Hospitals and Health Reviewed By Sue Vogan of Bookpleasures.com
Reviewer Sue Vogan is a Writer & Author of NCO-No Compassion Observed. To read Sue's archived reviews posted on bookpleasures prior to Nov. 2008' CLICK HEREView all articles by Sue Vogan
Authors: Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., Andrew Saul, Ph.D., Steve Hickey, Ph.D.
Publisher: Basic Health Publications, Inc.
In our lifetime, most of us had to use the services of a doctor and hospital. For many, it was intimidating at best (i.e. we assume that the professionals know what they are doing better than we know our own bodies). The doctor visits infrequently, nurses tell us, without explanation, what and when to do certain things (i.e. take this pill), and the food resembles a conglomeration of low-cost processed foods – totally unpalatable and unhealthy. What’s even worse is being stuck in a room that was put together with treated plywood (as in phenol-formaldehyde resin for bonding) and hospital curtains treated with chemical fire-retardant agents.
One would think that if the hospital can charge heavily marked-up prices (i.e. $1-10.00 for an aspirin), they could surely serve well-balanced, organic, nutritious meals. And with the charge of the room, (i.e. $7,000.00/4 days -- they could certainly build and refurbish rooms with less unhealthy construction materials. However, many patients in the hospital are not aware of the dangers that they face (i.e. spread of disease by not washing hands).
In Hospitals and Health, the authors explain the history of what hospitals were and what they have become – a business. If the hospital beds are empty, the hospital loses revenue -- just as the doctor who has successfully treated his/her patients is now left with fewer patients can feel the effects in their wallet. So, are the doctors and hospitals not doing their best to help us get and stay well?
Andrew Saul says they could do better. However, the patient can do themselves a great service by taking charge of their heath care.
For example, make sure your diagnosis is correct. “Most treatments depend on the specific diagnosis” and “inappropriate decisions cause errors.” Many physicians depend on evidence-based medicine (EBM) as a guide for diagnosing and treating patients in their practice – “using results of large clinical trials.” While this seems like good medicine to these doctors, “unfortunately, large-scale trials are next to useless in this respect.” “The idea that you can use the statistics of groups to predict the response in an individual is fallacy.” “Too often, a medical doctor seems to want to be thought of as a sort of deity, and many patients are only too happy to oblige.”
In order to get the proper diagnosis, aside from clinical observations, it may be suggested that you have testing. How do we know if the testing is something we really need? First, “ask the physician to explain your individual need for the test. This should include the reason the doctor considers you may have the disease.” Do you have symptoms or an unusual result from a previous test? You will want to know the accuracy of the test and the “incidence of the disease in the population and in any high-risk group to which you belong.” Do most people in my high-risk group suffer from whatever disease the doctor is wanting to test for? What will happen if the test comes back positive? What will the follow up look like? Will there be more testing? Is the follow up invasive? And, is there a possibility that you will receive treatment for a disease you do not have – even if the test results are positive?
Doctors are there to be your medical team member. They should be able to provide you with the information about tests, treatments, surgeries and prescriptions. This means the side-effects, possible complications, etc. Insist on all the information so that you can better take charge of your health care.
Don’t be afraid to tell the hospital that the room or food is unsatisfactory. In fact, “Hospitals and Health” provides ways you can get the best out of your health care team (i.e. a note from your doctor to continue your vitamins). If you can, have a friend or family member as an advocate to make sure you are getting the best care possible.
“Hospitals and Health” should be read by every American before their first doctor’s appointment or hospital stay. The book is easy to understand, has valuable tips, and is backed up by impeccable references. It even has convenient check lists you will want to use to make sure you are getting the best (i.e. basic hospital considerations, pages 208-209).
About the authors (from the book jacket):
Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., received a master’s degree in agricultural chemistry and a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He earned his M.D. from the University of Toronto in 1949 and completed psychiatric training in 1954/ His early work led to the use of niacin for schizophrenia and as an anti- cholesterol treatment. Dr. Hoffer published over 600 reports and articles as well as 30 books. He died in 2009 at the age of 91.
Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., has over 30 years of experience teaching natural health education, nutrition, health science, and cell biology at the college level. He is editor of the “Orthomolecular Medicine News Service,” and assistant editor of the “Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine.” He is the author of numerous books, including “Doctor Yourself” and “Fire Your Doctor!” (both from Basic Health Publications).
Steve Hickey, Ph.D., received a degree in medical physics from the University of Manchester, and is a member of both the Institute of Biology and the Biology Department of Staffordshire University. He did research into ultra-high-resolution CT scanning and leads the physics team in the clinical MRI unit at Manchester Medical School. He has published over 100 scientific publications and books and is co-author (with Dr. Saul) of “Vitamin C: The Real Story.”
Click Here To Purchase Hospitals and Health: Your Orthomolecular Guide to a Shorter, Safer Hospital Stay