Posted March 26, 2009
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Health Care

Doctors Handcuffed By Government On Natural Remedies

Expert Says Power Pharmaceutical Lobby Prevents Patients From Receiving Alternative Treatments

US - As medical research continues to confirm that many natural remedies to common and sometimes catastrophic illnesses are safe and effective, many physicians find themselves in an untenable dilemma.

While their Hippocratic Oath demands that they do no harm and are required to treat the patient in front of them regardless of the circumstances, they are prevented by law from recommending alternative natural therapies that may well help and even save many patients’ lives.

The cause is a series of restrictions placed on them, and promoted vigorously by pharmaceutical companies who stand to lose millions if patients are guided toward non-pharmaceutical cures, according to Dr. Mary Zennett, author of Health For Us All: The Transformation of U.S. Healthcare, Third Day Press (www.healthforusall.com). She believes that we need to break the stranglehold placed on physicians, so that they can be true to their oath and help those patients for whom pharmaceuticals are not a solution.

As medical science begins to accept the idea that natural remedies can be as effective, if not more effective, than pharmaceuticals, it seems the gap between those treatments and the patients who need them widen, according to Dr. Zennett.

“Mainstream medicine may show considerable resistance; natural health followers are quite apprehensive about pharmaceuticals and the mainstream health care system as a whole,” she said. “Thus, we have two completely separate and distinct worlds of health care that rarely communicate and collaborate with each other. Yet patients are seeking this integration, from their doctors and from the health care system as a whole.”

Moreover, there are many patients who can’t take pharmaceuticals because the side effects are too strong, or because they are taking other medicines that don’t interact well together. In many cases, the use of natural remedies may represent the only relief they will ever feel from their symptoms.

“How can we claim to have the best healthcare in the world when so many patients have to do without, simply because a powerful special interest group – pharmaceutical companies – are able to strong-arm the government into preventing doctors from even talking about them?” Dr. Zennett asked. “It seems like shades of George Orwell’s 1984 when the government can control what honest professionals are even allowed to say. It needs to end.”

With the price of healthcare rising, and a strong push for healthcare reform moving through the oval office and Congress, there has never been a more conducive environment for the adoption of natural remedies into mainstream medical care, Dr. Zennett added.

“Skyrocketing healthcare costs and shrinking federal reserves make wellness, prevention and natural health very appealing to legislators as US health care reform debates gear up for after the Presidential inauguration,” she said. “Bipartisan support of preventative medicine is favorable thus far, and is quite promising. Yet, competing interests and influences are positioned to threaten natural health inclusion in the US health care equation unless WE the people take a stand and make our voices heard.”

Dr Mary Zennett, MD, MBA in Health Care Administration, has been a practicing psychiatrist of 22 years. Founder of National Alliance for Health Reform, she is committed to mobilizing a grassroots movement of citizens committed to patient centered, cost effective health reform that incorporates wellness and prevention. Mother of 2 young adult sons, she is committed to reforms that will improve quality of life for the next generations. Her motto is Patients First!

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