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Death By Medicine – Book Review

written by Head Health Nutter July 23, 2010

Most Live Lighter readers know there’s something fishy with conventional medicine and so they’ve turned to natural health alternatives. Now with Gary Null’s newest book, Death By Medicine, we have solid proof that today’s medical world needs drastic change.

The title of the book says it all. It instantly activated my gut feelings towards today’s healthcare system, and considering I loved Dr. Null’s Ultimate Anti-Aging Program, I jumped at the chance to provide an honest review in exchange for a copy.

For those of you who don’t know Dr. Gary Null, PhD, he’s been “one of the foremost advocates of alternative medicine and natural healing for over three decades. An award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Null has written over 70 books on nutrition, self-empowerment, and public health issues. His syndicated public radio show, “Natural Living with Gary Null,” is the longest-running, continuously aired health program in America.”

Death By Medicine boldly claims that conventional medicine is America’s number one killer. It is both frighteningly fascinating and incredibly dry. Although it’s a short book (238 pages), it took me awhile to read because it backs up this claim with a massive amount of scientific evidence from healthcare research studies (47 pages make up the reference section).

“Never before have complete statistics on the multiple causes of iatrogenesis [definition: inadvertent and preventable introduction of disease or complications by the medical treatment or procedures by a physician or surgeon] been combined in one book… every count in this indictment of US medicine is validated by published, peer-reviewed scientific studies. The startling findings from this meticulous study indicate that conventional medicine is the leading cause of death in the United States.”

The authors (Dr. Gary Null, Dr. Martin Feldman, Dr. Debora Rasio and DR. Carolyn Dean) state in the introduction that they wrote this book as a wake-up call for medical practitioners. It provides real numbers for just how many deaths are occurring within the medical industry and a call for courageous doctors to take action for reform. It also asks them to take natural medicine a little more seriously.

For the average reader (like me), you may find you’ll need to be in a certain mood to read Death By Medicine. Nevertheless, I also feel it’s a necessary read for those who care about their health and who use mainstream healthcare.

Did you know…

…the number of people who die each day because of medical errors – physician mistakes, hospital-related illness, and reactions to FDA-approved medications – is the equivalent of six jumbo jets falling out of the sky?

These are the results from the research reviewed in Death By Medicine!

And yet, the authors remind us the compilation of facts in the book document that:

“those who seek to abolish consumer access to natural therapies are misleading the public. Nearly 800,000 Americans die each year at the hands of government-sanctioned medicine, while the FDA and other government agencies pretend to protect the public by harassing those who offer safe alternatives.”

One of the aspects about the book that really impressed me was as they revealed faults in the healthcare system, they never directly blamed doctors for deaths. The authors suggested that the unacceptable numbers of iatrogenesis (see definition above) were the unfortunate result of a system designed by greedy pharmaceutical companies and governments.

A taste of the contents

So what are some of the leading causes of death by medicine? The research in Death By Medicine covers a wide range, including:

  • Problems with drugs – such as, medication errors, adverse drug reactions, medicating our feelings, problems with advertising drugs to consumers and how they pollute our water supply.
  • Problems with specific classes of drugs – antibiotics, NSAIDS and cancer chemotherapy.
  • An honest look at the failures of American healthcare – such as, unnecessary surgical procedures, x-rays and hospitalization; surgical errors and infections from hospitals.
  • Women’s experience in medicine – which suggested women have been unnecessarily treated for hysteria, hysterectomy and cesarean section.
  • Poor care of the elderly – bedsores, malnutrition in nursing homes, warehousing our elders and overmedicating seniors.
  • Medical ethics and conflicts of interest in scientific medicine

Did any of this information change my mind? Most of it I knew already – although I had no idea about the magnitude of the situation! – but what really impacted me was the information on chemotherapy. I’ve decided after reading this book that if I should ever have to… I would choose natural medicine to help me heal from cancer.


All the various means of death caused by traditional medicine covered by Dr. Null has been talked about before, especially among natural health practitioners. And all the research and information in the book is not new, either.

But seeing it presented all together and the numbers analyzed, well, one could describe Death By Medicine as a real-life horror story! For another review on this book, check out this one by PositiveHealth.com which highlights some of the book’s findings and numbers.

Have you read Death By Medicine yet? What did you think of it? How has it affected your beliefs and trust in the healthcare system?

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1 comment

The Perfect Healthcare System | Live Lighter September 10, 2010 at 1:46 pm

[…] realize when you read Dr. Null’s “Death By Medicine,” another book I recently reviewed); most pharmaceuticals (they usually cause more damage than help); and most natural health […]


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