PATIENTS’ INFO No. 16
The Fraud in Medicine
From: SPK-Dokumentation II
How can the following contradiction be understood: on the one hand the ever increasing progress of science and technology (man on the moon, heart transplants, ever increasing automation in all areas of life etc.) and on the other hand the growing rate of diseases and ailments. Hospitals are increasingly crowded, patients must be accommodated in corridors and discharged earlier, long waiting times; the practices of the established specialists and general practitioners are bursting. Almost each citizen is afflicted with a pathological symptom: headache, work and concentration disorders, constipation, flatulence and other gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue, heart palpitations, dizziness, low or high blood pressure, chesty coughs, anxiety, sleep and appetite disorders, cycle disorder and impotence etc. Not to mention the frequent manifest diseases such as: persistent high blood pressure, heart attack, stomach ulcer, cancer and other tumours, liver damage, stone ailments, inflammations, depression, etc. Each citizen needs some medication. In western industrialised countries, there are indeed hardly any more famines and epidemics, but there are a growing number of people that fall ill organically or mentally.
This can be explained by the fact that every symptom, illness or pathological condition is an expression of a wear and tear process, which is the result of the daily work performed to earn one’s living and of the tensions in human relations caused by this work. Congenital diseases and defects, too, are the result of this wear and tear process: It is sufficient that a pregnant woman is exposed only once in a certain stage of the development of the embryo to conditions of stress, anxiety, fatigue or exhaustion, she not even needs to be aware of, and promptly the child will be born with a malformation (heart defect, brain defect, etc.). Or the wear and tear process hits the gonads, and the consequences are all the chromosomally or genetically (= by the cell nucleus) caused defects of the newborn child. The road accidents are likewise an expression of this wear and tear (lack of concentration, fatigue, tenseness etc.). This wear and tear is by no means a passive, natural process, because passive wear equals aging. Rather, it is a product that is expressing simultaneously protest and the inhibition of this protest (= contradiction in illness). The drive and need demands oppressed by compulsory work and extra work and thus unsatisfied, are protesting and the worker must inhibit this protest in order to avoid coming in conflict with his environment. This inhibition requires effort, energy. And exactly this is wear = the product illness.
This wear and tear, however, is no longer necessary with today’s level of the productive forces. Today, the economic conditions have reached a level that would require of each single person to work only 2-3 hours a day to cover his living. Instead, you are exposed to the pressure of having to work at least 8 hours a day (while essentially the whole day is absorbed by work and in the evening you are so tired that you fall asleep in front of your television set). At the same time, you are rewarded only for about a 3 hour’s daily work. The value of the remaining 5 work hours is cashed in by the employer (= surplus value plus profit). These 5 hours that you’ve been working unpaid constitute the before mentioned wear and tear. You are entitled to a maximum of four weeks of vacation per year (under the current economic conditions everyone could be on vacation for half a year). Moreover, at least 1/3 is deducted from your monthly salary for income tax, pension fund, life and health insurance. Not to mention additional deductions such as vehicle tax and vehicle insurance, television and radio fees, rent, etc. Practically, each consumption, each enjoyment is subject to taxation. If you want to have a decent apartment or a house, you must work many years and save money (this means: renounce all enjoyments) or take a loan (but only who already possesses a certain property and can present it gets a credit). And if you are finally 40 or 50 years old and accordingly wrecked, you succumb to any acute condition (heart attack or stroke, cancer, etc.). And this although today everyone could possess an appropriate apartment already at the age of 20 or even less (appropriate – in contrast to most of the apartments, which are basically inacceptable because on the fourth floor you can hear what, on the first floor, a husband whispers to his wife in bed).
All this need not be, but it happens because a small minority of the population (in Germany 2.7%) owns and manages 95% of the national income. This minority that makes up the millionaires = the heads of large companies, clinic directors etc., is interested in the steady growth of their capital = profit maximisation.
To guarantee this, this minority must attempt by all possible means to cover up this situation of injustice in the distribution of capital as perfect as possible. Otherwise, the wage-dependent workers might indeed get the idea that they are being cheated every day and decide to no longer tolerate this situation. To conceal this contradiction (= all contribute to producing the national income, but only a few get the main part of it), this minority uses a corresponding ideology which is imparted by television, press, school, administration and other institutions. They talk the people into believing that this unequal distribution of the national income is fair, because after all, the entrepreneurs would provide the means of production (machinery, premises, capital, etc.) and bear the responsibility for the entire working process. The means of production, however, belong to all people, because they could only be created by the work of all people. The ownership of the means of production is not a natural law at all, as it is drilled into us ideologically. The fairytale of the responsibility of the entrepreneur reveals itself immediately in times of crisis. Messrs Entrepreneurs will have taken their money to Switzerland by now, and they retreat to their well-prepared retirement residences, while the wage-dependent workers and employees have been thrown out on the streets (see Ruhr-Crisis in the 1960ies). A result of this ideology is the isolation of these wage dependents, which is best evidenced in the following phrase: "It has always been like this, we as single individuals cannot change anything." Organising solidarily against this repression is hardly imaginable because of this ideology. Meanwhile, this ideology has been internalised by the single individual to the point that, e.g., he can not even imagine to live a life with a half year’s vacation.
The concealment by means of this ideology is not yet complete. Signs of grievance are seeping through in the form of steadily increasing diseases. Illness is, as said before, the expression of the wear and tear process in the work and, at the same time, it encompasses the unconscious protest against the daily oppression. The administrative minority has recognised the threat that for them lies in illness, and it prevents the sick from getting a clear idea of the true causes of their illness by the means of the healthcare system it has established (hospitals, health institutions, sanatoriums, health authorities, etc.). This happens because illness appears to the single individual as his personal fate and as his own weakness, which were self-inflicted. Everything is done to prevent the sick individual from recognising the societal causes of his illness.
The medical obligation to secrecy, commonly regarded as protective, implies thus very clearly that illness was something one should be ashamed of and that, as a disgrace, must be concealed. Not to mention the aspect of the profit business in the healthcare sector at the expense of the patients (millions in income of clinical professors, social security contributions which, to a large amount, are not of benefit to the sick people but are invested in other areas, e.g. in the arms industry, which, in turn, contributes to maximise the profits of the industry bosses and which are made only at the expense of the patients who are forced to shoulder the burden).
If the wear eventually becomes manifest, so that the one who is struck by it must go to the hospital or undergo medical treatment, therefore only the respective symptoms of his illness and not its cause, namely the existing economic conditions described above, can be treated. This means the following: By the existing medicine, the patient is simply enabled to work again, but not cured. Because after his medical treatment he is exposed again to the same wear and tear that has produced his illness and, therefore, he will necessarily fall ill again. There are countless examples of this. Just think of the constantly repeating relapses of kidney and gall stones, gastric and duodenal ulcers, tonsillitis, attacks of migraine, anxiety states, depressive states, back pains etc.
The Socialist Patients’ Collective (SPK), which is currently still an institution at the University of Heidelberg, has recognised the connection between illness and the previously described labour process and consequently has developed a corresponding practice contrary to the healthcare system, a practice that focuses on man and his needs, and not on economic aspects. The current state of the SPK includes nearly 400 patients (in February 1970 – about 50). There are no waiting times or waiting lists. The daily growth rate is 3-6 patients. By this the real misery of the masses is emerging quite visibly; this misery of the masses, that is concealed by the ruling institutions (in the present case, the top of the University, the Medical Faculty) with all their might and main. The social psychiatrist Prof. Haefner gets 45 million Deutschmarks for his project in Mannheim. These 45 million, of course, come from the taxes and the social security contributions of the wage dependents. However, only a maximum of 240 chosen ones will "benefit" from this project. Since our practice is opposed to the healthcare system and thus to the interests of the upper class, we are fought by the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, the Faculty of Medicine and the Management of the University. The measures taken by the bureaucracy of the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, the Faculty of Medicine and the top of the University are not only aimed at the approximately so far 400 organised patients, but they aim simultaneously at the entire population.
Because the SPK represents the true interests of the vast majority of the population by consistently opposing that research, teaching and production are carried out in favour of a small minority and at the expense of this vast majority (that are the sick people, the patients).
SOCIALIST PATIENTS’ COLLECTIVE
at the University of Heidelberg
Translation: MFE Greece, MFE craencStw
Patients’ Front / Socialist Patients’ Collective, PF/SPK(H), 20.12.2017
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The Complete Concept of Illness
What we wanted to revolutionise so
Answer: the revolution, from our first beginnings up to the present day.
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