The following account is presented with the prayerful hope that it will help arouse our people to the realization that "something is to be done" [Medical Ministry, page 22] to reform our health practices so that we shall be able to endure, both physically and spiritually, the rigors of the last days, for we are fast approaching the Time of Trouble.
"All who leave the common track of custom, and advocate reform, will be opposed, accounted mad, insane, radical, let them pursue ever so consistent a course."-Testimonies, volume 2, page 377.
This study has been prepared with a sincere desire to avoid extremes and still present the facts in their stark, startling and appalling nature. An illustration from the experience of a patient in one of our sanitariums* with accompanying observations and quotations is given.
Conscientious nurses often witness with emotions of frustration and embarrassment the sufferings, discomfort, and sometimes death of many victims of drugging. These might have been painlessly restored to radiant health by employing the simple agencies of nature if our sanitariums* were fulfilling their raison d'etre (reason for existence). Many of our own people can testify that they have been prostrated by drugs (including modern miracle. drugs and antibiotics as the chief offenders) and when given up by modern medics science, they have restored by the often despised lowly herbs and rational treatment. 'The endless variety of medicines in the market, the numerous advertisements of NEW drugs and mixtures, all of which as they say, DO WONDERFUL cures, kill hundreds where they benefit one."-E.G. White, in Disease and its Causes, page 72.
"This world has been visited by the Majesty of heaven, the Son of God . . Christ came to this world as the expression of the very heart and mind and nature and character of God. Christ stands before us as the pattern Man the great Medical Missionary, an example of all who should come after. .. When all our medical missionaries shall live the renewed life in Christ Jesus, and shall take His words as meaning all they are designed to mean, there will be a much clearer and comprehensive an understanding of what constitutes genuine medical missionary work .. It behooves every soul whose life is hid by Christ in God to come to the front now. Something is to be done." -Medical Ministry, from the chapter entitled, "The Divine Plan in the Medical Missionary Work" (pages 19-22.)
Meditation on the contrast between God's revealed methods of medical missionary work and the incomprehensible manner in which it is now practiced, has impelled the following narrative of the unfortunate experience of a patient who came under my care and observation a few weeks ago in one of our sanitariums.
A CASE HISTORY
This patient was a refined and intelligent lady of some means. She was somewhat apathetic and emotionally distressed. Her only apparent physical ailment was some cervical arthritis. (The cervicals are the top seven bones of the spinal column.) Over the past fifteen years she had been in and out of practically every hospital in the city without appreciable improvement in her condition. Her presence in our institution seemed to be an opportunity to demonstrate to her the difference between the healing arts as practiced in worldly institutions and those employed in our sanitarium. She seemed to feel that at last she was in the right place and could look forward to improvement through the natural therapy that she had heard was the method used at the sanitarium.
True to her expectations, a mild hydrotherapy treatment was ordered for her. For treatment of her cervical arthritis she was sent to the physiotherapy department where she was seated in a straight, hard wooden chair with traction applied to her head. (A device was fashioned to her head and a steady pull upward was then exerted.] The order said "for one hour and longer as tolerated by the patient." She tolerated this for about fifteen minutes until she started hurting in other places worse than in her neck. The fomentations and diet she had expected had not been used to treat the condition.
When her medicinal program got under way, she would raise a quizzical eyebrow as new medicines were brought into the room, but she swallowed them obediently with little comment except that it was "a greater variety than she got in most other hospitals." Following is a list of the medications she was receiving:
Surbex: a synthetic or crystalline vitamin preparation-twice daily.
Equinil: a tranquilizing drug-four times daily.
Elixir of Iron, Quinine and Strychnine: an appetizer-three times daily.
Vitamin B injection: once daily.
Estrogenic hormone injection: twice a week.
Noctec: for sleep (Many patients make comments such as, "They bring me a sleeping pill every night even when I tell them that sleep all right without it.")
Aspirin: for headache.
Penicillin: for which one of the mycins was substituted.
The above is a fairly typical example of the drugs prescribed routinely for many patients-some receiving more and some receiving less-according to the one prescribing and the response of the patient.
THE PATIENT'S RESPONSE
After taking the Equinil for over a week, the patient's hands and feet became very red swollen and itchy. Next, a red rash appeared all over her body. The doctor discontinued the Equinil as a causative factor of the rash, and gave an antihistamine, Benadryl, four times daily to counteract the rash. A day or so after starting the Benadryl the patient's temperature became elevated; she became very dizzy, had severe head pains, and said she felt as if her jaws were going to set (lock in place).
Opening the pharmaceutical handbook to the antihistamines, I found listed as possible harmful side effects the very reactions this patient was manifesting. Furthermore, the handbook stated that the therapeutic value of the antihistamines had not been established (there was no definite evidence that they were of any particular value as a medication].
After the patient had been on this drug program for a couple of weeks, she developed a swelling in front of her right ear for which penicillin was ordered. On previous occasions she had had allergic reactions to this wonder drug; so one of the mycins was substituted. On a former bout with a mycin drug she had developed a white. furry growth in her throat. (These fungus growths are resultant from these fungus "wonder" drugs that have been orally administered. These drugs are derived from a family of molds known as "pennicillium".)
This same type of furry growth from one of the mycins caused one of my relatives to choke to death. This fact may help explain my deep concern to warn against this desperately hostile method of treating disease. No comment is needed on the Elixir of Iron, Quinine and Strychnine, for Ellen White spoke of them in her day as definitely harmful drugs. Quinine: Spiritual Gifts, Volume 4, Part A, page 139. Strychnine (nux vomica): page 138-139, Selected Messages, book 2, pages 446-447, 449.1
Some may think the allergic reaction of this particular patient to be unusual. However, on the front of many patients charts are warnings stating, "This patient is allergic to such and such a drug -and then naming it. It would not be a difficult assignment to compile a long list of victims who have had critical reactions to practically all of the so-called "harmless" drugs administered to patients.
NECESSITY OF A DECISION
The disappointing experiences of such people as this patient who had come to our sanitarium, and who in the words of Jeremiah 6:15, "looked ..for a time of health, and behold trouble," gave me pause, and brought me to the realization that I had a decision to make. Recently I had read in Prophets and Kings page 148: "The Lord abhors indifference and disloyalty in a time of crisis in His work. The whole universe is watching with inexpressible interest the closing scenes of the great controversy between good and evil. The people of God are nearing the borders of the eternal world; what can be of more importance to them than that they be loyal to the God of heaven."
Current training and medical ethics sometimes pose a problem for a Seventh-day Adventist nurse to decide just where her loyalties lie. Should she carry out the doctor's orders and administer drugs which she can plainly see are having an adverse effect on the patient; or should she listen to the voice of conscience which has been enlightened by a study of the Spirit of Prophecy writings regarding the Satan-inspired practice of administering poisonous drugs to treat disease? A nurse must often ponder and try to harmonize the instruction the Lord has given in relation to medical missionary work and the contrary way it is carried on by those to whom the Lord has so plainly revealed His methods of prevention and healing.
On entering training, a nurse takes the Florence Nightingale pledge part of which says, I will not knowingly administer any harmful drug." How can a Seventh-day Adventist nurse who repeatedly observes the effects of the drugs on the patients keep from violating this pledge? The nurse who has meditated on the Divine Blueprint of healing cannot callously enter a sick room with a needle full of a powerful drug which has been proven to have toxic effects on a full ten percent of all patients who receive it-and which has brought instant death to many more. Yet this drug is prescribed routinely for infection by most physicians.
After reading the following quotations, a nurse must choose between subordination to the orders of man or obedience to the laws of God.
A FEW OF THE MANY TESTIMONIES REGARDING DRUGS
"I was SHOWN that more deaths have been caused by drug taking than from all other causes combined. If there was in the land one physician in the place of thousands, a vast amount of premature mortality would be prevented. Multitudes of physicians and multitudes of drugs, have cursed the inhabitants of the earth, and carried thousands and tens of thousands to untimely graves."-Spiritual Gifts, volume 4, page 133.
"By the use of poisonous drugs many bring upon themselves lifelong illness, and many lives are lost that might be saved by natural methods of healing Let physicians teach the people that restorative power is not in drugs, but in nature."-Ministry of Healing, pages 126-127.
"The physician who depends upon drug medication in his practice shows than he does not understand the delicate machinery of the human organism. He is introducing into the system a seed crop that will never lose its destroying properties throughout the lifetime. I tell you this because I dare not withhold it. Christ paid too much for man's redemption to have his body so ruthlessly treated as it has been by drug medication."-Medical Ministry, page 22.
"When drugs are introduced into the system, for a time they seem to have a beneficial effect. A change may take place but the disease is not cured. It will manifest itself in some other form. In nature's efforts to expel the drug from the system, intense suffering is sometimes caused the patient. -Spiritual Gifts, volume 4, page I35.
No doubt, it is this seemingly beneficial initial effect of the drug which deceives some undiscerning physicians and gives others carte blanche [a card of permission] to administer these deceitful medicines.
"There are more who die from the use of drugs, than all who would have died of diseases had nature been left to do her own work."-Spiritual Gifts, volume 4, page 135.
"Drug medication is to be discarded. On this point the conscience of the Physician must ever be kept tender, and true, and clean."-Medical Ministry, page 227.
"Years ago the Lord revealed to me that institutions should be established (or the treating of the sick without drugs. Medical Ministry, page 227.
"The influence of the Spirit of God is the very best medicine that can be received by a sick man or woman. "-Medical Ministry, page 12.
"Experimenting in drugs is very expensive business. Paralysis of the brain and tongue is often the result, and the victims are an unnatural death, when, if they had been treated perseveringly with unwearied, unrelaxed diligence with hot and cold water, hot compresses, packs, and dripping sheet, they would be alive today.-Medical Ministry, page 228.
As we are well aware, the Lord through His servant has given us many more warnings against the use of drugs; some even more scathing than these.
We are all acquainted with the answer of the doctors when these quotations are called to their attention: "Sister White did not mean the wonderful medicines we have today. She was referring to the drugs used in her day before we had these marvelous, modern, scientific discoveries." Did Sister White refer ONLY to the drugs used in her day-or did she include our modern drugs? We know that her definition of a "drug" was a poisonous substance of a foreign nature. The statements below, from well-known and recognized medical men will help answer this question.