economy into a corner with nowhere to retreat to.
In my view, crystal balls are unreliable because homo sapiens are social animals. Just as it is hardwired into us via evolution, that we organize our societal world. It is our nature also, to correct imbalances when we see them. Therefore, very often, the so called ‘alarmists’ (like the readers here) turnout to be those that energise the effort to rebalance things in time, to avoid a total disaster of which we warn. Yet, this time around things are fundamentally different. Our regulatory mechanisms (in many areas of commerce) are beyond reform. The very basic unit of wealth creation (people) are increasingly being made less efficient from bad medicine. My crystal ball, suggests that extrapolating forwards the current rates, one in every two people will be chronically ill by 2035 in both the UK and USA. Just like ancient Rome and other empires. If the point comes, when civil society can’t provide the basic needs of the ‘majority’ of wealth producers, it slumps down in a catastrophic way. Only the arrogant and naïve believe that we are somehow more intelligent than our ancestors. So, its imperative we do all we can and implore others to do all they can, in-order to avoid such a collapse becoming total. The hardest part is to inform others calmly without sounding too paranoid about it — if that’s possible, all things considered. At the same time preserving one’s own sanity by keeping things in perspective.
In regards to pssd no viable treatments have been proved to work, however there have been some cases that have been fully cured by using a substance called ibogaine. In other words this substance is usually used to repairs chemical receptors in the brain caused by drugs. It’s main purpose is to help addiction and other chemical repairs, it is not approved by the fda in pill form but some people have managed to get their hands on it. If anyone has any research or other viable aspects that this substance is at least a percentage helpful please email me and let me know thanks.
Pharmaceutical companies are untouchable, just like the people who commit abuses in church and other institutions.
Fortunately, the masses who have been adversely impacted are gathering in numbers and speaking up about their horrendous experiences.
No longer can the current Law or the church turn a ‘blind eye’ to the devastation of many lives that have been ruined (still being ruined) or by people committing suicide as a result of victims unable to cope because of the abuse and harm they suffered from the very people they were programmed to trust and believe.
The pharmaceutical companies like the clergy of the church who have committed these crimes against humanity have been protected for way too long by the authority that are meant to protect us.
Many, have been programmed to put their trust and faith in the two because they have an image that portrays one of helping people and being there for them in times of need.
Sadly, the trust of many is being eroded (or has been eroded) because of the harms these two have incurred.
The church is protected by a holy sanction that is untouchable, just like pharmaceutical companies.
Until………………………., people who have been impacted by the two or witness dodgy practices, speak up!
The whole infrastructure of what we have been programmed to believe is holy, unwavering or steadfast. Sadly, when something unforeseen happens, our whole perception is shattered and it is no longer seen as one of trust or protection.
The church and pharmaceutical companies are the pillars of our society and what constitutes the fabric of society is no longer Sanctus. For many it is flawed, broken and troubled. Those who are the victims, no longer trust.
Medicines saves lives and without the proper care, many lives are put at risk however, on the other side of the spectrum, if you are given a medicine that harms and puts your life at risk or induces other medical harms, people (like myself) then go on a quest to question the credibility/veracity of the pharmaceutical companies and the pharmaceutical researchers, who have put our lives at risk.
So, the two are intertwined.
How can there be a perfect balance if there are cracks in the system?
The only Hope we have is when we speak up.
The victims (or the heroes) need support to make this happen.
We need people who are going to believe and trust us, just like we once so naively and so trustingly, put our faith in the two.
Sadly, many are abusing and hijacking the system by lying.
How can one obtain evidence, if those we trust lie!
If there is a culture of corruption and cover-up’s, how on earth can those who have suffered gravely by either, ever receive any form of justice from those who do wrong!
Those who collude with the wrong doers and never speak up, are just as much to blame as those who do the wrong.
Keep in mind, if we had everyone speak up the 1% who do speak up, will not suffer at the hands of those who do not care.
Sadly, we persecute those who speak up because it is better to turn a blind eye so that it does not impact our feathered nests.
Many develop an attitude that as, long as everything is going well for me, we are ok mate and I do not need to help my brother who is in need of help.
The whole culture has to change.
If we continue with the current erroneous process , many lives will be ruined and many will unnecessarily pass away. We will pass on a corrupt legacy to the next generation.
We need leaders to speak up in order to break the silence against corruption.
Some of us a great pretenders wearing masks to protect our image, whatever that may be!
Thanks for this fantastic article doctor! You are not just a doctor, but a philosopher as well.