Medical progress by diligent researchers has saved the lives of millions. However, while the scientific community works to find treatments and cures for various diseases, some choose to reject advancements in favor of questionable and dangerous anecdotal evidence. One example comes from Richard Lanigan, a chiropractor who recently published a book on how to increase health and longevity by refusing antibiotics, painkillers, and immunization.
As a father of four in London, England, Lanigan refused to immunize his children and disallowed them from taking painkillers or antibiotics. In fact, when his youngest daughter contracted whooping cough, he chose to attempt to “cure” her through her mother’s breast milk rather than hospitalization.
He believes that individuals will live vigorously through proper nutrition and exercise, stating, “I just don’t believe children are healthier with vaccines.” Thus, he encourages parents to research the techniques before applying them to youth.
Indeed, all should investigate to be prepared to spot lunacy, such as Lanigan’s, when presented.
As explained by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the concept of immunization was developed by Dr. Edward Jenner in 1796, which he applied to smallpox. However, technology was not yet advanced enough for the method to become widespread.
Saint Louis University notes that smallpox is estimated to have caused between 300 million and 500 million deaths in the 20th century alone. It was not until the 1900s that vaccination was made possible for the population and has since eradicated the condition. Lanigan’s logic seems to imply that proper nutrition and exercise would have cured or prevented the disease’s spread.
Medical progress has also significantly reduced whooping cough. According to the CDC, before the shot was recommended for all infants, about 8,000 people in the United States died each year from the condition.
Furthermore, those who do not die may suffer brain damage and seizures. Lanigan’s daughter is exceedingly fortunate not to have met such fate. Due to the vaccine, the number of whooping cough deaths has diminished to fewer than 20 per year.
The peer-reviewed journal American Academy of Pediatrics found that vaccines have thus far prevented over 20 million cases of disease and 40,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. They have also resulted in economic benefits to the country, amounting to nearly $69 billion, according to the National Academy of Sciences.
Although the benefits are more than apparent to the sane individual when presented with the data, many understandably have doubts regarding potential dangers. In 1998, Andrew Wakefield published in Lancet that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine predisposes children to developmental disorders, including autism. Shortly after release, Lancet retracted the article, admitting that several elements in the paper were incorrect.
Furthermore, Wakefield and his co-authors were found guilty of falsifying data used in the study and were charged for ethical violations, as they performed invasive investigations on children without abiding by proper guidelines and consent. A further look into the publication displays that Wakefield had failed to disclose financial interests involved. As the details played out, lawyers who were engaged in lawsuits against vaccine-producing companies were involved in funding the experiment.
Wakefield’s medical license was revoked. The belief spurred by his “study” still plague many minds, although no legitimate experiment to date has compiled proof to the contrary. Furthermore, current evidence supports that autism begins in utero – long before children receive shots.
If people choose to follow Wakefield’s skewed data, incidences of deadly yet preventable disease will likely significantly surge. In fact, parents who voluntarily refuse to immunize their youth are responsible for the increase in measles and whooping cough seen in recent years.
According to the CDC, one in three antibiotic prescriptions, or 47 million, are unnecessary. The dangers of these actions are immense, resulting in disease-causing bacteria becoming resistant to treatment, and thus nearly impossible to cure. It also puts patients at needless risk for allergic reactions and Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that causes a potentially deadly form of diarrhea.
Physicians prescribe most of these unnecessary medications for conditions such as the common cold, viral sore throats, viral bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. As reported by Medical News Today, antibiotics treat bacterial infections and not those that are viral.
Lanigan is correct to encourage skepticism of antibiotics. However, this distrust should only apply to whether doctors are correctly prescribing the medication. When used appropriately, the treatment has saved a countless number of lives, as explained by the peer-reviewed journal Pharmacy and Therapeutics. Penicillin alone has prevented over 200 million deaths worldwide.
As reported by Liberty Nation, physicians may frequently overprescribe painkillers, contributing to the opioid epidemic currently ravaging the nation. However, there are numerous situations in which opioids are necessary for enhancing the quality of life, such as discomfort that inhibits adequate performance of daily activities.
Lanigan, however, asserts:
Ice is the most effective anti-inflammatory and pain relief for my kids. You don’t see them popping pills. But there’s no money for the pharmaceutical industry in frozen water, so they encourage people to take drugs.
Who would have thought? How may those suffering from the debilitating agony of terminal cancer find relief? Cure it with ice! The radical lunacy employed by the chiropractor should spur skepticism.
Regardless of the level of education, confidence, or eloquence, all individuals are capable of spewing misinformation, whether deceitfully or due to ignorance. The anecdotal evidence promoted by Lanigan is dangerous, with scientific findings only pointing to the contrary of his statements. His words of advice to heed, however, are for people to do their research. Only then will society be prepared to reject blatant fallacies.