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August 2022

"The Lethal Dose" - A Book Review

Dr. Jennifer Daniels is a former board-certified family practice physician originally from upstate New York. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard, and then earned both her medical degree and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Daniels first experienced some misgivings with traditional medicine as early as medical school, but pushed forward to complete her education and transition into residency. After practicing medicine for a decade, she eventually became disillusioned with the establishment medical system and started using unorthodox methods of patient care. Subsequently, her license to practice was lifted by the medical board for refusing to prescribe what she believed were unnecessary and dangerous medications. Amazingly enough, she was also placed on the "Do Not Employ" list, meaning that she could not get a job in the U.S., and the federal government put her on the Terror Watch List. Dr. Daniels was forced to flee to Panama, simply because she had reservations about prescribing lethal medications. In order to educate the public and tell her story, the good doctor published "The Lethal Dose" in 2013.

The term lethal dose is defined as, "the amount of something, usually a medication or a chemical that causes death." Something called LD 50 is the dose of a drug that kills half of those that take it. Dr. Daniels first learned about these terms in medical school and asked if there was such a thing as LD 0, meaning that the dosage of that particular drug didn't kill anybody. She was told that no such thing exists. A sobering thought. What I find infuriating is the fact that over 100,000 people die each year taking the prescribed dosage of medication. Yes, you read that correctly. These are people that die simply following the instructions of their physician, someone they think they can trust. The author details a personal experience when she was a resident where a patient had been overdosed on heparin, which is a blood thinner. The nurse had made a mistake and given the patient eight times the drug at four times the rate, which caused the patient to start bleeding out everywhere. After the mistake was caught, Dr. Daniels stopped administering the drug immediately, but was overridden by the senior doctor and told never to stop administering a drug, ever. Consequently, the patient needed a transfusion of 26 units of blood and bled into his eyeballs, causing him to lose his eyesight, and with it, a promising dental career.

If there is one thing that provides details as to the fundamental problems with mainstream medicine, look no further than the term standard of care. This is defined as "treatment that is accepted by medical experts as a proper treatment for a certain type of disease and that is widely used by healthcare professionals." Dr. Daniels tells us that doctors cannot ignore the standard of care, for fear of losing hospital privileges, the loss of income, and also malpractice lawsuits. Ironically, there are only three entities that can write the standard of care. These consist of drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals. Not coincidentally, these are the three entities that profit the most from the way the system is currently constructed. The worst part is that the two groups that should have the most input as to standard of care, do not have a say in the matter. These are doctors and patients. Notice a problem here?

Dr. Daniels describes her residency training as a tremendously difficult period, working 90 hour weeks and being sleep-deprived much of the time. She was not allowed to use the word "cure" when working with a patient, but rather "treat." The author goes on to say, "We were not allowed to offer any solution or thought that was outside of something that would profit the drug company or hospitals." That means natural therapies or non-drug alternatives were out of the question, and it is far more lucrative to treat a patient indefinitely with some drug which may or may not be effective than it is to cure them without side effects. I also found Dr. Daniels' thoughts on antibiotics very interesting. It has long been my belief that modern internal medicine has devolved into asking for a prescription for an antibiotic to cure a sniffle. With regard to antibiotics, Dr. Daniels offers these thoughts: "So did antibiotics ever save a life? After 20 years of prescribing and witnessing the use of antibiotics, I have observed no evidence of that (her emphasis). I have to be honest, and the truth is that antibiotics account for as many as 63,000 deaths per year. The deaths from bacterial infections are almost always from the organisms created by antibiotic use. So there's no question in my mind that antibiotics are not lifesaving. A lot of those deaths are from pneumonia infections caused by these resistant bacteria (her emphasis)." Considering the establishment viewpoint on drugs, an alternate opinion should at least be discussed.

Even during her family practice days, Dr. Daniels would prescribe natural remedies and see patients respond rapidly. These remedies included alternative natural herbs, ointments, and even writing out diet suggestions on her prescription pad for patients to implement. These natural remedies can work for a variety of ailments, including digestive difficulty and hot flashes. The good doctor stresses the importance of drinking more water, eating more "live" food (food picked out of the ground), and incorporating movement and exercise into your lifestyle. Even though she technically doesn't practice medicine any more, she has helped many people in Panama with some simple strategies and hasn't charged anyone a dime.

I found the book to be riveting, and tore through it in a couple of days. It is only 85 pages, including endnotes, but a lot of information is packed into those pages. Dr. Daniels writes in an engaging style, and having seen a couple of her videos I can tell that she writes like she talks. My only complaint is a couple of typos that I found, but that's typical in a self-published book. Frankly, I doubt this book would have come out through any of the establishment publishing houses, given the subject matter. I believe that Dr. Daniels is a hero worthy of our everlasting respect and gratitude for sharing her story and having the courage to walk away from medicine rather than sacrifice patients by practicing in a corrupt bureaucratic system. We all owe her a debt of thanks.

Posted August 03, 2022 by Matthew Romans