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Health-Care Debate

This opinion piece on the Health-Care Debate refers to an article printed in our local newspaper titled Health-Care Debate: A doctor prescribes addressing real issues by Dr. Scott Morris published in the Vacaville Reporter: 01/28/2011 01:04:06 AM PST. The first few paragraphs and link to the article follows my opinion.

The three points Dr. Morris focuses on are:

1. Admit government cannot do it all.
2. Confront our unholy love affair with technology.
3. Stop skittering around end-of-life issues.

I’ve been studying alternative approaches to health and wellness for the last 30 years. My working hypothesis is that unrecognized trauma (trauma includes experiences that do not fit with the definition of PTSD) can generate symptoms that are misdiagnosed and mistreated as disease.  Medicine/medical doctors do not recognize the difference between trauma based symptoms and organic symptoms in diagnosis and treatment.  If treated as a disease, trauma symptoms do not respond as expected. People who are not cured will have a chronic problem that often requires maintenance with drugs.

An alternative response to failure of medications to work is ‘we need more tests’ or lets try another drug.  Where there is good research showing alternative approaches achieve excellent results, that approach is not likely referred – Irritable bowel is an example.

Dr. Morris discusses his hard hitting observations about fear of death and the focus on death panels. He believes that patients are kept alive at great expense because of fear of death and not for love or care.

I believe the even greater over-arching unconscious motivation is fear of loss.

Medical practice called defensive medicine is done out of fear of malpractice suits from a patient or family member’s loss.   The legal system will make the problem worse as lawyers have carte blanche to assault and make innocent medical professionals and traumatized patients appear guilty in their quest for justice.

Heart disease is major health concern in the US that needs to be part of the national dialogue.  It is no small thing that the heart can grow capillaries to repair itself.  Dean Ornishe showed with graphic pictures that heart disease can be reversed without drugs in his book Reversing Heart Disease. We are led to believe that doctors respond appropriately to what good scientific finds. Yet cardiac specialists typically do not include the information about Ornishe’s work in consultation with patients.

I learned from one doctor in a public forum about heart disease that he does not offer any information on this approach as the capillaries are small and can be easily undone in a short period of time. This doctor prefers to do bypass surgery which is good for about 10 years.  (Smokers are denied the surgery.)  The cardiologists are focused on diet and exercise and leave out the really critical piece.  Dialoging with the heart – a Guided Imagery approach was used in Ornishe’s program. Asked to  Imagine what an ailing heart looks like, the patient begins a very personal linking of the mind with a vital body part that is in pain and dysregulation. This kind of work is not the same as making a person responsible for his or her illness. It is making them aware on a deeper level about what is missing or needed for better health and wellness.

If you read the articles on our website about how Guided Imagery is used in working with chronic illness, death and dying, and a host of medically diagnosed conditions you will find that Guided Imagery works with symptoms resistant to medical treatment.

The government’s plan to make everybody pay for insurance will not fix the broken health-care system.

Money and insurance are not going to fix what is wrong with the “healthcare” system.  Thank you Dr. Morris for offering a sensible discussion on what to address in the broken health-care system.

Sandra Warnken, CCHT, SEP

Dr. Morris writes
Who takes care of people with no health insurance? For more than two years, the debate has been front and central. A new Congress now faces public hostility mixed with public expectations for action on this question. Whether the health-reform legislation passed last year stands up under the scrutiny ahead, too much of the discussion about health-care reform misses the mark.

Addressing the fractured economics of the health industry does not automatically make people healthier. I hope that, as a nation, we can move the discussion to three focused priorities that address true health.

* Admit government cannot do it all.

Washington needs to admit it does not have the ability to improve the health outcomes we need in America. Money alone will not make anyone healthier. And whether people agree with health-care reform or not, too many perceive that, because the government is involved, local clinics no longer need private support. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even when the health-reform legislation is fully implemented in 2019, at least 23 million people will remain uninsured — and probably many more.

Twenty-four years ago, I opened the Church Health Clinic in Memphis, Tenn., to care for the working uninsured. We’re hard at work every day answering the question, “Who takes care of people with no insurance?” by saying “We do!” We are not federally funded, yet we care for 55,000 people in our city. More than 600 physicians volunteer their services, and
every hospital in the city supports our work. The Church Health Center provides the same quality of care you would insist on for your mother. Hundreds of charitable clinics around the country make a difference in hundreds of thousands of lives without depending on government funds.

We’ve seen a growing number of patients whose working hours have been cut to below 30 hours a week, which means they lose their insurance. Others who made $100,000 in 2008 now work in small stores earning $19,000 with no benefits. More and more middle-aged people who worked in one trade for 30 years now try to live on $104 a week in unemployment benefits. We see these people every day. We know their names and faces and stories. The best improvements in health for individuals will come at the local level, including clinics that do not depend on government funds. Click here to read the rest of the article.

He concludes “Let’s not waste any more energy or money arguing about how to pay for legislation that skirts the real issues that would make Americans healthier.”
The author is founder of the Church Health Center, Memphis, Tenn., and wrote the newly published book “Health Care You Can Live With,” (Barbour, 2011). Visit his website

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