The China Study by Thomas Campbell

(nextflipdebug5) #1

Of those later years he says, "I just didn't think I was going anyplace.
The program had 150 or 170 people a year and that was it. Never grew.
Wasn't getting any support from the hospital and we had gone through
a lot of administrators."
He had small clashes with the other doctors at the hospital. At one
point, the heart department objected to whatJohn was doing with heart
patients. John told them, ''I'll tell you what, I'll send everyone of my
heart patients to you for a second opinion if you'll send yours to me." It
was quite an offer, but they didn't accept it. On another occasion John
had referred a patient to a cardiologist and the cardiologist incorrectly
told the patient that he needed to have bypass surgery. After a couple
of these incidents, John had reached the limit of his patience. Finally,
after the cardiologist recommended surgery for another one of John's
patients, John called him and said, "I want to talk with you and the
patient about this. I would like to discuss the scientific literature that
causes you to make this recommendation." The cardiologist said that he
wouldn't do that, to which John responded, "Why not? You just recom-
mended that this guy have his heart opened! And you're going to charge
him 50,000 or 100,000 bucks for it. Why don't we discuss it? Don't you
think that's fair to the patient?" The cardiologist declined, saying that it
would just confuse the patient. That was the last time he recommended
heart surgery for one of John's patients.
Meanwhile, none of the other physicians in the hospital had ever
referred a patient to John. Not once. Other physicians would send their
own wives and children to see him but they would never refer a patient.
The reason, according to John:
They were worried [about what would happen when] their pa-
tients would come to see me, and it happened all the time when
patients would come on their own. They'd come to me with heart
disease or high blood pressure or diabetes. I'd put them on the diet
and they'd go back off all their pills and soon their numbers would
be normal. They'd go to their doctor and say, "Why the hell didn't
you tell me about this before? Why did you let me suffer, spend all
this money, almost die, when all I had to do was eat oatmeal?" The
doctors didn't want to hear this.

There were other moments of friction between John and the hospital,
but the last straw involved the Dr. Roy Swank multiple sclerosis pro-
gram mentioned in chapter nine.

Free download pdf