Harm Denial

Harm Denial

Modern medicine can be dangerous. It is very complicated and sometimes I feel like Dr. McCoy looking at a dialysis patient. We know so much about the physiology and biochemistry of disease and so often the interventions seem so primitive in comparison.

I sometimes think that if we were more sophsiticated in our interventions we would have fewer complications from medicine. Still, we have to practice with the tools we are given.

In medicine we recognize the potential for morbidity and mortality from what we do. I have been on our Quality and Infection Control committees for almost 25 years. The steady decrease in complications from medical care in my hospitals has been impressive. It has been due to an enormous amount of work, work that has it roots in recognizing that not only is harm possible, it can be, by the application of science, preventable.

It is rare for pseudo-medical providers to recognize that their interventions can cause harm. You see this in the lack of hand hygiene and gloves in any of the videos or photographs of the pseudo-medicines.


At the forefront of harm deniers are the chiropractors. As has been discussed on this site and others, there is compelling evidence to associate chiropractic manipulation with subsequent stroke and other neurologic complications.

If any of the chiropractic organizations recognize these potential complications, I cannot find it. They seem more interested in suggesting that patients having neurologic events are seeking chiropractic.

As long as there is denial of the potential for harm there will be no ability for improvement. As a result I would expect more reports in the medical literature such as

Clinical Reasoning: Partial Horner syndrome and upper right limb symptoms following chiropractic manipulation…Our patient experienced onset of Horner syndrome and ipsilateral upper limb symptoms shortly after chiropractic treatment, suggesting the cervico-thoracic manipulation as the cause of or at least worsening factor in the T1-T2 disc herniation


Arm Weakness in a Child Following Chiropractor Manipulation of the Neck…A 6-year-old right-handed boy presents to the clinic with left arm weakness that developed 6 months previously. At that time, the patient was on his way to see his primary care physician for a sinus infection when he was “diverted” by his grandfather to see a chiropractor instead. There was some degree of spinal manipulation of the neck without any immediate pain being reported. The following evening, the patient woke with complaints of left arm tingling and numbness. He subsequently developed gradual weakness of the left arm over the next 7 days before the family sought medical care.


Bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis due to cervical chiropractic manipulation.


the second developed an epidural hematoma after chiropractic manipulation.


Massive hematothorax after thoracic spinal manipulation for acute thoracolumbar pain…The authors present the case of a 17 year old male patient with a life-threatening hematothorax after thoracic high velocity spinal manipulation for acute thoracolumbar pain. The patient required emergency chest tube thoracostomy and afterwards thoracoscopic haemostasis for an intercostal venous lesion.

and on and on.

The first step in fixing a problem is recognizing there is a problem. Pseudo-medicine always deny they could have a problem and so can never take action to prevent them. It is one of their defining characteristics.

Check it out: VaxAdvocacy.org tracks state vaccina...
Points of Interest 06/01/2015

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