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In whose interest a Healthy Nation? The cult of "Research & Medicine"

Posted Jan 22 2009 6:38pm 2 Comments

Research is dominated by the pharmacological industry, which has decided that the only permissible "research" is testing one drug against another, abusing animals and unravelling DNA. This "research" can only treat, not prevent or cure, disease due to western lifestyle. In part, because there are almost no realistic animal models of human disease. Even a laboratory animal is rarely as stressed and constipated as the average westerner.

Ideas coming from outside the pharmaceutical industry are seen as heresy and lead to vilification by the medical specialists and from the popular press. A doctor thinking outside the box risks death by a thousand cuts, excommunication and permanent exile to the wilderness. Thus was it ever, Galileo, and Semelweiss included.
Research has become a cult worshipping DNA, instead of working to prevent disease.

Arab children do not get asthma, unless they eat western "food". Pain is the result of nerve damage - neuropathic pain. Modern childbirth causes 90% of women's gynaecological problems. Even twenty years ago, diabetes was rare. Modern diseases are not drug deficiency diseases, they are the direct consequences of a modern western lifestyle.

But this information does not make money, whereas Western disease does make money.

Big Pharma - the sicker the population, the more drugs they sell
Health insurance companies - the higher the premium, the more money they collect
Government - the healthcare industry grows regardless of recession or depression

Copyright (c) Dr. Liz Miller
Copyright(c)2006 : Dr Liz Miller
Comments (2)
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As biomedical engineer, I respectfully disagree to the arguement that biomedical animal research has become a "cult." Although, I do understand your point and how the general public might take a similar view on animal research. I have strong ethical convictions and always follow the highest standards in lab animal well-being. Just as in any facet of lif, there will always be people with malicious intentions and those that abuse and neglect, and they should be punished under the fullest extent of the USDA and IACUC. 

I understand your anger with the big 3 that seemingly prosper off the rest of our suffering. But there is another side to the story..  there are many benefits that have been found due to animal research. Examples such as tuberculosis, polio, breast cancer and others, as well as many insights to the complexity of biological systems. Hundreds of years ago, scientists would have human dissections in the town square, but of course that is unthought of today. Well, science still needs to be pushed forward while maintaining our character and ethical integrity. 

In developed countries, Tuberculosis outbreaks were effectively reduced to zero by the 1980'safter a cure was found to work in guinea pigs. Also, in developed countries, polio was erradicated when testing in rheus monkeys discovered a cure. And these days, most cancers, especially breast cancer have a significant majority of survivors compared to years ago, primarily due to animal research. Spinal cord injury patients and quadraplegics with "locked in" syndrome can now have a chip implanted in their brain to communicate to the outside world via computer, thanks to research in neuroscience with monkeys. And to some extent there are no fully comparable animal models, but in parts they make great ones...  monkeys have very similar brains, race horses are animal "athletes" that are researched for osteoarthritis, pigs hearts, heart valves, and vascular tissue are now implanted into humans because human bodies dont reject the porcine tissue. etc

So yes I agree the western world has a screwed up diet,lifestyle, and big buisiness...  but that does not overshadow the breakthroughs in healthcare and biomedical research that animal research has given us. And the bottom line is... if you or one of your loved ones got diagnosed with any terrible disease, western or not, like diabetes or paralysis, would you not want to provide them a better quality of life if you could?  


Timothy E. Laird

Bioengineer, Physicist

Clemson University

Dr. Miller,

Regardless of my personal opinions pertaining to you point, the photo you have posted with it is deceitful and unnecessary!  I do not know what happened to the monkey in the photo but it appears to have wounds similar to those obtained during an aggressive attack from another animal.  

Your statements address the western world's lack of requirement for laboratory animal models which is irrelevant to the photo of the injured or deceased monkey.  If you would like to illustrate your view with an image, please find one that actually contains a laboratory animal with a reference to what is or has occurred with the animal during research.  This would be appropriate to illustrate your point as opposed to the shock and false slander of the photo currently posted.

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