Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Tom Brown on Physicians - C1700

The physicians and apothacaries vied for business in the 1700s. Physicians actually had little training in medicines and medications, the majority of their education being of the academic nature.

Tom Brown had this to say of the physicians:

"These gentlemen of the faculty are pensioners to death...for you must know, notwithstanding distempered humours make a man sick, 'tis the physician has the honour of killing him, and expects to be well paid for the job....So that when a man is asked how such a man died, he is not to anwer, according to corrupt custom, that he died of a fever or a pleurisy, but that he died of the doctor."

Ahh, so little changes.

13 Replies

Poppet, things have improved but 'do no harm' is too often taken to mean 'do nothing'.


I dunno - things aren't looking a whole lot different from where I'm sitting.

The 'do no harm' statement is starting to look like a joke, is it not?

The thing that bugs me most is the fact they will not believe people are ill - no matter how ill people actually are.

The arrogance seems to have gotten out of control.

Take the Cognitive/functional thing. The logic behind this 'diagnosis' is that there is no structural reason (Underlying cause) for the patient's symptoms.

If we look at that a little more closely the suggestion is that modern medicine knows absolutely everything. They know every structural reason for producing certain symptoms.

Or should they be saying, there is a structural reason for the patient's symptoms but we haven't found it yet?

In which case 'cognitive' goes out of the window.

I actually believe that the medical profession is out of control.


I agree absolutely - they have complete disregard for the effect they are having on people's lives.

They ignore letters and emails, as well as directives from their own institutions. In any other context, they would be hauled over the coals and held to account. I despair - there must be something more we can do?


I've said all along that if doctors truly understood b12 deficiency we wouldn't be going through this. Not only would they not want to put patients through it but they don't want to leave themselves open to prosecution and ridicule in the eyes of their own profession.

I do believe the BMJ article has gone a long way to starting this process - some look at the metabolic pathway and realise they have been getting it wrong - and some don't. But some do and that's the important bit.

The only other thing I can hope for is backing from an knowledgeable, understanding and powerful ally. But then again we are back to having to find someone in that position who really understands this condition. Someone, who when they make a noise, people listen.

And there are precious few out there.

Believe me - I'm trying to find one.

Maybe it will turn out that one day we will wake up and this will all be over. The message will have seeped through and doctors will be jumping on b12 deficiency and neuro damage just like they do with any other neuro illness.

I suspect that this will be the case. The knowledge will spread like ripples on a pond and people will start getting symptoms and injuries recognised. I think we are seeing the start of it now. We are getting more and more people coming back who couldn't get things done before and now are miraculously being allowed treatment or neuro appointments.


I really hope you're right. Am feeling pessimistic right now on second glass of wine, although I read that Martyn Hooper of the PAS seems to think things are beginning to move in the right direction.

All I know is that, after sending the BMJ article to a friend, whose daughter is a GP, it was met with deafening silence, even though they know the circumstances in our family and the fact that B12 injections brought about an almost miraculous recovery from severe psychiatric and neurological symptoms.

What gets me is that you would think that, for the high salary they are paid, they would at least do the research.

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Was it a deafening silence brought about by the fact they might have been getting things wrong or because they thought you were trying to teach them something and were getting above your station?


Probably on both counts.

Her surgery, apparently will not give B12 injections because they are afraid of overdosing and being sued!

Is this the line they are being fed in order to make sure we are all prescribed expensive drugs or ignored if we don't conform?


Good grief. I don't know. I've never heard that one before - but it's not to say it doesn't exist. There are clearly some very strange beliefs about b12 going around.


It's enough to make you weep. I suppose a patient who has died from an untreated B12 deficiency won't be able to sue.


Or others, like my family member, after countless years of being ignored, are still too vulnerable to be able to.

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I've said before that boards like this are the thin end of the wedge. B12 deficient patients who go further down the line aren't in a position to get on the net and find out what is happening to sort things out. There are precious few patients who go a long way down can make their way back.


And even if people get as far as the net, there's costs involved for private testing, etc (assuming their GP isn't interested).


Yep. It takes some tenacity to get this far in many cases. And how many of us, walk into a doctors understanding the doctor doesn't know diddly about this illness? Of course doctors are going to be believed. You have to be in a position if not to challenge them outright but to ignore their advice.

There are too many illnesses out there where b12 deficiency is now being implicated - and since they have all been doing it wrong ie simply raising the blood serum level in all patients rather than treating the symptoms, then we don't know how far this nightmare has spread.

Dave Carr is the prime example. He was diagnosed with some kind of brain dysfunction (rare - can't remember what) and given X amount of time to live. The man was in diapers and couldn't see or hear properly. It was only the tenacity and determination of his friend that saved him.

I honestly don't think Dave Carr could tell you much about his illness outside of the effects on him, because he wasn't in a fit state to research it. He'd got a feeding tube!


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