As a primary goal here I hope to support families in informed decision making, as per my “I have a dream in 2018” post.
The current crisis at Cochrane seems like such an significant issue that we should all be aware of and spreading awareness of, as we can only make informed decisions with transparency and impartial research and reviews. Which it seems is becoming more a dream than a reality.
So, if you believe in the importance of informed decision making with the necessity of transparency and believe that there should be no place in it for corruption. Please keep reading and raise awareness of this kind of corruption with those you interact with in social media or real life. Be it this blog or another source.
There is an established crisis of ethics within the board of Cochrane, in September 2018, they are pretty much the universally accepted gold standard for impartial reviews of medical research and widely used to form healthcare policies.
This crisis has resulted in 5 of the 13 members of the board stepping down, due to pressure to toe the line with pharmaceutical interests and money tainting impartiality. The Gates Foundation, who fund a great deal of pharmaceutical research especially vaccine research, donated over a million dollars to the cochrane collaborative non-profit muddying the waters of impartiality.
It also coincides with Cochrane having committed to an enormous amount of research into the HPV vaccine, which is probably one if not the most controversial vaccine to date. A member of the board wrote a critique on the poor analysis of the vaccine’s safety, and he has this week been asked to step down from the board from a minority vote. Anecdotally in huge numbers linked with paralysis (GBS), premature menopause and fertility loss; it has seven times the reported adverse events of any other vaccine. Due to the enormous number of reported adverse reactions it is no longer recommended by the government of Japan; where there is an ongoing lawsuit against the manufacturer, since Japan doesn’t give vaccine manufacturers the immunity to legal action they have in other countries (like the U.K. and U.S.A.). The vaccine has also recently been added to the vaccine schedules for boys.
That vaccine itself is said to have questionable efficiency, potentially reduces the risk of some forms of herpes viruses linked with cancer that can be spread during sexual contact. The HPV vaccine is also tremendously controversial as it is offered as a sexual health vaccine and children as young as 12 years of age (in the UK & USA) can consent to it without parental knowledge, based on information provided in school. Many are concerned minimises the communication of the risks and side effects, others share experiences in social media of how their children claim to have been coerced by professionals into having it against their wishes without having their parent or another to advocate for their wishes.
So understandably there has been a tremendous need for an impartial evidence based systemic review of its efficiency and side effects. Cochrane had committed to doing so and to date has failed to. This combined with the very large Gates’ Foundation contribution and the current Cochrane crisis, between those who are and aren’t willing to toe the line with pharmaceutical interests; leads to an enormous worry for the integrity for the future of Cochrane research and reviews, and the future of impartiality in evidence based research going forward.
This has lead me to a place where I feel we really need to be active in supporting, through prayer and awareness spreading, of the potential corruption in the pharmaceutical industry which plays an enormous role in the education, endorsement and efficiency of modern day health care.
In our society, people who question healthcare, policy and pharmaceuticals, are often tarred with a “conspiracy” or paranoid brush and discarded as “woo” or other derogatory dismissals of their concerns. This completely undermines other people’s opinions, and perpetuates the pedestal that puts medicine out of reach of reason.
Medicine and healthcare are so important, but they aren’t funded by philanthropically driven incentives. The pharmaceutical industry is a money making giant, and medical error is the third leading cause of death in the western world.
Healthcare practitioners are predominantly in their professions because they have a desire to heal and restore people’s health. They can only act within the guidance of their profession and the training they encounter, which is often funded by those with pharmaceutical interests. Often because they want to help, and they have to work within those parameters it can be difficult and dangerous for their careers and job security to question the policies and practices they are told are essential.
So I ask all those who find this as concerning as I do to pray for the frontlines of medical ethics.
• Pray for the whistleblowers whose careers have been destroyed, or have had to move to other countries to practice, because they identified and didn’t hide the truths of unethical practices they have uncovered.
• Pray for protection for future whistleblowers and their families.
• Pray for the future of reliable evidence based research and reviews of that research.
• Pray for the Cochrane’s future and that it’s history of being so dependable wouldn’t be misused for deception in the future.
• Pray for the people who are on the side of health and healing instead of profitability.
• Pray for increased transparency.
• Pray that people wouldn’t dismiss the very real corruption and manipulation of information to present the outcome that is most profitable. *It’s not a conspiracy if it’s factually founded.
• Pray for visibility, that corruption would be exposed and not be able to hide.
• Ultimately pray God’s will would be done. Because he is for us not against us.
• Pray for justice in a society where people blindly trust professionals recommendations. When medications are handed out more readily than lifestyle advice, which can lead to more holistic healing but takes time and perseverance and doesn’t line any pharmaceutical pocket’s.
• Pray for our society that we would steward our health better. Taking a more holistic approach to understanding the mechanism of how our bodies work empowering us to work with our own biology to maximise our health.
** ETA 12th October 2018**
More on the greater contact and developments of the situation.
The background to the current Cochrane crisis: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmjebmspotlight/2018/09/16/cochrane-a-sinking-ship/
Related HPV Cochrane review criticism: https://ebm.bmj.com/content/early/2018/07/27/bmjebm-2018-111012
Letter post dismissal from the Cochrane board by a minority vote : https://nordic.cochrane.org/sites/nordic.cochrane.org/files/public/uploads/moral_crisis_in_cochrane.pdf
Resignation letter from four of the board who followed: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmjebmspotlight/files/2018/09/Why-we-resigned.pdf (original link removed from the cochrane website)
Lack of transparency in medical research: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/15/health-regulator-withholding-vaccines-results-making-impossible/
Concerns over Cochrane’s future: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/09/17/ray-moynihan-lets-stop-the-burning-and-the-bleeding-at-cochrane-theres-too-much-at-stake/
A defence for cochrane: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/09/17/trish-greenhalgh-the-cochrane-collaboration-what-crisis/
Gates Foundation Cochrane donation: https://www.cochrane.org/news/cochrane-announces-support-new-donor
Medical error as the third leading cause of death: