Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Primum non nocere

"Primum non nocere is a Latin phrase that means 'First, do no harm.' Nonmaleficence, which derives from the maxim, is one of the principal precepts of medical ethics that all medical students are taught in medical school and is a fundamental principle for emergency medical services around the world. Another way to state it is that 'given an existing problem, it may be better to do nothing than to do something that risks causing more harm than good.' It reminds the physician and other health care providers that they must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. It is invoked when debating the use of an intervention that carries an obvious risk of harm but a less certain chance of benefit. Since at least 1860, the phrase has been for physicians a hallowed expression of hope, intention, humility, and recognition that human acts with good intentions may have unwanted consequences. A closely related phrase is 'Sometimes the cure is worse than the ill.' The origin of the phrase is uncertain. The Hippocratic Oath includes the promise 'to abstain from doing harm' but not the precise phrase. Perhaps the closest approximation in the Hippocratic Corpus is in Epidemics: 'The physician must...have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm.' " (Wikipedia, 1/4/10).

Doctors who administer chemotherapy are first doing harm.
This is a violation of their own Hippocratic oath. These are intelligent people; they have to realize that they are harming the immune system, harming healthy cells, harming healthy organs, harming the nervous system. Chemo is a very harmful treatment, often worse than the disease.
Do your research. Question. Read. Just say no to chemo.

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