COMING TO GRIPS WITH HEALTH FASCISM |
COMING TO GRIPS WITH HEALTH FASCISM
By Hiram Caton
How can you induce 100,000 women to undergo sterilization against their will? Simple. You tell them that unless they do it, they'll loose their benefits. If they are mothers, you also threaten to take their children into custody if they don't comply. The deal is sealed by a signed consent form and enforced by a vow of silence.
Couldn't happen, you say? Paranoid delusions from the fringes?
Well, it did happen. Swedish social affairs minister Margot Wallstrom disclosed a couple of years ago that from 1935-1976, the social service conducted a sterilization program directed at women deemed to be mentally deficient or not of Nordic racial stock. The program wasn't instigated by the Swedish branch of the Nazi Party but by the Social Democrats, who then as today were staunch defenders of individual rights. The Democrats were in government during the entire period of the program. Swedes were staggered by the disclosure. How could such a thing happen in our country? they asked; and how could it be hidden for sixty years?
The sad truth is that abuses of this magnitude are the routine outputs of bureaucracies unchecked by accountability. We must expect them. That is why courageous and vigilant advocacy groups are so important to the well-being and health of so many. I am sure that Mothers Opposing Mandatory Medicine will quickly establish itself as a vigorous defender of mothers' rights under Christine Maggiore's able leadership.
The Swedish sterilization case leads to a further question: how can HIV+ pregnant women, with no symptoms of illness, be induced to consent to treatment with a very toxic drug during pregnancy and during birth, to consent to treating the infant with the same drug, and voluntarily to forego breast feeding? Simple. AIDS medicine is a highly centralized bureaucracy commanding vast powers of coercion and persuasion. The treatment decision just mentioned was devised in 1994 by the nation's highest medical authority and declared to be best practice. Physicians who don't comply get into serious trouble. A year later the standard was installed in the Ryan White Care Act, where it was listed among the criteria that states must meet to qualify for AIDS care funding. While the Act did not impose mandatory testing or treatment, it created incentives for states to do so and indeed New York lawmakers followed that path.
So there's the answer to our question. The HIV+ woman in pregnancy care is stood over by an immense chain of authority accountable to no one. She will automatically be presented with the best practice treatment advice, even though she has no history of risk behavior or clinical signs of illness. The attending physician may have an independent view of case management for a particular patient in the circumstances. But independent clinical judgment is extinguished by doctrinaire enforcement of uniform standards dictated by bureaucrats.
And the mother-to-be? She wants what is best for her child. She will tremble, as most do, in terror of the 'AIDS virus'. She will voluntarily comply with the doctor's advice. She will even welcome it, because the doctor will feed her the official line that antiviral therapy greatly reduces the probability that her child will be born HIV+.
This is consent, but it is not INFORMED consent. On rare occasions, a pregnant HIV+ woman doubts the wisdom of medical advice and declines the recommended treatment. She has used judgment in exercising her undoubted right of refusal. Then what? The machinery of authority is triggered. The doctor notifies the local social service, which obtains a child protection order. The order converts the medical advice into enforceable law. In doing so, the order totally transforms the pregnant woman's status. Her good standing as a patient exercising an undoubted right is extinguished and a new status as a child abuser is imposed. The order will be served on the mother-to-be by a social worker whose job skills include humiliating abusive parents. The mother-to-be is now labeled an abusive parent. The social worker will be accompanied by armed police, to guard against possible assault by this pernicious person.
We know from the courageous testimony of Kathleen and David Tyson that it is a shattering experience to be served such an order. The mother-to-be now discovers, to her total dismay, that medical benevolence comes out of the barrel of a gun. She finds herself accused of neglecting the very child that she cherishes. In telling the story, newspapers make the world believe that she's a bad mother. Her social standing is ruined, and husband and children tumble down with her. Her joy in pregnancy has been overtaken by despair and incomprehension that she is trapped in an enormous, vile public lie that nothing she says can dispel. She curses her foolishness in ever doubting that the doctor knows best. She capitulates.
Stupefying exaggeration? Delusion gone ballistic? Malicious slander?
Sadly, it is the truth. I've done nothing more than retell the experience of Kathleen Tyson and Valerie Emerson, whose stories we know because they found the courage and strength to fight. And because thousands responded to their call for help.
It is terribly important that those of us on the receiving end of 'medical benevolence' understand the stupendous subversion of integrity that has occurred in the course of fighting 'the war on AIDS'. Permit me to explain by telling my personal experience.
Some years ago I spoke in a symposium on misconduct in science. I instanced AIDS science as exemplary of seriously flawed science and AIDS policy as equally flawed. During the discussion, the medical scientist on the panel expressed sharp disapproval of my comments, saying that they undermined the credibility of the epidemic containment measures so painfully put in place. I was acting irresponsibly, he said, and as one professing ethics, I was a disgrace to my university and to my calling. In response I reiterated my key points and then declared: 'You promise a vaccine and effective therapy. But I say, there will be no vaccine and no effective therapy'.
That was in 1987. Billions of research dollars later, there is still no vaccine, no effective therapy, and no inclination to question the hypothesis that produces this dismal failure.
The symposium was well attended by the media. My comments were 'sensational'. Not only had I gone out on a limb with specific predictions, I had in effect charged august medical authority with dumb mistakes. The story went national. Medical authority was furious and responded with denunciations. I wasn't particularly surprised-among doctors the doctor-is-always-right principle is hallowed-but I pondered the experience. What is it with these guys?, I asked myself. Don't they know that science is fallible, subject to challenge and testing?
It was then that the obvious struck me with a mighty force. No, THEY DO NOT KNOW. They DENY the fundamental fact that is supposed to govern all research, all testing and evaluation of evidence. They believe that SOME science is infallible. They also believe that this infallible knowledge is sacred and untouchable, because it 'saves lives'. I and they were not playing by the same rules at all. I was playing by the rules of rational discourse, but they were playing by the rules of war.
The rules of war are that when critical dissent challenges orthodoxy, the sacred doctrine is invoked to cast blame. Thus, Dr Paul F. Lewis, a senior Oregon health officer, said in rebuttal to the Tysons, 'There is currently no reasonable doubt that AIDS is caused by HIV. It is a disservice to men, women and children to say otherwise'. And listen to Professor June E. Osborn, who had a significant hand in framing AIDS policy:
'This book [by Professor Peter Duesberg] is destructive of personal morale, prevention efforts and public understanding both of H.I.V./AIDS and of biomedical science in general. It has the potential to wreak serious harm at a crucial point in the AIDS epidemic, which has been judged by many to be one of the greatest public health challenges of our time'.
Look closely, gentle reader! There, staring you straight in the face, is infallible authority chastising an erring scientist. If there are no reasonable grounds to doubt that HIV causes AIDS, then there are no grounds for testing the hypothesis and criticism of the accepted evidence lies beyond the pale. That, plain and simple, is fascist science. This corruption is defended by vilifying critics and assigning them pariah status. They are stigmatized not merely as mischief-makers, they are wreckers, enemies of public health. It follows as night follows day that they should be crushed as you would crush a cockroach.
The first casualty of the 'war on AIDS' was the integrity of science. The exact moment of the crime can be pinpointed: it was the April 1984 press conference where the then Health Secretary Margaret Heckler declared that government scientist Robert C. Gallo had discovered the viral cause of AIDS. The Reagan administration was then under heavy pressure to put runs on the board. So Heckler hailed the discovery as 'yet another miracle for American medicine and science' and a 'victory over a dreaded disease'. If smoke and mirror tricks are miracles, then miracle it was. The so-called discovery was in reality a theft. The virus had been reported a year previous by the Pasteur Institute in Paris. The Institute furnished Gallo a culture of their virus and that's where he 'discovered' it. But by shamming independent discovery, AIDS 'science' commenced with TWO viral causes of the same disease! (An international panel of experts needed years to sort out this knavery and decide that the two viruses were actually the same). Neither Gallo nor the Institute proved that the virus was pathogenic. Indeed, they did not even isolate it, as the Pasteur Institute chief later admitted. But the spin-doctors at the National Institutes of Health had organized leading journals to endorse Secretary Heckler's 'miracle' with the seal of Science. From that moment, all AIDS research and policy were based on a speculation converted to dogma by bureaucratic power.
This initial public execution of scientific integrity unleashed a propaganda machine that expands Heckler's initial obvious whopper ('victory over a dreaded disease') into a never-ending sickness saga that extorts money and grinds millions into the muck of bad medicine.
Scientific integrity was murdered by a brutal health fascism. The next victim was the gold standard of clinical evaluation, the double blind trial. With a perversity that spin doctors must admire, the methodology was abandoned in the name of ethics! In reality, the double blind trial had to be murdered because it placed the treatment and causality dogmas of AIDS science at grave risk of falsification. The next victim was the integrity of independent clinical judgment. Any doctor who bucked the official line placed himself at risk of retaliation. And now, in the Tyson and Emerson cases, we see that the fundamental right of informed consent and right to refuse treatment were also murdered.
What can be done?
It is simple. Be informed. Withdraw your consent from the most malignant fraud ever perpetrated in the name of medicine. Be aware that the primary truth in the 'AIDS war' is that powerful agencies have declared war on YOU and your loved ones, regardless of your HIV status. Be aware that 'AIDS science' is 90% mindless repetition and 10% deeply inconsistent findings of no clinical value. Your doctor is not your enemy, for she too is a prisoner of the dictators. But ask that she inform you about the 'side effects' of AIDS drugs. Seek the facts about the inaccuracy of HIV diagnostic tests. Ask for proof that HIV is transmitted in mother's milk, and ask why infants diagnosed HIV+ convert to HIV- within months.
By such actions, you will reclaim your fundamental health rights. And you'll probably feel a lot better for it.
Hiram Caton, PhD, DLItt is a Fellow at the National Institute of Law, Ethics, and Public Affairs at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.