Thursday, May 15, 2014

How tight the web

My friend and I were touched by the death of a relative, and we wanted to learn a new way of fixing kidneys, so I told him he could extract a few cells from mine and study them with this idea he had. Then we found out that if we tried to get anesthetic for the operation, we'd go to jail, even if we paid for it 100% out of pocket and signed fifty consent forms ahead of time. We also found out we'd go to jail extra for practicing medicine without a license, for violating regulations regarding storing potential biohazards in unlicensed storage facilities, for transporting them in violation of regulations (when we took it from his cooler to the microscopes set up in my kitchen).

(Not just a joke or a trifle, baby. The police power of the State enforces this like someone growing one too many cannabis plants. Teams of armed men kicking in the door, seizing assets, destroying lab equipment, and shooting to death anyone who resists.)

We wanted to learn, so we looked into getting these "licenses." It turns out that buying four years of college, four years of medical school, three years of residency, and then passing a battery of tests in various states, is not enough. That just authorizes you to be a physician, provided you pay your little fees and insurance and other stuff every year. In order to get permitted to do operations, you had to be approved for only one or two areas at a time, so you had to spend years in speciality schools, designed to prohibit you from getting other specialties, and with the warning that, if you said anything too esoteric, you would lose your licenses, but still have to pay back the $200-600K in sundry education costs you'd accumulated up until then. Also, the 11 years of your life, minimum, would not be returned.

We did it anyway. We went to med. school, spent another 4 years getting approved for nephrological procedures, but it wasn't enough. In order to do any kinds of studies, you had to be preapproved by research grants at universities, or else the campus police would escort you out and you'd lose your license. None of our prospectuses were approved. It was a complete waste. Dozens of years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, in order to be permitted to join a special sub-sub-sub-class of people who could, if approved by a different round of bosses, be allowed to study stuff. Occasionally, we came across samples, but we couldn't transport them on our own; there are regulations for that.

Finally, I had my own kidney operation, for other reasons. I thought I'd ask to keep the stuff, but no, there are regulations for "biohazard waste," so even though they cut it out of my back, it had to go to the disposal facility. No, seriously; no joke; they chuckled at first, then rather sternly informed me not to ask such an inappropriate question, and took my cells away for destruction.

Can't learn. Can't grow. Can't try. Can't imagine.

No free market. No inquiry. If you want to test out an idea, some kind of "safety concern" can make sure you don't get to. What are they so afraid of us discovering, anyway? Would it be so terrible if someone bled out on a garage floor in Kansas? It's happening, anyway, of course, but god forbid it happen in the context of trying to learn and discover. All the "forbidden actions" the police rove about preventing the occurrence of are so very like the medieval church's stance on the immorality of cutting up cadavers. Exactly like, in fact. There's a very good reason creditor-priests don't want you looking through telescopes, reading Latin, or discovering more about what's inside you. How very tight the web is, preventing us from learning who we are without our every task monitored by the pre-existing system. Putting people in jail for privately growing and using their own drugs isn't the only "victimless crime" in this hellhole, and colorful children's fold-out books which freely provide the archaic names for different bodily organs are not the same as permission to set bones or study cells without giving states and insurance companies their cut.

Physicians meet patients, but researchers do microspecific research under the supervision of microspecific-approved research-managers, and it's so wacky that money and employment responsibilities can be used to ensure that never the twain shall meet. Physicians and researchers play a little game of "telephone" back and forth, communicating the "on the ground" realities of patient experiences through seven levels of executive-monitored hearsay, in order to convey something to the researchers, who are supposedly researching 1/20th of a large-scale project to address those convolutedly-delivered patient needs. Even if they were trying hard, by the time the administrator's report gets back and forth and back again, it's purple monkey dishwasher.

Public health, from the country with nuclear bombs and fracking and air quality and mercury and TSA genital-ray scans on four-year-old kids boarding a plane from LA to Sacramento, and, oh, how completely non-ironic is irony, anymore? We sit here watching a fifty-year run of invasions, wars, crumbling infrastructure, the Labor Department approving union labor in uranium mines, lobotomizing vets, testing nuke exposure on vets, the LSD gigglers spraying stuff on even non-vets, etc., and yet, when the local public health office warns us that we need to get a certain inoculation to protect our health, we actually believe that it's because the government is interested in keeping us well. At least in that one tiny thing, their heart is in the right place, clearly. What could be farther from the truth? Hey, wouldn't it be quite the coincidence, to say the least, if there actually was still one tiny county agency somewhere, in one of these states, that was trying to keep people healthy? We spend millions in extra legal fees to execute mentally retarded prisoners; we spend more effort arranging the silvered hair on our news anchors than we do stabilizing the pensions of, I dunno, our K-12 teachers.

Help us, other countries. You want the empire to end? Then stand up and help us. It's like a prison, here. The looniest, most lavish prison around, but still a prison; a twisted mindfuck neverending prison where the rules about your posture while you stand in the jello line are found only in summary in a 300 page book, and 9 out of 10 books in the prison library are that book, the book on jello line guidelines, yet we spend most of our days attending re-education courses for putting a foot wrong three steps shy of the Cosby poster.

Medical

If a _____________ says something unpopular, she/he is ______________, and needs to be ___________.

1) private citizen AND fringe wacko who knows nothing about medical science AND ignored or mocked.

2) medical student AND ignorant of the realities of a completed education and day-to-day practice AND put on academic probation or de-registered.

3) medical resident AND inexperienced and lacking in a diverse perspective AND re-submitted to the committee on mental fitness and character.

4) licensed physician AND just starting out in the profession, not only inexperienced but not a specialist, a mere "general practitioner" AND stripped of license or monitored closely and denied all publication and teaching access.

5) experienced physician from a small area AND tainted by the low geographical quality of where her sorry skills caused her to end up, as well as bitter at her failed career AND reviled and ignored as a small-town nut from Kentucky suitable for giving boosters to kids in a village with a population of 6,000.

6) experienced physician or specialist from a prestigious place AND isolated in her ivory tower from the realities of day-to-day practice, and attempting to gain attention for her practice by making money with an attention-getting advertising message to promote her books and website AND stripped of license, stripped of specialty, or merely denied all publication and teaching access.

7) senior or retiring physician AND out of touch with the newest advancements, clinging to the past in desperation AND put quietly to pasture.

Clearly, it would be dangerously irresponsible to publish an unorthodox opinion by any of the above.

You wanna do it with politicians, too? Works all the way from "member of the local zoning board" to "Senator heading on a trip in a small private plane" to "retiring president of the U.S.," does it not? We can mock anyone at any level; destroy anyone, no matter their credentials and background, with a pre-loaded story for exactly why their failure to conform is such an outlandish and irresponsible view.

No comments:

Post a Comment