Medical nihilism: having skepticism in the effectiveness of medical interventions (other than magic bullets like insulin + vaccines, many of the things we think work, don’t).
We grossly overestimate medicine/surgery benefits and underestimate side effects. https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/06/04/richard-smith-the-case-for-medical-nihilism-and-gentle-medicine/ …
"Disease-mongering tactics include describing a normal state as abnormal, loosening diagnostic standards for a disease so that more people are diagnosable, offering a nebulous theory of the causal basis of the disease, recruiting opinion leaders to promote the disease category.."
"A striking illustration of overtreatment involves the use of psychiatric medications in infants. In 2014 nearly 20,000 prescriptions for antipsychotic medications were written for infants aged two years and younger, and Prozac was prescribed 83,000 times for such infants"
"Data from one of these trials suggested that teenagers on paroxetine were more likely to attempt suicide… The corresponding publication downplayed this finding and falsely claimed paroxetine was an effective treatment for childhood depression."
"Within [social epidemiology] there is near consensus that the most important causes of health and health disparities... involve broader features of society, such as access to clean drinking water and nutrition, and equitable distribution of societal resources..”
Closing words of Medical Nihilism: "We would be better off shifting our attention away from the magic bullet model of medical interventions as developed in the last century and towards ways of restructuring society that truly benefit the health of humanity." 👏🏾
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