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20 Million Schoolchildren Have Been Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs Known to Cause Suicidal Thoughts

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A news article published in 2017 reported that, according to the latest data, a staggering 12.7 percent of all US citizens over the age of 12 were taking antidepressants.

  • Reflect On:

    With so many studies, information and evidence that there is such a big problem here, why are many doctors and parents still allowing children to take this kind of medication?

Before you begin...

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This article was written by Christina England for Greenmedinfo.com. This work is reproduced and distributed here with the permission. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here.

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“For many, antidepressants have been a long-term course of medication: 68 percent of people in the most recent survey said they’d been taking them for two or more years, and 25 percent had been taking them for more than a decade.” (source)

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In reality, more children are being prescribed these drugs than the public are aware of. This fact was highlighted by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) in their film, Psychiatry: an Industry of Death. They stated that currently around 20 million school children are being prescribed stimulants and psychotropic drugs.

https://www.cchr.org/videos/psychiatry-an-industry-of-death/introduction.html

This information is extremely worrying, especially when you consider that professionals worldwide have been linking the use of antidepressants to suicide, suicidal thoughts, and attempted suicide, for many years. Studies Prove that Antidepressants Can Lead Patients to Die by Suicide

In 2016, in her article titled 7 Facts About Depression That Will Blow You Away, holistic women’s health psychiatrist, Kelly Brogan, M.D., stated that:

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Despite what you’ve been led to believe, antidepressants have repeatedly been shown in long-term scientific studies to worsen the course of mental illness—to say nothing of the risks of liver damage, bleeding, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and reduced cognitive function they entail. The dirtiest little secret of all is the fact that antidepressants are among the most difficult drugs to taper from, more so than alcohol and opiates. While you might call it “going through withdrawal,” we medical professionals have been instructed to call it “discontinuation syndrome,” which can be characterized by fiercely debilitating physical and psychological reactions. Moreover,antidepressants have a well-established history of causing violent side effects, including suicide and homicide. In fact, five of the top 10 most violence-inducing drugs have been found to be antidepressants.” (Emphasis added)

Worryingly, Brogan highlighted the fact that the majority of prescriptions being written for antidepressants were actually being written by general practitioners and not psychiatrists, as one would expect. She wrote that:

Seven percent of all visits to a primary care doctor end with an antidepressant and almost three-quarters of the prescriptions are written without a specific diagnosis. What’s more, when the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health did its own examination into the prevalence of mental disorders, it found that most people who take antidepressants never meet the medical criteria for a bona fide diagnosis of major depression, and many who are given antidepressants for things like OCD, panic disorder, social p

Many different physical conditions create psychiatric symptoms but aren’t themselves “psychiatric.” Two prime examples: dysfunctioning thyroid and blood sugar chaos. We think (because our doctors think) that we need to “cure” the brain, but in reality we need to look at the whole body’s ecosystem: intestinal health, hormonal interactions, the immune system and autoimmune disordersblood sugar balance, and toxicant exposure.” (Emphasis added)

hobia, and anxiety also don’t qualify as actually having these conditions.” (Emphasis added)

In fact, according to Brogan, many individuals suffering with a physical condition can also display symptoms similar to those suffered by those patients with psychiatric disorders. If this is correct, then young children may be diagnosed with mental illness when they are not mentally ill but physically sick.

She stated that:

Brogan concluded that:

Depression is a message and an opportunity

It’s a sign for us to stop and figure out what’s causing our imbalance rather than just masking, suppressing, or rerouting the symptoms. It’s a chance to choose a new story, to engage in radical transformation, to say yes to a different life experience.”

If she is correct, then her paper is extremely worrying, as, according to research, children as young as one-year-old are being prescribed antidepressants.

One-Year-Old Prescribed Antidepressants

In 2016, it was reported that the Scottish National Health Service (NHS) had been prescribing antidepressants to children for many years.

In a report written by Harry Cockburn, published by the Independent in 2016, Cockburn stated that between January and May, the Tayside and Dundee National Health Service (NHS), prescribed antidepressants to approximately 450 children under the age of 18.

Furthermore, he continued with the extremely worrying statement that:

In 2014, the trust prescribed antidepressants to a one-year-old boy, according to figures obtained by the Dundee Evening Telegraph.” (Emphasis added)

Cockburn also stated that:

A spokesperson for NHS Tayside told the Evening Telegraph the drugs could be used to treat a number of different conditions beyond their most common use as a treatment for clinical depression.”

This being said, should antidepressants be given to children under the age of 18 at all? Cockburn continued his article by revealing that:

In January this year, the largest ever review of clinical study reports compiled by drug companies found teenagers were twice as likely to commit suicide if they were taking antidepressants.”

Concerned by what we had discovered, we decided to ask leading child psychiatrist Dr. Sami Timimi  what he believed was happening to our children.

Dr. Timimi is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Director of Medical Education in the National Health Service in Lincolnshire, Training Programme Director for East Midlands Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and a Visiting Professor of Child Psychiatry and Mental Health Improvement at the University of Lincoln, UK.

In an exclusive interview, we asked Dr. Timimi whether or not he believed that young children should be prescribed antidepressants.

He replied:

I believe that they should not. Doctors prescribe them because they can and we deal with difficult situations, but this leads to massive overprescribing and creation of long-term patients on medications that, according to the research, have little to no advantage over a sugar pill (placebo) but come with a range of side effects and withdrawal problems.”

Given his reply, we asked him whether or not there was a known link between antidepressants and suicide?

He told us that:

You are about twice as likely to experience suicidal impulses and behaviours if you are prescribed an ‘antidepressants’ compared to placebo in under 18s.”

We asked him if, over the years, he had noticed a rise in the number of children being labelled as mentally ill.

He replied:

Yes, and it has accelerated in the last ten years or so (possibly in connection with post financial crash austerity putting greater pressures on families and schools and therefore young people).”

We asked him if he believed that too many children were being labelled as mentally ill.

He replied:

I reject the notion that what they have is a mental illness/disorder, as most of what we call this is simply understandable reactions to life events and family circumstances. No one has demonstrated that any neurological or genetic abnormalities are connected with any of the so-called diagnoses we make. I think this is an unhelpful way of thinking about distress or behavioural difference, as it assumes something is wrong with the internal working of the child, and often, by accident, leads to creating more long-term patients. To make progress in how we help those who experience mental distress/behavioural difference as youngsters, we must first dispense with unscientific notions such as psychiatric diagnosis/disorders.”

Finally, we asked him what he believed were the alternatives to prescription drugs.

He replied that:

Everything else you can think of, from the variety of therapies (family, group, systemic, individual) to lifestyle (diet, exercise etc.), to focus on routines and social functioning, to everyday stuff like hobbies and spending more time with friends, etc.”

Given the fact that, according to Dr. Timimi and many others, there are many alternative therapies that professionals could be offering their patients before prescribing them antidepressants. We need to ask ourselves why so many young children are being prescribed these drugs in the first place, especially since research indicates that they can cause some children to have suicidal thoughts.

Latest Research Once Again Links Antidepressants to Suicide

In 2018, S.Stübner et al, conducted a study carefully analysing paperwork collected from 81 psychiatric hospitals during the period from 1993 – 2014. The team documented all single cases of suicidal ideations or behavior that had been judged as adverse drug reactions to antidepressant drugs.

They stated that:

Among 219,635 adult hospitalized patients taking antidepressant drugs under surveillance, 83 cases of suicidal adverse drug reactions occurred (0.04%): 44 cases of suicidal ideation, 34 attempted suicides, and 5 committed suicides were documented. Restlessness was present in 42 patients, ego-dystonic intrusive suicidal thoughts or urges in 39 patients, impulsiveness in 22 patients, and psychosis in 7 patients. Almost all adverse drug reactions occurred shortly after beginning antidepressant drug medication or increasing the dosage. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors caused a higher incidence of suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior as adverse drug reactions than noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants or tricyclic antidepressants, as did monotherapy consisting of one antidepressant drug, compared to combination treatments.”

Although their statistics could be seen by many to be somewhat limited, the team concluded that “their findings supported the view that antidepressant drugs can, in rare cases trigger suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour.”

The team stated that:

Special clinical features (restlessness, ego-dystonic thoughts or urges, impulsiveness) may be considered as possible warning signs. A combination therapy might be preferable to antidepressant drug monotherapy when beginning treatment.”

We believe that these statistics are extremely worrying, especially when you consider the fact that children as young one are being prescribed antidepressants.

However, according to evidence that we have uncovered, these links appear to have been known for many years, because, according to a special report published in 2006 by medical expert Dr. Peter R. Breggin, the FDA now require the manufacturers of antidepressants to highlight the potential risk of increased suicidality in children on their labels. He stated that:

As of 2005, the FDA now require the drug manufacturers to place elaborate warnings on their labels concerning the potential of these drugs to cause stimulating effects, including agitation, anxiety, irritability, emotional lability, aggression, hostility, and mania. The labels must also include a warning about increased suicidality in children.”

Furthermore, in his report, which highlights the lengths that drug companies can go to conceal crucial evidence from the public, Breggin explained in detail how, after being asked to give evidence in a trial concerning the widely used antidepressant Paxil, he was “empowered by the court to examine hundreds of cartons of drug company files contained in GlaxoSmith Klines’s sealed record room.” He wrote:

These files included Food and Drug Administration (FDA) correspondence and all of the company’s worldwide clinical trials and adverse drug reports for Paxil.

On July 21, 2001, my report in the form of an affidavit was sent to the judicial arbitrator in the case. It addressed GSK’s practices in the development and marketing of Paxil, and in particular its alleged withholding or manipulation of information about the drug’s dangerousness. Based on GSK’s proprietary files that have to this day never been made public, my report examined many factors, including (a) how quickly after the first dose can Paxil cause severe adverse reactions; (b) the actual rates of akathisia; (c) the actual risk of overstimulation causing agitation, irritability, and manic-like symptoms; (d) the actual rates of suicidality in adults; and (e) promotional claims made for the drug.”

He stated that:

The case against GSK was eventually “resolved” to the satisfaction of GSK and the Lacuzong family. GSK denied and continues to deny all of the allegations of negligence in developing and marketing Paxil. My impression is that a substantial amount of money was involved in the resolution of the case, although the amount was not disclosed. GSK at that time refused to unseal its records or to allow me to make public my findings, regardless of their significance for the FDA, medical profession, and public health.” (Emphasis added)

He concluded his report by adding several sections of his full report, which he has stated, can be found on his website. He stated that the sections that he had added to this report focused largely on Paxil-induced suicidality in adults.

Having read this report and his evidence, plus the evidence that we have highlighted in this article, leads us to conclude that too many young children are being prescribed dangerous, mind-altering drugs before their problems have been fully investigated.

For further research please read:

Psychiatric Drug Facts by Peter R. Breggin M.D. https://breggin.com/

CCHR: Exposing the Dangers of Antidepressants and Other Psychotropic Drugs—

Despite FDA/Psychiatric- Pharmaceutical Cover-Ups

Vested Interests Inventing “Chemical Imbalance” Theory to Sell Drugs https://files.ondemandhosting.info/data/www.cchr.org/files/Exposing_the_Dangers_of_Antidepressants_Despite_Cover-Ups.pdf

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3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

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Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

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Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.

  • Reflect On:

    How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

 Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.

What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,

It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.

Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.

This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.

According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.

These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.

When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.

Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.

That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.

Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:

Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”

This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:

As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.

In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:

“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.

For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.

As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.

There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.

That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.

The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –  Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)

This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.

Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.

The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.

Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.

In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.

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