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Fear-mongering and Special Interest in Healthcare (FMSIH): What drives healthcare in North America?


My sole motivation for writing this narrative is to record observations that I have seen over a period of 35 years in which I have worked in healthcare in the Western Hemisphere. My exposure to and experience within healthcare is diverse from military to civilian, from traditional to alternative healthcare, from fee for service to universal healthcare, from field healthcare services established in manner consistent with service provided by Doctors without Borders to hospital based programs to clinically based healthcare services.

I decided to undertake this discussion after watching a news report on the 30th of April 2014. The focus of the news report  was intended to make the public aware of a landmark study of that demonstrated the effectiveness of Hyperbaric oxygen when added to the therapeutic approaches to address Cerebral Palsy. The new study published in the March/April 2014 edition of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Journal is the culmination of 10 years of investigative clinical research.  At the end of the report, the reporter quoted a website  comment by an individual at Health Canada which has been used for over thirteen years to discourage parents from investigating this therapy for their children. The comment  I am speaking of is  “may even cause  death ” is used by physicians on a daily basis as they explain procedures and attain informed consent of these procedures. Why is the use of this qualifier used? We live in a society where legal recourse is a way of life.

The reality is  the complication rate for hyperbaric oxygen therapy as compared to any other therapeutic procedure is enviable. It is safe when delivered by individuals trained in its use. To characterize it as harmful  is just plain wrong.

The purest drinking water is capable of producing death if you drink enough of it. Does this mean pure drinking water should considered a dangerous substance?

The new study demonstrates effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in treating neurological and motor dysfunction that accompany Cerebral  Palsy. Numerous studies have demonstrated comparable results to the current study.

So why is the new study significant?

What makes the current study’s finding’s impressive is the rigorous , methodical, multifaceted comparison of the study design. Standard Intensive Rehabilitation given children with cerebral palsy was compared to groups where hyperbaric oxygen therapy of differing doses was given. The current study design corrected the shortcomings of previous studies.  The significant benefits noted in the current study, the largest study to date, are not able to misinterpreted or misconstrued. They demonstrate the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in treating neurological and motor dysfunction seen in children with cerebral palsy.


This narrative is organized as a series of questions. My hope is that you find the content interesting and enlightening.

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