and ask why the medical abuses in the nurseries continue
The most urgent question
has still no good answer
Question: Can you alert the press to the problem? You posted on the page about Preemie Pain Mrs. Lawson's account how she succeeded in changing a horrible medical practice when she found out that her and other babies were being subjected to surgery without anesthesia. Shaming the doctors worked for her, so can it work for you?
Reply: I admire Mrs. Lawson and her campaign greatly. If you are unfamiliar with her blood- curdling discovery and subsequent battle against casual cruelty and stunning stupidity among nursery doctors, then you should read her account of it which will shock you and open your eyes to how dangerously gullible some allegedly scientific doctors can be.
However, what worked for her campaign against routine human vivisection does unfortunately not seem to apply in the case of blinding and asphyxiating preemies. Everyone knows the pain of cutting into live flesh and abhors it. No parents in their right mind will let themselves be brainwashed into believing for long the former medical dogma that babies are insensitive to pain. Even when experts with intimidating titles may make them distrust their own instinct for a while, their natural empathy with their child soon takes over and convinces them otherwise.
The case of the baby- blinding and oxygen- starving is more technical and not easy to communicate at that same gut- wrenching level. Most people have no personal opinion on the good or bad effects of oxygen or fluorescent light and implicitly trust the community- approved licensed professionals whose job it is to know about such stuff.
They feel therefore not as directly involved and competent to judge as in the case of vivisecting -- a torture that can give many folks nightmares and shivers if they merely think about it.
Moreover, Mrs. Lawson's alert concerned all babies, so many members of the public were interested. Preemies make up only a small (though growing) percentage of births, and those winding up in the intensive care nurseries are even fewer. This reduces the audience for their crying.
And most importantly, there was no professional stigma or risk attached to the work which Dr. Anand was then doing to translate the self- evident fact of pain into a form which even medical doctors could understand. Although the pain from being sliced open while wide awake may have killed many babies and severely affected others for life, that pain created no legally provable lasting damage among the survivors, and therefore no potential liability for the pitilessly vivisecting pediatric surgeons.
On the other hand, the excess nursery lighting has blinded tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of people, and the oxygen starving has caused lasting and debilitating brain damage to a great many more. This is not something the medical community can easily admit.
Also, Helen Harrison, that tireless advocate for the humane and rational treatment of preemies, admonished a conference of leading pediatricians in Canada that their ignoring the extreme vulnerability of preemies to pain and other environmental harm did not make sense, and she told them about the potential dangers from overbright nursery lights1.
(See a copy of that speech in our Parent's Concerns series, posted here with Mrs. Harrison's kind permission.) The doctors in her audience listened politely but had no comments, and nothing has changed.
Despite the sorry history of gross and harmful blunders in the medical doctrine throughout the ages and up to our days, mere facts and logic are still not enough to make many medical doctors acknowledge the blatant errors in their uncritically accepted dogma.
It seems the only way left open to stop the preemie maiming and blinding may be through the courts, although doctors have long had a lock on those.
Until the US Supreme Court's 1993 decision against "junk science" and the subsequent rulings based on it, judges and juries had to rely on live testimony from acknowledged experts who could represent "generally accepted opinions" in their field as facts. Before these decisions, common sense or documented medical literature did not count much against the spoken word of an established medical authority, regardless how obviously turf- defending and biased.
What doctor would have broken ranks and explained in court that the most common cause of blindness among children is the doctor- recommended light in the nurseries? Or that the often deadly oxygen withholding has no scientific basis whatsoever and is based on an old and never corrected clumsy fraud in medical research? Such testimony would have meant professional suicide and excommunication from the medical priesthood.
As long as Big Medicine controlled the supply of the only legally acceptable experts, the medical priesthood kept stonewalling and tried to cover up the scandal, in a pattern all too familiar from other large organizations based on crass self- interest.
However, now that scientific evidence is allowed against mere assertions, I hope that the documentation offered here will help some of the victims to expose the medical lies and reckless patient harming, and thereby to help end the routine blinding, maiming, and killing of human children in intensive care nurseries.
If you are one of those victims or represent one, please see the summary of that evidence on the Help for Victims? page which I prepared for nursery victims and their medical malpractice lawyers .
Question: Why do nursery doctors not yield to the documented evidence and acknowledgethe deceptions in their doctrine?
Reply:Many nursery doctors may be caring persons who do not consciously wish to prolong the blinding and brain- damaging. However, the systemic bias of professional solidarity, as well as their indoctrination to believe medical authorities, seems to keep them from evaluating the facts in a rational and objective manner.
The French playwright Molière skewered this same medical mindset when he had the Imaginary Invalid's brother describe that hypochondriac's physician:
"He's a doctor through and through, a man with more faith in his rules than anything capable of mathematical proof. He would think it a crime to even question them.
Medicine has no obscurities for him, no doubts, no difficulties. Full of headlong prejudice, unshakable self- confidence, and no more common sense and reasoning than a brute beast he goes on his way purging and bleeding at random and hesitates at nothing.
It's no good bearing him ill will for the harm that he does you -- he'll send you into the next world with the best of intentions and in killing you off do no more for you than he would do for his own wife and children or, if need arose, for himself."2
Replace Molière's "purging and bleeding" with "asphyxiating, blinding, and vivisecting", and this clinical description from over three centuries ago still applies equally well to many modern nursery doctors who display an equally blind faith in their sometimes equally damaging doctrine.
Realizing and then acknowledging the repeated research frauds and other gross errors in the medical doctrine would be embarrassing and costly for the modern medical profession because these errors have greatly harmed many people for life.
The principle of "medical ethics", which aims above all to protect the profession from scrutiny, triggers therefore a conditioned reflex in many of its members to deny the problem and to defend the guild's reputation no matter what.
Continue to our "Help for Victims?" page.
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