February 20, 2024

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Source: Public Domain

I grew up with a healthy skepticism of doctors.

As anyone who knows the Cole origin story is aware, my biological father was the Beverly Hills surgeon/personal physician to the stars who’s accused of killing Elvis by getting him hooked on drugs and feeding his habit. Dr. Cole absolutely was a pusher, and Elvis wasn’t his only client. He was the go-to guy for the rich and famous when they needed morphine, uppers, downers, whatever.

[In Norm Macdonald voice] You know, I’m starting to think he was not a good doctor.

But there’s the irony; he actually was quite good, as a surgeon and researcher. He helped develop organ transplant anti-rejection drugs, and he worked on the earliest version of what would eventually become Viagra. So the next time you take the blue pill to get stiff, realize that there’s a little bit of Dave in that pill, and you’ll be flaccid again in no time.

As a GP, he gave free treatment to the elderly—never charged a penny…while also physically assaulting the women in his life (including my mom).

Humans are complicated like that.

“I doubt anything in my lifetime did as much harm to public trust in medical experts as the Covid hystericals making ‘trust thee experts’ mandatory.”

I never knew the guy because he went to prison when I was still a baby. The pink Cadillac Elvis gave him in gratitude for the ludes was confiscated for child support, so thanks, King, for the Christmas toys you inadvertently bought me.

There’s a fine line people have difficulty walking. It involves, on one hand, the recognition that doctors can, and often will, do harm. But on the other hand, “alternative medicine” practitioners are worse, as they’re held to no standards. The problem is, folks want to believe in something. They want a team. Team thee science or team chakras and crystals. Having a team is reassuring; you don’t have to analyze everything individually. “If the team endorses it, I’m in!”

Covid drew the battle lines between the “I believe thee science” crowd (who can forget the impassioned oratory of Nancy Pelosi in 2020: “science science science science science science science”), and the “I don’t believe thee science” crowd (people who turned healthy skepticism into bizarre conspiracies and batty cures).

My view of medical science is simple: If you’re shot, if you’re in a car accident, doctors work miracles. The extent to which doctors have learned how to stitch broken people back together again is awe-inspiring. Trauma surgeons do things every hour that would’ve been considered impossible a hundred years ago.

But regarding new “wonder drugs” (like Propulsid, which my gastroenterologist gave me in 1996 before it turned out to be a murder-drug), regarding more complex matters than surgery, I’m unimpressed. The surgeon in the operating room repairing Daquan’s bullet-riddled body is in a real-time fight. All that matters is skill; there’s no time for graft. On the other hand, new vaccines or drugs that go through pharmaceutical companies and the FDA and pharma reps who pay off doctors, well, there are a lot of potentially very flawed humans in that chain. A few too many for my liking.

I doubt anything in my lifetime did as much harm to public trust in medical experts as the Covid hystericals making “trust thee experts” mandatory. Long-term, thee experts lost that one. They won the battle in 2020 and 2021 when they locked us down, closed beaches, and enforced fictions like “six feet of separation,” but big-picture, I think those things sowed more skepticism than trust of “experts.”

And good…except it also drove a lot of folks to the other team. Which is not good.

That said, of the two teams, I tend to hold the one with the money, power, and state affiliation to the higher standard.

Remember in 2016 when the British Medical Journal published a paper claiming that a whopping one-third of all Americans who die in a hospital perish via medical error? Indeed, the paper’s authors—Martin Makary and Michael Daniel of Johns Hopkins—put the total annual figure of malpractice deaths in the U.S. at 251,454, which would make medical error the third leading cause of death in the entire nation after cancer and heart disease.

Needless to say, there was massive blowback from the medical establishment. Some of it idiotic—McGill University’s in-house Rain Man Jonathan Jarry argued that the paper was “weaponized by the NRA!” But other criticisms were legitimate. The paper employed extrapolation without breaking down which groups of Americans are most at risk of medical error. The critics noted that 10 percent of patients at U.S. hospitals are women delivering babies, and their mortality rate is exceptionally low.

Yes, because such patients are typically young, and even Africans living in mud can deliver babies. It ain’t rocket science. Even Jarrey, a retard, concedes that it’s the “over 65” crowd, the Medicare cash cows, who suffer the brunt of malpractice deaths. The Association of Health Care Journalists’ Mary Jaklevic agreed. Sure, there’s a plague of elderly deaths via “preventable malpractice,” but “mostly in people with less than three months to live.”

Uh, how do you know how long they’d live if they hadn’t been malpracticed?

A rebuttal to the Makary/Daniel paper in the BMJ also ceded that it’s mainly Medicare patients who are at risk, adding the neat twist that just because an elderly person dies following malpractice doesn’t mean the malpractice caused the death because the old fart was likely gonna croak anyway. “When errors are followed by death, it’s only rarely straightforward to adjudicate the extent to which error contributed to death.” Sure, but I’ll bet the 80-year-old who wasn’t “errored” has a better shot at living than the one who was.

In 2014, when my 85-year-old mom, suffering from rapidly advancing Alzheimer’s, went into a Westside hospital for a procedure that could’ve been done at home but our doctor “forgot” to tell us, she developed Clostridium difficile (c-diff), a hospital-acquired infection that even the BMJ “rebuttal” admits massacres the elderly like Hannibal Lecter in a seniors home. The c-diff exacerbated her Crohn’s Disease, so now she had Alzheimer’s and a potentially fatal infection coupled with chronic bowel issues. Leaving her overnight, I noticed that only one guardrail on her hospital bed was up. She could easily roll off the other side and drop three feet onto the hard floor. The doctor told me that under California law (and this is true), it’s illegal to raise both guardrails on the bed of any patient with dementia or Alzheimer’s. I couldn’t understand why. Due to the Alzheimer’s, coupled with the infection, my mom had no idea where she was. She could easily fall out of bed and hurt herself badly. I pointed out to the doctor that I saw plenty of non-dementia patients in bed with both rails up.

I’d find out that the California guardrail law exists to give dementia patients an “escape.” Because their mind is gone, because they’re easy targets, there’s the fear that they might be abused by hospital staff. With one side of the bed as an escape route, they can get away!

Wait…leftist California is front lines of “trust thee experts.” Yet at the same time, it’s state law that dementia patients must have an escape route from “thee experts.” If we can’t trust doctors and nurses around dementia patients, if Sacramento felt the need to pass a law to make sure dementia patients have an escape route should thee experts harm them, why should we trust thee experts about Covid or anything else?

No worries, the hospital said. For only a huge chunk of money, I can hire a “minder” to sit by my mom’s bedside all night making sure she doesn’t roll out.

It’s all a grift, and one in which hospitals are willing to sow fear of medical professionals in order to con the emotionally distraught families of dementia sufferers into forking over cash (“minders” aren’t Medicare-covered).

That makes me trust the medical establishment even less, because it’s willing to throw its own under the bus (“beware! Your mom may need to escape from us!”) in order to bleed distraught relatives dry.

The punchline? I paid for the “minder,” who left her post, and my mom rolled out of bed and broke her pelvis. She lived her last months in pain.

Cut to Christmas Eve 2018. My 84-year-old dad’s legs failed him (this is not my Elvis-killing biological dad but the stepdad who raised me, a U.S. Army veteran and as good a man as ever lived). Overnight, he could no longer walk. I told him I had to call an ambulance. He begged me not to. He knew what hospitals do to the elderly; he said he’d rather crawl than go to one of those death factories. But what could I do? I had to find out what happened to his legs. I assured him I’d have him taken to a different hospital—Cedars Sinai, the best in California.

And they killed him. I made it clear to the admitting physician that I’d just tapered my dad off benzodiazepines, which he’d been taking for his nerves since my mom’s death. If you know benzos, you know that once you’ve tapered off, you can’t have them reintroduced into your system in great quantity. I made certain the doctor noted that on the chart. And the next day, as I was asleep, the head nurse flooded my dad with benzos. And the doctor in charge was like, “Oy, it was not on the ‘to give’ list, but it also wasn’t on the ‘not to give’ list.”

My dad was practically comatose, but a few days later he started coming out of it, and the nurses flooded him with benzos again. And then he went fully comatose and they began tube-feeding him and he got a hospital-acquired infection and never regained consciousness.

Daily Beast once described disdain for “dancing nurse” videos as “impossible hatred.”

Oh no, assholes. It’s possible. Real possible.

My dad died within three weeks of me sending him to a hospital after he begged me not to. For those of you who ask if I have any regrets for the Holocaust work I did 32 years ago, my response is, maybe I do maybe I don’t but if I do, those regrets can wait the fuck in line because I have worse ones.

My attitude toward thee experts is very much shaped by my personal experiences. I have a biological dad who practiced malpractice, a stepdad who straight-up died from malpractice, and a mom who may not have died directly from malpractice (eventually, the Alzheimer’s would’ve killed her), but it was certainly a contributing factor, due to the c-diff and the injuries she sustained in the fall that only occurred because California hospitals want more revenue by claiming doctors are rapist Frankensteins.

Maybe malpractice isn’t as bad as the BMJ report suggests, but if it’s rare, what are the odds I’d witness it with all three parents?

Again, that doesn’t mean flock to chakras and crystals.

Thee experts deserve a fair hearing, but never blind trust.


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