Years ago, you didn't have to be a real doctor to prescribe treatment for medical issues. And once again today, we have re-instituted that policy of allowing anyone who wants to dispense medical measures to simply scrub up and have at it.
Before I get into the newer methods, let me share a few of the previously accepted practices. First I'll give you the ailment, then the accepted cure, and finally the practitioner/expert.
DEPRESSION. Cure: douse patients with cold water in the winter, give them “artificial diarrhea” and bleed them. Confident that depression was caused by bad circulation to the brain, the medico “twirled” patients from ropes suspended from the ceiling, for hours on end. Believing that pain and suffering were also curative, the physician starved and verbally abused his patients, and poured acid on their backs. He cut them with knives and kept the wounds open for months or years, to facilitate “permanent discharge from the brain." PRACTITIONER: DR. BENJAMIN RUSH -- America’s best known and most trusted doctor in the late 1700s. He also served as Treasurer of the Mint, and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
MIGRAINES. Cure: the trans-orbital lobotomy. An ice pick was driven into the brain, right through the eyes, and required a carpenter’s mallet when the probe struck bone. Sometimes things would go wrong like when, at Cherokee State hospital, three patients died, one because the ice pick slipped out of his hands while the good doctor was taking a picture. Practitioner: DR. WALTER FREEMAN. In the 1950s, this Yale man became the world’s best known brain surgeon. Freeman wasn't trained in surgery and held in disdain things like wearing gloves and creating a sterile field-“all that germ crap" he was quoted as saying.
HERNIA: Cure: Using a “seton," a type of scalpel, a doctor would slice open an “issue." Into the large gash he’d insert foreign objects, usually dried peas or beans, to promote proper infection. He’d then re-open the wound-often every day-to make sure it didn't heal. PRACTITIONER: DR. TEUGUD, (not making it up), Senior Surgeon at Britain’s Bridgewater Hospital.
Crazy, right? Well, as I began, we're once again allowing quacks to practice medicine without a physicians licence. Who you may ask? Check out the Ohio, the Texas and the North Carolina legislatures. They're passing laws that not only are barbaric, but seemingly the antithesis of the Hippocratic oath. They're mandating medical procedures without any license or training. In doing so they are potentially causing harm to patients by withholding necessary information, in some cases disseminating untruths, and mandating non-essential, invasive procedures. In medical school, these practitioners would be referred to as quacks suffering from "Scarecrow's disease" or more commonly know as "If I Only Had a Brain" syndrome.
When you make laws forcing medical procedures, you're practicing medicine. In the old days that was all they had -- a barber or mid-wives. And look at what people went through. Now we have science, but elected officials are turning their backs on that. They're returning to ice picks, leeches and twirling patients upside down from the ceiling.
We can't afford to set medicine and justice back hundreds of years. Speak out with your voices and your vote. If not, who knows who'll come a knockin' at your door with a scalpel, some rope and start verbally abusing you.