Volume 3, Issue 19
May 20, 2010

The third leading
cause of death in the U.S. — don't be a victim

You probably know that cancer and heart disease are the top two leading causes of death in the U.S. Nothing surprising there. But can you guess what the third leading cause of death is? Is it stroke? What about diabetes? Or could it be pneumonia? The Journal of the American Medical Association says the surprising answer is none of these.

The answer is so surprising that it startled the entire American medical community. The article, written by Dr. Barbara Starfield, one of its most respected and honored public-health experts in the country, said it isn't a disease at all. It's your doctor!

That's right! Every year in the U.S. there are 12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries; 7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals; 20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals; and 80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals. Now that's bad enough. But here's the real kicker.

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Dr. Starfield discovered that on average 106,000 people are killed from correctly prescribed FDA-approved medications. So the total number of medically caused deaths in the U.S. every year is 225,000. And this makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in the U.S., second only to heart disease and cancer. But that was in 2000 — 10 years ago. Surely things are better now.

Dr. Starfield recently described what progress conventional medicine has made in the last 10 years. Here's what she said, "Even though there will always be adverse events that cannot be anticipated, the fact is that more and more unsafe drugs are being approved for use. Many people attribute that to the fact that the pharmaceutical industry is (for the past 10 years or so) required to pay the FDA for reviews — which puts the FDA into an untenable position of working for the industry it is regulating."

When asked if there have been other studies looking into this issue besides hers, she says, "There have been a lot of studies. Most of them indicate higher rates [of death] than I calculated."

I stopped practicing conventional medicine in 1980, 20 years before Dr. Starfield's report. Why? You don't have to be a genius to realize that natural therapies are going to be a lot safer than drugs. Do I ever use medications? Of course I do. But only when they are absolutely needed. I would venture to say that more than 90% of the times conventional doctors prescribe drugs, there is a natural therapy that's safer and works better.

So find yourself a doctor that thinks this way, and don't let yourself be another victim of conventional medicine. You can find a doctor near you at www.acam.org and www.holisticmedicine.org.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

REF: Starfield B. Is US health really the best in the world? JAMA. 2000 Jul 26;284(4):483-5.


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