Quotes from `Coleman's Laws'

Vernon Coleman

`A 13-year-old child weighing 6 stone will probably receive the same dose of medication as a 45-year-old man weighing 20 stone. The same medicines (often in the same doses) are often prescribed for young and old, male and female, fat and thin. This is bizarre, illogical and indefensible.' (page 18)

`Never take a new drug if you are alone in the house. If you are alone and have an anaphylactic shock reaction you could die. The number of people suffering from potentially life-threatening allergic reactions has increased more than 300% in a decade. In one recent year around 30,000 people in the UK had anaphylactic shock reactions.' (page 19)

`In medicine the word `new' when used to describe a drug means two things: the drug is expensive and no one yet knows whether it will cure you or kill you.' (page 19)

`Only the most bigoted member of the medical establishment would dare to describe medicine as a science.' (page 22)

`Most of the clinical research published in medical journals (and used as the basis for medical practice) is (how shall I put it to be tactful) as bent as a paperclip.' (page 26)

`There are 348,461 clinical research papers published every week. Most of them are of no value to anyone except the author (and, perhaps a drug company).' (page 27)

`Nurses have now been given legal authority to prescribe. This is lunacy and means that patients will, in future, have to take very special care to protect themselves from incompetent, prescription-happy nurses as well as incompetent, prescription-happy doctors. Nurses should dress wounds, soothe brows, make beds and provide bedpans. If they want to prescribe they should become doctors.' (page 31)

`Never be afraid to ask for a second opinion. It is your life that is at stake - not a new sofa or curtains for the living room.' (page 41)

`Screening examinations and check-ups are more profitable for doctors than for patients.' (Coleman's 4th Law Of Medicine)

`Nearly 200,000 people die each year in America as a result of `medical accidents'. It is clear, therefore, that doctors kill vastly more innocent people than terrorists do. What sort of panic would political leaders be in if terrorists regularly killed 200,000 Americans every year?' (page 51)

`A big chunk of doctors would prescribe arsenic if they got a free pen from the drug company making arsenic tablets.' (page 55)

`Given a choice between an old and experienced doctor who is out of touch with modern developments, and a young doctor who is fresh out of medical school and who knows all the latest jargon, the patient who puts experience ahead of knowledge will benefit.' (page 60)

`Any doctor who tells you that you will need to take pills for life is an unimaginative (and probably ill-informed) buffoon.' (page 61)

`Of all the bad things the drug industry has done (and a list would fill this book and another eleven volumes like it) the worst must surely be the way they have corrupted the entire medical establishment. Not that the blame should be laid on one party. You can't be corrupted unless you want to be.' (page 83)

`If there is a high-tech and a low-tech way of doing things, doctors will choose the high-tech approach even if it is less effective and more dangerous.' (page 86)

`Before the industrial age, hospitals were built like cathedrals in order to lift the soul and ease the mind. Hospitals were decorated with carvings, works of art, flowers and perfumes. Modern hospitals are built with no regard for the spirit, eye or soul. They are bare, more like prisons than temples, designed to concentrate the mind on pain, fear and death. Where there are windows they are positioned in such a way that patients can't see out of them (though even if they could they probably wouldn't be able to see anything more enthralling than the refuse bins or the air conditioning units).' (page 91)

`Many senior nurses now spend their days closeted in their offices, staring at computer screens and filling in assessment forms. Many seem to regard themselves as above what they see as the menial tasks of nursing. They leave the hands-on work to untrained staff. The introduction of degrees for nurses has made things even worse by turning a fundamentally practical profession into one with entirely spurious academic ambitions. The modern career structure for nurses has taken the best nurses away from patients; it was driven by a patronising and entirely inaccurate concept (that nursing is demeaning).' (page 92)

`Time and time again patients report that nurses won't lift them up the bed (it has been reported that some hospitals have posters with the slogan `Nurses are not weight lifters' on their walls), won't help feed them, won't bring bedpans, won't change beds, won't do anything for patients in pain or distress and won't respond when the call button is pressed. They will not, in short, do any of the things that nurses are traditionally supposed to do. They are not interested in soothing or healing or helping because they have become career administrators with aspirations and ambitions. In many hospitals it is the patients who can get out of bed who end up doing all the nursing work.' (page 92)

`The nurses who run our hospitals are the ones who are least interested in the art of caring, least passionate about nursing as an art and most anxious to climb up the career ladder by exhibiting their prowess at managing meetings, mastering the double-speak that has invaded hospitals and `giving good mouth'.' (page 95)

`The Government would save more lives if it took down speed cameras and, instead, put up cameras in hospitals to check that nurses, cleaners and doctors washed their hands properly.' (page 97)

`There are fashions in medicine just as much as there are fashions in clothes.' - (Coleman's 7th Law Of Medicine)

`The food in hospitals is diabolical and contributes enormously to the death rate among patients. It is, for example, quite absurd that hospitals should continue to serve meat dishes to patients. Since the evidence linking meat to cancer is just as convincing as that linking tobacco to cancer it would make as much sense for nurses to walk around the wards handing out cigarettes.' (page 98)

`Doctors and nurses know little or nothing about staying healthy. In particular, doctors and nurses know nothing useful about food, diet and healthy eating. (Sadly, the same is true of nutritionists and dieticians.) - (Coleman's 9th Law Of Medicine)

`The number of in-patient acute hospital beds in the UK is approximately one third the number in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.' (page 106)

`Hospitals are filthy, dirty and badly run. Hospitals have too much money but ill-informed uncaring self-serving bureaucrats spend it all on all the wrong things. If the Gestapo ever gets back on its feet and starts recruiting it will have little difficulty in finding suitable candidates among the administrators working in hospitals.' (page 107)

`While people with suspected cancer have to wait months for essential investigations our politically correct system means that money and resources are spent on providing such non-essential luxuries as cosmetic surgery and infertility treatment. (page 137)

`The evidence shows that some vaccines kill and injure far more people than the diseases the vaccines are given to protect against.' (page 177)

`If children scream or are unusually quiet or show other unusual signs after a vaccination then there is, I suspect, a real chance that they will develop autism. Sadly, of course, it is too late to do anything about it by then.' (page 179)

`There is no such thing as minor surgery.' (Coleman's 11th Law Of Medicine)

`My mother was in a small cottage hospital which wanted to throw her out. They said they wanted the bed. My mother was incapable of moving any limb. She could do nothing for herself. She was so confused that she didn't recognise me when I visited. `We've got a shortage of beds,' said the matron. `Your mother will have to go home.' She told me that I had to attend a meeting. The meeting was held in a fully equipped but entirely empty ward. No one but me saw the irony in this.' (page 214)

`At the end of the day most doctors and nurses don't give a damn whether you live or die. And if you're over 65 everyone wants you dead. Remember that. It could save your life one day.' (page 220)

Taken from Coleman's Laws by Vernon Coleman, published by EMJ Books. Coleman's Laws is available from the bookshop on this website and from all good bookshops on and offline.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2007