Monday, April 21, 2014
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Keep Taking the Tablets

Keep Taking the Tablets

Keep Taking the Tablets – A Guest post by Flaxen Saxon

What is it about the word ‘alternative’ that lends undue respectability to the words that follow? For example we have ‘Alternative Energy’, ‘Alternative Lifestyle’ and of course, ‘Alternative Medicine’. The word ‘alternative’ confers a patina of respectability to concepts that are often found wanting if only we are prepared to look a bit harder.

Many of us are critical of modern medicine and rightly so. Medicine is an evolving science and has yet to find cures and effective treatments for many common and often fatal diseases. And this is where ‘Alternative Medicine’ enters the fray. In fact the term ‘Alternative Medicine’ covers a whole host of so called ‘therapies’ from the down right bizarre and silly (yes homoeopathy, I’m talking about you) through to treatments which have acquired a certain degree of prestige, such as acupuncture; even conventional medical practitioners have become seduced.  And let us not forget the financial incentives. Alternative medicine is a big and largely unregulated business. It is estimated that in the US alone consumers spend 34 billion dollars annually on alternative therapies. Unscrupulous individuals are making a lot of money as ‘practitioners’. Undoubtedly there are those who are sincere and believe in the effectiveness of their therapies. Equally, there are those who are utter charlatans whose main concern is the fleecing of the gullible and desperate.

alternative-medicine pills

Adherents of alternative therapies often claim astonishing results for their respective treatments. Beware of ‘cure all’ therapies. Panaceas for all our ills do not exist; this applies to both conventional medicine and the alternative variety. Modern medicine is founded on sound scientific principles and is subject to the rigours and self righting mechanism of the scientific experimental method. This of course reflects the world of perfection, which has never existed, but at least medicine is well intentioned, and although progress is sometimes faltering, it is inexorably forward. This is not the case with alternative therapies. Indeed they often revel in their unconventional non-scientific approach. Or if they attempt to explain their mechanisms they invoke non conventional ‘science’ or weird esoteric principles beyond the reach of scientific scrutiny. And really, this is the important point: Modern medicine is based on the double blind clinical trial. To judge a treatment effective, or not as the case may be, it needs to evaluated in a medical trial with a suitably selected control group. The results are then published in a scientifically respected and peer reviewed journal. The process is not fast but is designed to weed out effective from the non-effective drugs, procedures and treatments. In contrast, most practitioners of the alternative usually have little time for rigorous procedure. When they claim ‘data’ supporting the effectiveness of their nostrums it is mostly in the form of personal testimony (not worth the paper it is not printed on). In other words, patients report that the treatment is effective. Here is the problem: How are we to judge a treatments true effectiveness? Sometimes disorders get better regardless of intervention; people exaggerate with respect to their illness and possible cure. Others are not really ill at all; people lie. The placebo effect is a real phenomenon. If we think a treatment is going to be effective then that may well be the case, irrespective of medical worth. The only way to distinguish between these possibilities and uncover a treatments true value is by well established medical and scientific principles.

Acupuncture alternative pills

But surely I hear you say: ‘Not all the so called alternative therapies should be judged together. Granted there some that are plain daft, but others such as acupuncture, are actually very effective for certain conditions’. A fair point. Of all the so called alternative therapies, acupuncture has received more than its fair share of scientific evaluation. It has some of the hallmarks of an effective treatment. It is an ancient practice (must be worthy then?) and a degree of physical intervention is involved; needles are inserted and stimulated, either manually or by electric current. It also has its own ‘pseudo-scientific’ principles. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the proposed rationale for its effectiveness, so I’ll briefly summarise: Practitioners believe that by inserting needles at specific node points (define please), the needles influence the body’s natural energy channels (Chi- nice word, but what does it actually mean?). Whilst this is the basis for a hypothesis it has not been borne up by scientific evidence. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the treatment is ineffective. It could simply mean that the proposed mechanism of action is wrong. So what do the studies show? As far as I’m aware, and I am more than happy to be contradicted, the only sound scientific evidence for the efficacy of acupuncture, for anything, has been for the management of pain; that’s it. Moreover, it is no more effective than conventional analgesic drugs. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take morphine or even Panadol. Other claims for acupuncture, as a treatment, are anecdotal and therefore completely worthless as evidence. To convince me otherwise I will require a reference to an article outlining a well designed and executed trial published in an established and respected scientific or medical journal.

I suppose we all want and yearn for quick fixes in life. This applies to many things from our money woes through to our health, and yes, it pays to be questioning and prudent in all things (this person does not exist). In some ways bad decisions in many of life’s activities have no long acting effects on our ultimate well being. Bad decisions with regard to our medical conditions can, and do, have catastrophic consequences. Steve Jobs, the highly talented and mega rich co- founder of Apple died in 2011 of pancreatic cancer. No surprise there. Pancreatic cancer is associated with a particularly poor prognosis. It is an aggressive disease and usually diagnosed when advanced. Once the disease has spread to other sites (metastasised) an early death is inevitable. Consequently, less than 1% of sufferers survive 5yrs post diagnosis. Not even the wealthy can circumvent medical reality. However, this is not quite true in Job’s case. Most pancreatic cancers are nasty adenocarcinomas. Jobs had a rare form of pancreatic cancer (islet cell neuroendocrine tumour) which is associated with a favourable prognosis and is very amenable to early treatment. It is estimated that between 80 to 90 percent of patients will still be around after 10 years-if treated. Jobs decided to eschew conventional medical treatment and opt for a treatment regime based on diet, herbs, acupuncture and spiritual consultation (God help us all!). After 9 months of ineffective ‘treatments’ he elected for surgery. By this time his tumour had spread and extensive surgery was therefore necessary.

steve-jobs alternative pills

Steve Jobs was an intelligent, demanding, egomaniacal perfectionist who also happened to be a Buddhist. He placed his faith in unconventional treatments of dubious provenance when he should have been undergoing effective, conventional, medical treatments which would have saved his life. The irony of course, is that the character traits which served him so well in his creative and business life failed him at the last, much to the exasperation of his family and doctors. I suspect, towards the end, Steve Jobs realised his folly, but by then no amount of chanting or chemotherapy could have saved his life.

Flaxen Saxon.

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50 comments

  1. I was going to sit down and write a riposte to this blinkered indoctrinated advertisement for the pharmaceutical petro-chemical industry but what would be the point. Flaxen Saxon has been schooled and brain-washed beyond help.

    All “conventional medicine” good

    All “alternative” bad

    Just as a small example:- Phage treatments have been pioneered in Russia but are banned in many countries. Why? because the money making medical cartel can’t patent or make money out of them. To have any drug or alternative therapy officially recognised means £millions has to spent on all sorts of “tests”. What are these test really about? They are there to safeguard the strangle hold that the petro-chemical industry has on western medicine.

    Recently in France a guy was about to have his leg amputated after an accident because “conventional” treatment had infected his wound and he developed gangrene. Courageous doctors banned from using phage treatments saved his leg.

    I had two cousins die of cancer. They were pumped full of toxic chemotherapy and blasted with radiation. They both died in agony. The simple fact is just as many people survive cancer that DON’T have treatment.
    The “cancer industry” always gives 5 year survival rates as cures. They never show the deaths from heart failure and brain damage caused by their treatments.

    I suggest Flaxen Saxon you read Malignant Medical Myths by Joel M. Kauffmann. Ph.D

    A final point because you brought up Steve Jobs.

    The medical profession is the biggest killer of people. You never hear about all of the people who are killed by “conventional” medicine but you will always hear of one person who isn’t cured by an alternative therapy.
    Think of all of those so called “stars” that have submitted to chemo and radiation. Most of them are dead.

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    • Hear hear I’m glad you posted that it’s saved me a lot of time . I would like to go on and explain about acupuncture meridian points and chi .As this knowledge has only been around for at least four thousand years and used by billions of people , it must be a load of bollocks .

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      • Just because something is old doesn’t give it special prominence and necessarily make it right. The ancients were more than capable of coming up with their own bollocks. The so called science behind acupuncture is shit and involves ‘knowledge’ but not as we know it.

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      • At risk of stirring up a hornet’s nest, might I point out that having been established for thousands of years and having many followers/practitioners does NOT in itself make a dogma valid. Outside of the medical context, we are lumbered with several organised religions – mutually contradictory – which demonstrate the point in hand. Even if you accept one of these as true and valid (and I obviously don’t) the implication is that the other ones must therefore be invalid.

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        • Matt, I totally agree. An article outlining the absurdity of the concept of god would be a worthy exercise. Do want to take on this project, or shall I?

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          • For heaven’s sake don’t do that, man. You risk offending the Muslims. ;-)

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          • I would, however I fear that several people more intelligent and eloquent than me have already tried this one :) Some have even written whole volumes! Good luck if you try it – and it’d be well worth a read – but I doubt many opinions will be swung since minds tend to be fairly set on this matter.

            I don’t have a disproof of the concept of “god”, in fact it can be argued that such a concept is not falsifiable (thereby making “god exists” meaningless scientifically, but we knew that anyway). Whether or not people believe in a “god” doesn’t really matter to me, though I find it difficult to rationalise personally, so long as the voice of that “god” in their head doesn’t start encouraging them to harm others. The problem comes when the “god” they believe to exist is nothing more than a set of silly old stories which have almost certainly been employed from the beginning as a means of control and nothing more. Then there’s the issue of all the transcription errors (and intentional subversive alterations) over the centuries!

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    • Mr Silver, I can see that you are passionate about the subject. Most families have been touched by cancer, including my own. I do resent the accusation that I have been ‘brain washed’. This is not the case. My opinions are my own and are formed after careful and reflective thought. Every family has endured the ravages of cancer and my point, if you would take the time to read through my article again, is that all treatments need to be evaluated. This may seem harsh, especially if a family member has cancer. But if we are to do our best we owe it our families and to everyone to take on board the best that modern medicine have to offer. Yes, chemotherapy and radiation are crude therapies, but they do, on occasions work very well. I would ask you to consider the trials that have been ongoing into childhood acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL). Today, 90% of children diagnosed with ALL are long term survivors. Childhood leukaemia was virtually incurable until the 1960’s. The increased survival rate is down to well designed and executed trials. If my granddaughter had cancer I would demand that she received the best that modern has to offer. Acupuncture doesn’t save lives; conventional medicine does. The reason that you hear of conventional medicines failures is that data is collected. Alternative treatments are unregulated and data is not collected, at least not by a central agency. The system is not perfect but has built in safe guards and checks which are designed to help in the process of continuous improvement. I take your point about the pharmaceutical industry. I do have very strong opinions about that which I don’t have time to discuss in this post. Perhaps I’ll deal with those issues in another article. Watch this space MrS.

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      • You try to deflect by bringing up acupuncture as a way of ridiculing. It won’t work.

        Here’s something your wonderful medical establishment doesn’t like publicised.

        1000 women aged 40 – 50
        8 actually have breast cancer. Remember that number …8
        992 do NOT have breast cancer Remember that number …992.
        All have mammograms.
        77 test positive yes .. 77 Remember that number.
        91% are FALSE and 9% are correct.
        Just think of the damage and mutilation your so called “conventional” medicine inflicts on these women. The toxic chemicals they are pumped full of in the name of MONEY yes MONEY. Because that is what your profession has become. Doctors are just extensions of the pharmaceutical industry. Push this drug Dr Flaxen and have a nice holiday or some nice lunches. Do NOT on any account use your own initiative and make sure you follow the rules otherwise we will have you struck-off or be ridiculed by your peers.

        You like to say you think for yourself… but do you?

        How many in the scientific and medical World who have spent their lives following procedures that are eventually proven to be false are willing to give up a live’s work and admit they were wrong….. Very few.

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        • First off I’m not sure that your ‘Breast Cancer’ scenario is correct. You seem to imply that radical treatment would be undertaken in the ‘false positive’ cases. The diagnosis is not reliant on the mammogram alone. A whole battery of tests would be initiated and if necessary a needle biopsy performed. If the lab finds that the tissue is malignant, then treatment would begin. Many treatments for cancer are particularly nasty and yes on a significant number of occasions the treatment kills the patient. That is the reality. But what is the alternative? Not to treat the patient. Surely you are not advocating that we suspend a proven treatment because it has unpleasant side effects? Without treatment breast cancer patients will die of their disease. With treatment a significant proportion will become long term survivors. Is the treatment ideal? No, but we can only apply treatments that we have in the ‘Medical tool box’. New innovative treatments for cancer are coming into practice everyday. I fervently hope a day will come when we are able to dispense with chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer sufferers- but that time has not come, yet. And yes, doctors are subject to human foibles and limitations, just like everyone. But the vast majority of doctors are well intentioned, dedicated professionals (Harold Shipman excepted) and apply best practice when treating patients. I share your concerns about the pharmaceutical industry, but to imply that all doctors are money grubbing charlatans is not rooted in fact or reality.

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          • Ok. You say most doctors are well meaning and only want to help. I’m sure this is true when they enter the profession but work-load and the system I should imagine soon changes them.
            Doctors seem to be in the business of treating symptoms rather than the underlying cause of ill health. “Have this pill Mrs Jones.” “Not working? OK let’s try this pill”. Until Mrs Jones rattles like a pill jar and is so full of side effects she doesn’t know where she is. It happened to my mother.
            Here’s a question Flaxen Saxon. You are a doctor and you have a patient who doesn’t respond to any of your chemicals but there are a few that are not allowed because they are not “authorised” and because they cannot be patented. Would you use them and risk being struck-off even if there was a good chance they would work?
            In the USA you are not allowed to use Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) and it’s derivative MSM only in one specific use. I refer you to the work over many years of Doctor Stanley W Jacob http://www.dmso.org/
            Read it and see what you think. It may change your mind. Over the years I have become a knowledgable “amateur” in “Alternative Health” and you are right about one thing. Most are bogus. Many though really do work but are ignored or hidden by the mainstream medical profession or are ridiculed. Just imagine the damage to the multi-billion cancer/aids/malaria industry if a cheap simple treatment was discovered. (which it has been).

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            • Mr Silver, do you ever sleep. Have you noticed that it only me and thee that are commenting. It seems that you are making some sweeping assumptions here. There are some doctors who treat symptoms and there are some that are concerned with prevention. Doctors should be prepared to treat their patient’s to their best of their ability. Treating them with drugs/procedures that are unproven is negligent. Perhaps you judge me harshly. I comment about alternative medicine because it is something I happen to know about. In addition to my other professional qualifications I am also a qualified Reflexologist. I trained because I really wanted to learn about alternative medicine. A reflexology massage is amazing- George, try it, believe me it relieves so much stress and tension. Does it cure any disease- absolutely not at all? The so called ‘zone therapy’ that underpins the therapy is total crap. But this doesn’t mean that reflexology is not therapeutic. For relieving tension and lowering blood pressure, good. For curing cancer, bad. My father died of adenocarcinoma when I was young. The GP fucked up with his initial diagnosis and my father died. The doctor made a genuine mistake of judgement. If the doctor had made a sound decision perhaps I could be sitting enjoying a beer with my beloved dad today, instead of drinking alone. My point is George, the world is not perfect and neither are the people that live in it. I suppose we just have to get on and do our best, otherwise what is the point?

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    • Phage treatment, whilst not in the present medical mainstream, does not constitute “alternative medicine” in the context being described. It has a mechanism of action which is well-described using existing currently-accepted scientific principles and is able to be tested and evaluated both in human subjects and in-vitro. The reasons for its lack of general use are probably nothing to do with a conspiracy by pharmaceutical companies (after all, they already produce and profit from vaccines manufactured from biological non-petrochemical sources). More likely:

      1. There is a general ignorance of it as an available option, due to it not being taught as a mainstream medical intervention.

      2. There is an understandable (although probably misplaced) fear of introducing live viruses into an already ill patient.

      3. It was predominantly a Soviet development and has therefore been shunned by the West for primarily political reasons. Please bear in mind that whilst there was a lot of sound science done by the USSR (not least the space programme and alternative theories – soundly based on physical and chemical reasoning – on the origin of crude oil) there was also a fair amount of politically-motivated quackery (some things never change!) such as their prevailing approach to crop science. This makes scientists naturally-suspicious of Soviet claims although the suspicion can be allayed by reproducing experimental results.

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      • It is still what we would term “alternative” as it is not authorised by the medical cartel.

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  2. A thought-provoking posting Mr Saxon.

    I suspect most people in the west grasp for the Alternatives after the ‘conventionals’ have failed. Who can blame them?

    As you say, there as some charlatans and snake-oil salesmen out there.

    Others, like the arrogant (I always know best) Jobs, at least put-his-money-where-his-mouth was.

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    • Thankyou Mr Public, this is one of the few positive responses to my article. I knew when i penned this piece I would get ‘some stick’ The detractors have yet to come up with a coherent arguments to the important points I have raised.

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      • “The detractors have yet to come up with a coherent arguments”

        You mean they haven’t come up with something that confirms your bias.

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        • Mr Silver, Please be more specific. I wrote an article about the ineffectiveness of alternative medicine. A subject I happen to know something about. If you would like to comment further then I suggest you supply relevant references to support your argument other wise what is the point? Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But if you would like to continue this debate I require informed opinion. Perhaps you would like to pen an article yourself outlining your views. I am more than happy to read through your contribution and comment accordingly.

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  3. Re Doctors not being charlatans:

    Ritalin and Prozac to kids, Thalidomide to pregnant mothers, all peer reviewed and tested and coming out smelling of roses no doubt, prescribing a useless course of antibiotics for viral infections and then blaming antibiotic resistance on patients for not completing their course.
    Come on Mr Saxon we’re not that stupid.

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  4. Dear Mr Spackkers, I’m not saying that established medical practice is perfect. But it is a whole lot better than the alternative variety. The cases you outline, are where we ‘fucked it up’. But what about the success stories? Earlier I mentioned the great strides achieved with childhood ALL. Today, 90% of kids diagnosed with this terrible cancer get to go home. If you read some of my responses to Mr Silver, you will see I am not uncritical or blinkered of conventional medicine.As an aside, you mention the drug thalidomide. Today this drug is used as an effective treatment for adult leukaemia.

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    • What is your considered view of vaccination? I’ve heard a lot of stories about mercury in vaccines and that vaccination has caused brain damage to reportedly countless children who’ve developed autism as a result. Can you cast any light on this (seeming) hysteria?

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      • Sorry I didn’t phrase that very well; there’s some ghastlyl faggot on telly right now presenting some award show and I’ve been unsuccessful in getting the missus to mute the sound which is terribly distracting.

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      • Sorry I didn’t phrase that very well; there’s some ghastly faggot on telly right now presenting some award show and I’ve been unsuccessful in getting the missus to mute the sound which is terribly distracting.

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  5. Sorry I posted that twice; that ghastly faggot is seriously distracting me. :(

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    • Hi Earwig, where have you been? I’m intrigued; tell me more about the mincing faggot on the telly? Could it be Dale, ‘penis pirate’, Winton? I don’t know why but John Inman came to mind. But he couldn’t be presenting as I’m sure he has gone to the great ‘fudge packing factory in the sky’. Anyway, as usual, I digress. I think you are alluding to the preservative thiomersal which does contain mercury. I think it has been discontinued, but I could be wrong. I suppose the short answer to your question is that there is no sound evidence that it causes autism. Unfortunately because of the ‘scare’ it stopped some parents from immunising their kids, with predictable results. Now, as you might have guessed, I do have strong views about the pharmaceutical industry and the way it conducts its business. My spirited exchange with Mr Silver has inspired me to pen a piece about the ‘Pharmaceutical Industry’. I’ll submit to Max in the relatively near future. Mrs Saxon thinks I spend far too much time doing this sort of thing and thinks I would be better employed putting up shelves and mowing the garden, or at least applying myself vigorously to her strident and constant sexual needs. Luckily for me she has stopped reading my shit.

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      • You may think by my aggressive stance to your article that I’m totally against the medical profession. I’m not. When it comes to intervention like surgery they are indeed admirable.
        My argument with you is your blinkered all Conventional medical treatment is wonderful. All alternative is bad and operated by charlatans.

        More people as a percentage of the population are succumbing to cancer. Now why is that? “Today, 90% of kids diagnosed with this terrible cancer get to go home” where do you think they might be getting this cancer from? Couldn’t be the vaccines they are pumped full of..could it?

        You mentioned sex…… I vaguely remember what that’s all about. Now I know why I’m always putting shelves up.

        I’m sure if we wer in the pub together we would eventually get on just fine.

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  6. I suspect you are right about the pub. We could drink a few pints and put the world to rights. The thrust of my article is really about methodology. How are we to determine whether a treatment is effective or not? I don’t really care whether a treatment is labelled alternative or mainstream- the important point is, does it work? Modern medicine is founded on sound principles. Does it get it right, all of the time, no. Are medical practitioners infallible, unfortunately not. But it really is the best we have. Homeopathy, aromatherapy, reflexology and acupuncture cure no ills. But they do take money from the desperate and vulnerable. I sympathise with your concerns about the pharmaceutical industry. If anything, you have inspired me to write a critique about how the industry goes about its business. By the way, I drinks Bank’s bitter, when I can get it.

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  7. “The word ‘alternative’ confers a patina of respectability to concepts that are often found wanting ” , and I’m reading this in the alternative media ?
    Anyway Mary Jane always makes me feel good and you can’t get that on a prescription .

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  8. An alternative platform that allows the free expression of opinion, of all stripes (and yes some of them are informed). As for drugs…. A bit of Mary Jane would do very nicely now. Might keep me mellow.

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    • Dear Flaxen Saxon,

      As you are threatening to do a “Flaxen on Drugs” what is your take on “Exit” and the right to “top ones self”?

      With your knowledge on drugs how about publishing the formula used at Dignitas. It would save a lot of pain and suffering as well as money.

      I’m a very fit 71 year old (alternative health) but feel that in about 40 years I might find the necessity to make a swift and pleasant exit stage left. It would be nice and reassuring to have a little something stashed away for a rainy day.

      My Norwegian friend and a Norwegian pal of his both have “exit-pills” in a safe deposit box. They bought them in Mexico. I’m not sure if I would trust them to work properly.

      This may be a subject for an off-line communication. I make all of my own “medicines”.

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      • Fuck pills and injections. I personally prefer something more certain. I’ve often thought about what I would do if I were facing a terminal illness and looking at the choice between a thoroughly unpleasant and drawn-out death on the one hand (fuck the Liverpool Care Pathway kind of approach; you can shove that) and a trip to Dignitas on the other. I can’t be arsed to go to Switzerland and don’t much relish the procedure, anyway. A much better idea which is completely painless both to oneself and one’s wallet is inhaling helium. Any inert gas would do, I guess, but helium’s easily obtainable just about anywhere. Plus you can amuse yourself before your final demise by doing Donald Duck impressions. What more could one possibly want?

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      • George, I am a firm believer in ‘death with dignity’. However, I suspect your rude good health is due to good genes, rather that ‘alternative’ medicine- although I do worry about your mental health. As for living for another 40 years, I won’t hear of it! Consider what a burden you will be on the good British taxpayer. This money would be better spent on providing luxury accommodation for illegal immigrants. As usual, Earwig has offered admirable advice on the matter; might be a giggle. All I ask is that when you ‘pop a clog’ I am there to witness your demise. This is purely from an observational scientific perspective, of course. Hope you don’t mind if I bring a box of beers just to toast your good health and provide solace before you shuffle, or slump, towards the light….. Don’t forget: ‘Keep taking the tablets’.

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  9. Dear Max
    I hope you can forgive this indulgence but prompted by the writings of Flaxen Saxon and his stand on medicine:-

    Conventional good. Alternative bad. (and his general piss-taking)

    I would like to offer an ALTERNATIVE regime that will probably mean that you never darken the door of a dentist again.

    Here is the scenario.

    For many years my teeth were troublesome because of gum-disease in my teens. Loose teeth and constant battle to retain the rest. Deep scaling and various and constant treatments (conventional) plus frequent visits to the dentist have been my lot. I was told nothing could be done except continuous cleaning and scaling.

    I now have a brilliant dentist in France (a Dutchman). Needless to say despite all of his efforts i had a tooth taken out because of an abscess. Needless to say I was pissed-off.

    Enter ALTERNATIVE self-help. My visit to my pal and dentist was unbelievable. He cannot get over the fact that my gums are perfect and that my loose teeth are no longer loose. He kept muttering unbelievable!

    He wanted to know how I did it. This is the system:-

    Put half a cap of peroxide (10 volumes) and half a cap of water together. Dip your electric toothbrush into the mixture and clean your teeth. You can also clean your tongue with it. DON”T use toothpaste.
    Spit out the residue and then (THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT) take a teaspoon of Xylitol crystals. Let this dissolve in your mouth and swish it between your teeth for about 3 – 5 minutes. Spit it out DO NOT RINSE YOUR MOUTH OUT THE XYLITOL MUST REMAIN COATED TO YOUR TEETH. Do this 2 or 3 times a day.

    What is Xylitol and how does it work. Xylitol is a kind of “alternative” sugar. Xylitol is actually good for you whereas “conventional” sugar isn’t. The bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease eat the Xylitol but cannot metabolise it so die of virtually being over-fed. Your teeth will begin to feel clean and you wil get less and less plaque. You will also wake-up in the morning without “morning-breath”.

    Flaxen Saxon please feel free to pooh pooh this because no double-blind tests have been conducted using £millions. Stick to your toothpaste full of poisonous fluoride.

    As for being a burden on the state I live in France now and am not a burden to anyone (except my wife).
    I also believe that I have a better chance of pissing on Mr Saxon’s grave before he on mine.

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  10. Come along, gentlemen! Enough of this nonsense! Surely we can agree to differ on matters we both hold strong opinions on, can we not? Now fuck off the pair of you and sin no more. ;-)

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    • Fair enough. It looks like Mr Silver and I have strong views on this issue. When I posted this article I knew that I was in for some stick- fair enough. But the exchange between me and George is taking on the nature of a personal duel. Time to call time methinks. I appreciate that my brand of humour is not for everyone. ‘Max Farquar’ is the only site which will post my stuff and I’m grateful for that. George, I am prepared to bury the hatchet and to shake your virtual hand and accept that this is a disagreement amongst gentlemen.

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      • Fair enough…… but don’t keep taking the tablets.

        Try the tooth regime though. It really works. It takes about 6 months. And if you are worried about it being un-proven it was first investigated and researched by a professor of dentistry who then was completely ignored.

        Cheers!

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        • Actually George, I wouldn’t consider using hydrogen peroxide as an alternative therapy. It has excellant sterilising and cleaning properties. It will also whiten your teeth and is used in many proprietry teeth whitening products. On this we can agree.

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  11. I am fascinated by the arguments here – notably because my daughter is a Superintendent Therapeutic Radiographer.

    To my certain knowledge she has never given anyone a heart attack nor has she ever caused them brain damage.

    To suggest that all alternatives treatments are crap is in itself crap. However, you do not cure cancer with reflexology as you have pointed out. Or with homeopathy. Or with acupuncture. But can these treatments benefit the patient? Of course they can, if only by helping them endure the treatments that are curing them.

    A friend of mind has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer and is considering High Frequency Ultrasound which is being trialled as an alternative to radiotherapy. It’s inconclusive so far but is being trialled to establish its effectiveness. New things are being tried all the time – but in a scientific manner.

    Let’s be honest, Steve Jobs death certificate should record the cause of death as ‘terminal stupidity’ but its his body and ultimately its his decision what treatment regime he choses. This is true for all of us.

    But please don’t accuse my daughter of deliberate criminal assault as that’s just plain stupid as well as offensive. She does her best with the tools she has – but if you want to die, that’s your choice!

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    • For some reason my responses don’t seem to be getting published. Anyway, you can email me directly using the button thingy on my blog

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  12. Hello Mr Dioclese, glad to hear from you. I think that I would like to comment to you. Perhaps if you contact Max or Microdave they will gve you my email address and I will give you my considered opinion on your comment.

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    • For some reason my responses don’t seem to be getting published. Anyway, you can email me directly using the button thingy on my blog

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      • And now there’s two of them. How strange….

        Never mind

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        • Sorry about that. I don’t know why, other than to say the anti-spam system seems to occasionally catch genuine (even regular) commenters. I’ve had to “approve” a few, but these just popped up without any input from me…

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      • Thanks Dioclese, I’ve already sent you a message.

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        • Oh – there’s likely another on in Max’s spam box. I tried to write the mail address longhand but it hasn’t published. Anyway, what I was trying to say is that I received a comment from FS on my scientology post, but no e-mail so if you sent one then best send it again…

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  13. Microdave, you admit the placebo effect but not alternative medicine which might have quite a deal of ind over matter. Me – I’m not so categorical. the human organism does strange things.

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    • Hi James, dis not Mr M posting it be me! I totally agree about the placebo effect, it is definitely real and can have positive effects on our health. And yes the human organism can do strange things (but are explicable if only we continue to look). Sometimes things just get better. This can even apply to cancer. Some cancers regress without treatment. However, this is rare and therefore worthy of comment and newsworthy and hence is more prominent that the vast majority of poor buggers who succumb. Complex biological factors underlie why we develop cancer and how it progresses. One reason concerns our immune system. The immune system not only protects us from bugs but also acts as internal surveillance system mopping up cancer cells. Cancer cells happen all the time and in most cases are detected by our immune system and destroyed. I don’t want to turn this post into a science lecture, but even when cancer takes hold sometimes the immune system steps up and destroys the cancer in a much efficient way than conventional chemotherapy agents. If someone can show me a treatment which supports in any way the immune systems response (evidence please) that helps this process them I am more than willing to acknowledge this. But then it leaves the realm of alternative medicine and enters the arena of conventional medicine- hence there is no argument.

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  14. Has Lord F. gone off on one of his legendary multi-day red wine benders or something? Seems to be a dearth of input from him lately (and Caratacus, too). If the Houses of Parliament get blown up tomorrow, we’ll know damn well what the blighters have been up to. ;-)

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  15. Indeed Mr E, I am also concerned…..

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