Saturday, August 25, 2007

First Do No Harm

My late Grandfather, H. Phillip Venable, M.D., F.A.C.S., was a renowned ophthalmologist in St. Louis. In Jan. of 1987, He published an article in Metro Medicine, the journal of the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society. It was entitled, Marketing Has it's Price - Can We Afford It? At that time, He was very concerned about the medical profession being corrupted by marketing. As we see today his concerns were very well founded.

Today the profession seems to have forgotten it's most basic tenet. Many prescription drugs do more harm than good, and the practice of medicine has taken a step down. In my Grandfather's day, doctors were more than just prescription writers. Today, a doctor without the ability to write them isn't much use.

Because of his contacts and connections, I received consultations with people who were among the best in their specialty. If they were well-respected in the fields of psychiatry, neurology, psychology or any of the sub-specialties I saw them. From 1990-93, I saw doctors everywhere from Johns Hopkins to the Mayo Clinic. They said I exhibited symptoms of everything from Schizophrenia to sociopathy. Unfortunately, I was medicated as if I had all of those conditions. As one can imagine, the affects of all those chemicals on an adolescent brain were severely detrimental. In 1994 my real problem, Asperger's disorder, was added to the DSM.

After all my experiences with illicit and prescription drugs, I have come to one conclusion. I would rather be harmed by an untested, unproven substance than one than one the FDA approved as safe.