Coronavirus: Patients Who Have Been Betrayed
Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA
I have absolutely no doubt that all around the world people have been betrayed by their politicians. Whether you think they have done it deliberately or through incompetence there can be no doubt that they have turned a health threat that has so far killed far fewer people than a bad flu into the biggest health, economic and social crisis that the modern world has ever seen.
But thatís no great surprise. We expect politicians to let us down. They are selfish and they always betray the electors. Itís the only thing theyíre any good at. No group of people in the world are quite as corrupt or as mendacious as politicians.
I am, however, surprised and massively saddened by the way we have been betrayed by people we might have expected to protect us Ė the leaders of three professions: the medical profession, the nursing profession and the dental profession. And it is the leaders I blame Ė the medical establishment.
These professions seem to have abandoned anyone not suffering from the coronavirus.
Around the world there is no consistency. In some areas, hospitals are shut entirely. In other areas, hospitals are open and even functioning fairly normally. In some countries patients who donít have the coronavirus, or might not have the coronavirus, are completely ignored and rejected as irrelevant and unsuitable for treatment. There is no science or logic behind the closures and the refusal of hospitals and medical centres to treat patients.
Lockdowns and social distancing rules have been imposed without much sense. It is now fairly widely known that most of the people who have died from the virus, or have been ill with it, were obese or diabetic or both, and many had more than three chronic diseases. The UKís Prime Minister probably suffered badly from the coronavirus because of his weight.
So why havenít governments selectively protected the individuals most likely to be at risk? As I said back in early March, it was nonsense to pick on perfectly fit over 70-year-olds to be the first to be put under house arrest.
The current treatment of patients with cancer, heart disease and other dangerous but treatable diseases is a grotesque scandal which has taken health care back to the Middle Ages. Patients, doctors and nurses have all been betrayed by the professionís leaders and by their governments and governmental advisors. Mental health problems are growing too. In California, a hospital has reported that it has seen a yearís worth of suicide attempts in just four weeks.
Itís the same with dentistry.
In some countries people with dental problems are being treated normally. I gather that in Ireland and Germany, for example, at least some dentists are providing treatment. In America there seems to be some confusion about what is and is not allowed. In Britain there is virtually no dental care available Ė even though most dentists say they are well-equipped with the necessary masks and gloves. Many dentists, particularly those in private practice are desperate to get back to work. Dentists working for the government may still get paid but private dentists are receiving nothing and their insurance policies are probably not any good. Many dentists warn they will go bankrupt and are desperate to get back to seeing patients.
Strangely, in the UK it seems that no one within the dental profession itself has the authority to force dentists not to work. The General Dental Council says it cannot force dentists to close and the Care Quality Commission also says it cannot force dentists to refuse to see patients. But dentists are closed because they are worried about the governmentís general lockdown and social distancing rules Ė and there will inevitably be legal worries too.
There is, it is said, some sporadic emergency dental treatment available in some areas but I have seen reports suggesting that the only service available is the removal of teeth Ė rather than attempts being made to keep teeth in place.
All this could go on indefinitely.
How the devil do you ever fill a bad tooth from six feet away? And although dentists and dental nurses can all wear masks itís a little difficult for a dental patient to keep a mask on while having treatment.
Meanwhile, millions of patients are missing essential dental work. Many are in agony and are desperate for relief. Hundreds of cases of mouth cancer will be missed. Patients with gum disease who need regular work to keep their mouths healthy will lose teeth that they didnít need to lose.
All of this is a tragedy and a scandal unlike any other.
The leaders of the medical profession and the dental profession arenít doing anywhere near enough to end this appalling state of affairs.
At least I donít feel quite so lonely these days.
Five hundred brave doctors in the United States agree with me and have told Donald Trump to end the coronavirus shutdown for the reasons I have explained.
The bottom line is that patients who think they might have cancer arenít being treated, even though everyone with a basic diploma in emptying bed pans knows that speed is of the essence when treating cancer. Thatís why doctors arrange screening programmes, for heavenís sake. Patients who had the first signs of cancer three months ago will, whatever happens, have to wait another three, four five or six months for treatment Ė while the system catches up with the backlog.
My wife has breast cancer. Last year she had surgery and radiotherapy and now she has constant pain in her shoulder. It is a common consequence of the treatment and it can be treated with physiotherapy. But the hospitals are shut so she struggles to do exercises which donít make much difference. She is also due to have another mammogram. But she hasnít heard a word from the hospital about that. And we cannot get the physiotherapy or the mammogram done privately because the Government has commandeered all the private hospitals just in case it needs them for coronavirus patients. It hasnít needed the hospitals because the predictions made by the mathematical modellers were absurdly pessimistic and so the hospitals are empty and the staff donít have anything to do except on Thursday evenings when they lighten their week with a little brisk clapping to congratulate their colleagues in the health service Ė who also have relatively little to do because the Government admits that most of the hospitals in Britain are half empty.
If you detect a slightly bitter note in all this then give yourself full marks. I am angrier than I have ever been. And I am incredibly disappointed with the way patients have been betrayed.
A friend of ours who was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago is still waiting for her treatment to start. Meanwhile her cancer, unhindered, is undoubtedly doing what cancer does best. Itís growing unhindered.
My wife found this on the internet:
`My cancer treatment has been cancelled and interrupted throughout this pandemic. I have found it hard as the nurses allocated to advise and offer support have been redeployed onto empty Covid wards and so are unavailable to cancer patients. I have felt quite alone and unimportant compared to virus sufferers.í
How can anyone not be angry?
What the hell is going on?
Are governments trying to kill people? Is this some crude population control plan?
Itís not as if the problem is unrecognised.
Governments have admitted that thousands and thousands of patients will die because they are being denied treatment. In the UK it has been admitted that the closure of health services could lead to 150,000 deaths Ė far, far more than will ever die from the coronavirus. I think that figure is a massive underestimate. The figures show that so far 60,000 people have died unnecessarily in the UK because they have been denied treatment. Thatís in the UK alone and it is far, far higher figure than the number of coronavirus deaths. Why, in the name of everything holy, do those deaths matter less than coronavirus deaths?
The majority of people who died from the coronavirus are over 80-years-old and seriously ill with other diseases. They would, it is admitted, have died within a few months anyway. This is exactly the same sort of way that flu usually kills so many people. But the patients with cancer being denied treatment are often otherwise healthy and frequently quite young.
Around the world, tens of millions of operations have already been cancelled and millions more get cancelled every week. All operations are essential, some more so than others. With the possible exception of some cosmetic surgery no one has an operation they donít really need.
Screening tests and investigations have also been abandoned and delayed. Patients with symptoms and signs of serious disease have been told they will have to wait months to find out if their problem are likely to kill them or are benign. In such situations the waiting is almost unbearable. Only those who know the awful pain of waiting for test results will understand just how terrible the situation is at the moment.
Moreover, doctors now report that vast numbers of patients have been so terrified by their governmentís hysterical over-reaction to the risk that they wonít go near a hospital in case they catch the coronavirus bug and die of that. Even when medical care is available patients prefer to do nothing. And that problem is likely to persist unless the hysteria is reversed.
At the end of World War II, the concentration camp guards who had done appalling things in places like Dachau, Auschwitz and Belsen were arrested. People who had closed their eyes to what was happening were also arrested. They were all taken to the War Crimes Tribunal and almost to a man and woman their defence was that they were just doing what they were told to do. The excuse didnít get them anywhere, of course.
The medical administrators and the leaders of the professions may think they are immune from criticism because they are obeying orders from their governments .
But Iím afraid they are not.
And they arenít innocent in moral or ethical terms either.
The senior bureaucrats who have ordered that hospitals and GPs and dentists close down are all guilty of a crime against humanity.
Indeed, the irony is that not even the bureaucrats, the politicians and the civil servants appear to believe that the coronavirus is any more dangerous than a bad flu.
Time and time again, in recent weeks we have seen people whoíve been telling us that we must stay in our homes ignoring their own advice. Ferguson, whose now widely disputed advice led to the lockdown, allowed his mistress to visit him at home. The Prime Ministerís closest advisor, Dominic Cummings, travelled more than two hundred miles, and back again, at the beginning of the lockdown. When there were calls for him to resign or be fired, the Prime Minister defended him Ė appearing to many to make a mockery of the law and of the sacrifices made by millions of people who all had their own very good reasons to break the lockdown but didnít dare do so. The Irish prime minister Ė having a picnic with friends in a public park. Thinking folk will inevitably suspect that if these people broke the rules in such a cavalier way then they probably didnít think we are dealing with the plague.
Doctors do have one weapon that they could use.
They could certify their own leaders and the bureaucrats and the politicians insane and incapable. Those individuals could then be removed from their positions and we could get back to a more caring world.
Itís a rather off the wall solution. But then weíre hardly living in normal times, are we?
Copyright Vernon Coleman May 26th 2020
Vernon Colemanís international bestselling books Bodypower, Colemanís Laws and How to Stop Your Doctor Killing You are all available on Amazon as paperbacks and as eBooks Ė as are around 100 other books.