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No rejection of Allopathy, but...

by Guttika, Taiping, Malaysia, The Buddhist Channel, Oct 17, 2005

Referring to the letter "No need to categorically reject Western Medicine" by Tim McNamara, I think it would be stupid to categorically reject allopathy (which is a more accurate description of western medicine or modern medicine). Although my letter, which was referred to by Mr McNamara, did include critical remarks of allopathy, it did not advocate a categorical rejection.

If I were involved in a bad accident and needed to be stitched up, I wouldn't go to a Chinese, Ayurvedic or chiropractic physician. Neither would I go for a qigong, reiki, pranic or any other energy healing. I don't think they can help me enough. I'd go to an allopathic hospital first because I think that's where I can get the best help in such a case. I'd reject antibiotics though. (I've got a better, safer and more effective option.)

However, when it comes to diseases—like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, mental illness and muscular dystrophy—allopathy plainly does not have a good track record. How can it, when it focuses on removing symptoms and not causes? How can it, when it does nothing to promote health? How can it, when in removing symptoms, it works against the body instead of with the body and produces negative side effects?

When we find funeral parlour managers saying that less people die when doctors strike, I think it's worth taking notice. When we see a nation where it's doctors and medical system annually kill far more people than accidents and guns put together, I think it's worth taking notice. In countries where this "modern medicines" is little relied upon, we don't see this pattern. That any form of medicine should even result in even a single death, when it is supposed to promote health, is utterly preposterous. What kind of medicine is that? That's not medicine, it's quackery.

Actually, I gave an outdated, incomplete and underestimated report compared to this one, Death By Medicine by Gary Null, Ph.D., who has put a number of studies together to show that iatrogenic deaths in the US is an estimated conservative number of 783,936 per year. That's 2202 per day. To put this in a more imaginable perspective, if there were an average of 200 people on an airplane, that is equivalent to 11 airplanes dropping from the sky and killing everyone on board on a daily basis.

Now, how many people have "folk remedies, 'natural' healing practices and the like" killed?

Looking at all that, it is entirely beyond common sense to continue to deem allopathy as "generally more efficacious and reliable". Should we go by hard facts or preconceived notions?

So, what I wrote was not "an anti-medicine rant disguised as commentary on the death of Sayadaw U Silananda." Having learnt such important information, I think I should share it with others, particularly the many faithful devotees who are unknowingly hastening the deaths of their dear masters. Instead of having them see the folly of their choices with hindsight, I'd like to propose foresight.

As I see it, Sayadaw U Silananda has left us prematurely mainly due to a serious lack of understanding about health. I believe that many more would die that way, as it is difficult to go against prevalent ideas ingrained in us since young. As a German proverb goes, an old error is always more popular than a new truth. Yet, what must be said must be said. At least I try.

By the way, Mr McNamara said that "the death of Sayadaw U Silananda is quite likely to have been a result of his tumor." I'd like to draw his attention to a sentence in the letter that he referred to: "The report also explicitly stated that there was no specific evidence of residual or recurrent tumor." That was a statement made by the sayadaw's devotee who has been close to him through his ordeal in the hospital. So, how could something that was not there cause his death?

I should also make it clear here that my earlier letter was not meant to make the sayadaw's devotees sorry over the matter. In fact, I feel deeply sorry for them. It must have been difficult for them. I hope they forgive themselves too, for they too are but victims.

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