Medical Don’ts

Originally Written by: Mendelsohn, Robert, M.D.

In 1980, as he lay dying of cancer, an eminent 71 year-old internist, Dr. Frederick Stenn, made his final assessment of “Modern Medicine” in a letter to the New England Medical Journal published under the title: “Thoughts of a Dying Physician”. This is what he said: “Most physicians have lost the pearl that was once an intimate part of medicine – humanism. Machinery, efficiency, precision, have driven from the heart warmth, compassion, sympathy and concern for the individual. Medicine is now an icy science. Its charm belongs to another age. The dying man can get little comfort from the mechanical doctor.”

In view of the above statement, Dr. Mendelsohn, in his new book, Male Practice, has systematically, listed and exposed, many of the medical practices of today, which he feels are directly opposed to the welfare of the patient.


In 1980, the American Medical Association did finally abandon its support for the routine annual physical, and the American Cancer Society for routine annual mammography, pap smears, and chest X-rays. It took too long, but they had to cave in because of the overwhelming evidence that these procedures are actually dangerous, not just no good. In the case of the pap smear, many of the tests are inaccurate and unproven to begin with, and these deficiencies are compounded by false interpretation and inefficient, careless work in the labs. Medical testing laboratories are scandalously inaccurate. In 1975, the federal Center for Disease Control surveyed labs across the country and found that 10 to 40% of their work in bacteriologic testing was unsatisfactory, 12 to 18 % erred in blood grouping and typing, and 20 to 30% botched hemoglobin and serum electrolyte tests. In another nationwide survey, 50% of the high standard labs licensed for Medicare work failed to pass. In the labs studied by the CDC, 10 to 12% of the healthy specimens were reported to be diseased, causing patients to receive hazardous treatments when they were not really sick’.


One of the most dangerous weapons in Modern Medicine’s arsenal is the X-ray machine. Most doctors order X-rays carelessly and needlessly and either don’t know or don’t care about the damaging cumulative effects. Most doctors won’t warn you that X-rays can produce cancer in your breasts or leukemia in your unborn child. They’ll tell you that radiation is at such a low level that it can’t do any harm, just as I was told by my professors in medical school more than 30 years ago. Any doctor should know that there is no minimum level of radiation below which a woman is safe from harm. He should know that the radiation effects are cumulative – you can be damaged or destroyed by the combined effects of all the X-ray doses you have ever received. Many dentists insist that the radiation dosage is so minimal that even the cumulative effects couldn’t do any harm. This attitude is so common throughout the profession, and it defies the policy of the American Dental Association. Acknowledging that the cumulative effects of X-rays are dangerous, the ADA cautions dentists against the routine use of diagnostic X-rays.

Pregnant women need to be particularly cautious where X-rays are concerned. It is known that a single abdominal X-ray of a pregnant woman can predispose her child to leukemia. Women of childbearing age have a special need to be concerned about the cumulative effects of the X-rays they receive during the course of their lives. It is the accumulative radiation, not age in and of itself that influences the birth of a child with Down’s Syndrome.


Surgeons in America operate twice as often as those in England. I’m convinced that women have needless surgery because we have more surgeons than we need. Studies have repeatedly shown that the amount of surgery performed varies greatly from one locality to another and that this difference is not determined by medical need. When prepaid plans, in which surgeons are salaried, are compared with fee-for-service plans, the results are startling. Doctors whose income depends on the number of operations they perform, do 50 to 100% more surgery than those who receive the same salary no matter how many patients they put under the knife!

Preventive surgery does trouble me, and it should trouble you. Most surgeons regard the appendix, which they remove with impunity with little or no indication of infection, as another of God’s mistakes. In 1975, 784,000 appendectomies were performed in the U.S. and about 3,000 of the patients died. Most of them were described as “emergency” operations, yet one out of four of the appendixes that were removed were found to be perfectly healthy when they reached the pathology lab. Beyond the immediate risks of surgery, how will losing your “useless” appendix affect you for the rest of your life? Very little effort has been made to find out, but studies done by one eminent researcher showed that persons whose appendixes had been removed were twice as likely to develop cancer of the bowel. He concluded that the appendix may be important to the body’s resistance to all forms of disease. Sixty percent of all directors of approved residencies in general surgery and obstetrics-gynecology in the U.S. recommend removal of the appendix when uncomplicated hysterectomies are performed.

If Modern Medicine continues on its present course, one of every two women in the country will part with her uterus before she reaches the age of 65. Many doctors routinely remove the ovaries and tubes when they perform a hysterectomy, apparently caring little that their patient will then suffer the rigors of premature menopause. Even without removal of the ovaries and tubes, the removal of the uterus itself appears to have an acute effect on ovarian hormone production in some women, and headache, dizziness, hot flashes, depression, and insomnia can be produced, as well as suppression of libido. Studies have found reduced sexual drive in 60% of the women who have had their uterus and both ovaries removed.


Your morning newspaper often features headlines lauding a new “miracle drug” that has just appeared. You may find this reassuring, but you shouldn’t. An incredible percentage of the medicines doctors prescribe – possibly 3 out of 5 – simply don’t work. Many are prescribed in place of safer and more effective alternatives. Remind yourself that medicine hasn’t changed since two centuries ago when Voltaire wrote: “Physicians have been pouring drugs, about which they know little, for diseases, about which they know less, into human beings about whom they know nothing.”


I sometimes hear from pregnant women whose doctors are giving them tranquilizers and other dangerous drugs. They not only damage the mothers, but also risk inflicting deformities on the unborn child. There are few situations in which the administration of a drug during pregnancy can be justified. It is currently estimated that the typical pregnant woman receives an average of four drugs during her pregnancy, most of which entail a known or unknown potential risk to the fetus. Obstetricians are more inclined to seek the approval of the mother by displaying concern for her comfort than to protect the welfare of her unborn child. It is vital, therefore, that pregnant women educate themselves about drugs and try to avoid taking them throughout their pregnancy, because even after the first trimester there is still a great unknown risk. Danger lurks in every medication, whether intended for coughs and colds, constipation, relief of pain, insomnia, stomach distress, or symptoms of anxiety or depression. Evidence that aspirin can dramatically arrest the growth of human embryo cells was demonstrated a decade ago in a study done in England. The effects of aspirin include fetal deaths, birth defects, and bleeding in the newborn. High doses of vitamin C can produce jaundice. Bendectin is another case in point. This toxic drug is prescribed for the relief of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, although there is no solid scientific basis to believe that it works. Since nausea and vomiting are two of its side effects, it would be a miracle if it did work.


Over the last two decades I have read scores of scientific studies revealing the diseases and mortality rates suffered by users of the Pill. These women have been shown to have a higher incidence of cancer of the cervix, uterus, breast, and liver. The Pill has also been linked to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, gall bladder disease, pulmonary embolism, hypertension, and mental depression. Permanent sterility can also result. To these major effects can be added a score or more of lesser symptoms, ranging from vaginal infections to growth of hair on the face. The Pill wouldn’t have many takers if women were told that it alters hormonal balance to create a physiological dysfunction. The desired result is to interfere with a natural process – ovulation – by causing the body to malfunction. Thus, the Pill literally makes every woman who takes it sick. For some women, the immediate symptoms are mild and scarcely noticeable; for others, they are severe. But all of those who take it are exposed to potentially deadly risks. After all, the damage may not appear for 20 or more years.


Since the late 1960s, millions of American women have been supplied with these dangerous devices by their physicians. Few of them realized that the IUD could make them permanently sterile, perforate the uterus and migrate into the abdominal cavity, or cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). In 1974, the FDA released figures that linked 39 deaths to IUDs. Since 1970 more than a million women have suffered acute pelvic infections attributable to the devices. It is estimated that 20% of them – as many as 250,000 women – have been or will be rendered sterile by IUD-induced PID.

Doctors failed to consider a new hazard that the seven most widely used IUDs had in common. Each of them had a string attached that descended from the uterus into the vagina. This innovation was designed to enable women to determine whether their IUD was in place and to make the device easier to remove. At the outset doctors overlooked the fact that the strings provided an inviting path for bacteria to travel from the vagina into the uterus – and when this became known, they chose to ignore it. Because the lining of the uterus was irritated by the IUD, the bacteria found a hospitable environment in which to produce pelvic inflammatory disease. The infection could then spread to the ovaries and the fallopian tubes.

The insertion of foreign objects into the uterus as a means of birth control dates back at least two thousand years. Until the early 1960s, when they were co-opted by the population control proponents, American doctors refused to use them because they caused infections, peritonitis, and death. Only twenty years ago the use of IUDs was considered a form of malpractice, and warnings against their use were given to students in medical schools.


Your doctor won’t tell you, so I will: your own bedroom is safer than the hospital delivery room, and the hospital nursery is infinitely more threatening to your baby than a crib next to your bed. After working in hospitals for most of my life, I can assure you that they are the dirtiest and most deadly places in town. They are actually so germ-laden that 5% of all hospital patients contract new infections that they didn’t have when they arrived. All of these germs are hazards to the mother, of course. They are even more threatening to the newborn babies, whose immune systems are not yet fully developed. I am also concerned that the obligatory ritual of placing silver nitrate in the eyes of the newborn – theoretically to guard against gonorrheal infection – may be responsible for the higher incidence of astigmatism and myopia in the United States than in countries that don’t perform this ridiculous rite. Unfortunately for the baby, silver nitrate can cause blocked tear ducts during the first six months of life and more important, a chemical conjunctivitis that prevents the newborn baby from seeing.

The complications that a pregnant woman is told to fear are rarely a hazard when the baby is delivered at home. Most of them are real, all right, but they occur only because of the things the obstetrician does to the mother in the hospital after she gets there. A British report on perinatal mortality released in 1964 showed an overall mortality rate in hospitals that was more than double the mortality rate of babies born at home.

The turning point in taking the process of childbirth away from the mid-wives – and from mothers, as well, was the elimination of the birthing stool, on which mothers delivered babies by allowing natural contractions and gravity to do their work. Doctors began placing mothers flat on their backs on high tables, with their knees raised. This made it virtually impossible for them to deliver their own babies and assured that they would need a doctor to help. It has made having babies infinitely more difficult, perilous, and painful. The practice of laying birthing mothers flat on their backs was initiated to satisfy a kinky erotic aberration of France’s Louis XIV! Not surprisingly, other doctors soon concluded that what was good enough for the royal household must also be good for everyone else. They adopted the lithotomy position, apparently in the belief that Newton and Kepler were wrong, and that by royal edict the law of gravity had been repealed.

Since it obviously has no legitimate medical basis, you are entitled to ask why doctors continue to force mothers to have their babies while strapped down flat on their backs. The position itself creates the pathology that makes normal births abnormal. Until she is moved to the delivery room, the mother will be confined to her bed. She will be denied the freedom of movement and exercise that would relieve her tensions, ease her fears, expedite her labor, and reduce or eliminate her pain. Her baby will be exposed to the risk of damage from lack of nutrition and oxygen that the supine position may cause and the hazards that will result from its mother’s treatment with drugs. The mother’s pain will be increased, so drugs will be administered that will retard and prolong her labor. Labor will be induced by invading the uterus and rupturing the membranes, increasing the risk of infection and fetal damage or death. The mother will be further confined by the attachment of intravenous gadgetry to keep a vein open for administration of drugs and to provide nourishment, because she will not be allowed to eat or drink. A fetal monitor will be strapped to her abdomen or inserted into her uterus and screwed into the baby’s scalp. The mother’s pain becomes so unbearable that pain-killing injections are given that paralyze the lower half of her body. She can no longer feel her contractions and must be told when to push. Finally an episiotomy is performed. (When he performs an episiotomy, the doctor cuts through muscles and nerves, producing a numbness that sometimes persists for years, whereas natural tears are likely to be superficial so only a few stitches are required most of the time.) After delivering the baby, the doctor hurriedly cuts the cord before it has stopped pulsating, so the infant’s blood backs up in the mother. It is that mixing that produces erythroblastosis (Rh disease) in a subsequent child. He tugs on the cord to expedite delivery of the placenta, increasing the mother’s risk of hemorrhage. The mother’s risk of infection, already increased over the previous hours by multiple vaginal examination, becomes even greater. Next, he must repair the damage done to the perineum by the episiotomy he performed. This may cause sexual dysfunction later on. Finally in denial of everything that prompted the mother to go through this ordeal, the baby is whisked off to the newborn nursery, and the mother to the recovery room to sleep off the drugs. This is motherhood?

Reference: Male Practice by Robert Mendelsohn, M.D.


~ by 619 on November 19, 2009.

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