December 26, 2023 | David F. Coppedge

Is Evolution Destroying Modern Medicine?

Impersonal, insensitive health care is a
symptom of a Darwinian worldview

 

by J.Y. Jones M.D.

As a saying goes, getting old is not for sissies. The rather regular (and sometimes radical, plus usually unexpected) occurrence of bodily malfunctions is real and often difficult and painful.

Why Older Doctors Are Better

My recent contacts with medical care providers of several specialties have been so frequently frustrating and unsatisfying that the only option for my wife and me was to seek out “old time” physicians who are either friends or former colleagues. We have found good and timeless characteristics in our primary care physicians, and we are quite happy with them.

Most especially when it comes to being referred elsewhere, it’s generally easier to find the care and compassion you want and need when you patronize doctors in their late 70s or early 80s who have hung on because they simply love to practice medicine. Despite their ages they still hold closely the Hippocratic Oath they took on graduation from medical school, they are dependable, and they almost invariably have your interests in mind all the time.

Having practiced medicine myself for 45 years, our recent personal roadblocks to specialty care were particularly frustrating to me, and I began to ponder what might be the problem. Before I tackle the issue of a major fundamental cause of decline in medical care and access, let me give a couple of examples from my family.

Recent Experience with Insensitive Healthcare Professionals

My wife Linda has had rheumatoid disease for five years and almost lost her kidneys at the start of it because of retroperitoneal fibrosis (scarring which blocks the ureters and may destroy the kidneys). Once her diagnosis was established, a urologist friend and a former medical colleague in our town expeditiously placed stents to open her ureters, and a local nephrologist prescribed medicine and a special diet to save her kidneys and help them recover. We are naturally grateful that the system worked then, though without my personal connections accumulated over many years as part of our local medical community, she might well have encountered delay that would have her on dialysis now, or worse. She now regularly sees a wonderful rheumatologist (not an old one, but of the “old“ school).

Still, being now 80 years old, she has some osteoarthritis as well, and it flared up in her lower spine quite significantly about three months ago, with bearable but uncomfortable low back pain. She made an appointment and went to an orthopedic group with an office in our town, a place she had been before, and saw their nurse practitioner for an evaluation. No medicine was prescribed, but she was scheduled to see the “back doctor” in several weeks, as the need for an injection of steroid was obvious, even to an old retired ophthalmologist like me.

She was scheduled meanwhile by the nurse practitioner to have an MRI, not a bad idea, but it took another three weeks to get on the MRI schedule. When she went back to see the doctor and have him evaluate her and tell her his plans, she saw instead the nurse practitioner again. He scheduled her for an injection with a different doctor yet another three weeks down the road, to be done by someone she’d never seen before. We’re still waiting for that date to come around as I write this.

Then advancing time began to come into play. Over the waiting period to get the needed injection, amounting to almost three months in total (if indeed it gets done as currently scheduled), her lower back pain escalated over just a few days, yet the injection was still more than two weeks away. Shortly, she could barely walk without excruciating pain, and any attempt at walking was accompanied by the need to bend forward for some relief. Keep in mind that my health-conscious wife has worked out three times a week and really follows every prescribed regimen. Yet now, she suddenly walked like a centenarian.

I personally called the orthopedics office (using my M.D. credentials, which sometimes helps, but not this time) to see if her injection could be expedited in view of markedly increased symptoms. There was no way, no openings, and no exceptions, regardless of her pain. I managed to get the scheduled doctor’s assistant on the phone, but she was entirely unsympathetic, and simply stated she would have to wait until the scheduled date. No palliative options were suggested at all, not even pain relievers. I was frustrated that she would have to bear her terrible pain that long, but I managed to hold my sometimes volatile temper, and I determined to find an alternative, if any were available.

I called on two anesthesiologist friends with whom I had previously worked for many years, and neither could help with an injection. One had moved to another town, and was off for the holidays until about the scheduled date of my wife’s injection. The other, actually a neighbor, had helped Linda with a previous injection, but had stopped doing that type of work. He called back to see if we’d made any progress with the now-departed anesthesiologist (whom he had suggested), and he seemed deeply troubled in view of Linda’s continued downhill spiral.

At his suggestion he called in a prescription for Prednisone, with a high initial dose, followed by a tapering dose. The next morning Linda was almost normal. My feelings of gratitude were extreme, but I wondered how people without my kind of connections could survive! And as well, I wondered why the doctor’s assistant, with whom I spoke, had not offered that kind of help.

Another Example of Decline in “Care”

In another family case, Linda’s oldest sister also has rheumatoid disease. She was seeing a local family doctor in her town, and she went in for evaluation virtually sore and swollen all over and unable to walk. Her doctor was unsympathetic, cold, and unconcerned. She didn’t even offer her an aspirin, but did agree to refer her to a rheumatologist, setting up an appointment months down the road. Linda left immediately to visit her sister, having determined the problem was serious, and she called me to say she expected her sister was going to die, being swollen in every joint, feverish, and just plain sick. Even though her doctor made a referral, and was in charge of her care at the moment, she utterly failed to take any other action to give some temporary relief, which I would call malpractice at best, and inhumane at worst.

In desperation, I called my best friend in the whole world. He is an amazing family practice doctor who just keeps on practicing, even at age eighty. The town where he practices is only about thirty miles from where Linda’s sister lives, and I told Linda I would call him and see if he could do an evaluation for her, to the end of hopefully offering some kind of help. He was extremely willing, and he wanted Linda to bring her sister as quickly as possible, in view of her acute suffering and possible impending death.

His evaluation and lab work showed she was quite clearly in an acute attack of severe active rheumatic disease. He gave her a hefty injection of steroid, and put her on a similar oral dose as Linda was put on more recently, though he didn’t recommend tapering off it entirely until she saw the rheumatologist. The very next morning, she was a totally different person, free of pain and able to go about much of her normal routine. She is now under the care of a rheumatologist and doing well. Had she awaited the scheduled appointment, she would almost certainly be in her grave now.

Bureaucracy Stifles Compassionate Healthcare

In view of the similarity between what Linda and her sister have experienced with the medical care system of late, it appears there is something greatly amiss. The lack of compassion by too many trained doctors is glaring, to say the least. Doubtless, much of it is time pressure, and thus the inability to do all the tasks they’re required to do. So what do they do? At the very least, they’re forced to cut corners.

Time pressure is doubtless a major contributor, and it’s become worse, not better, with the mandatory computer work that is required these days in medicine. It’s said one can’t live without filling in all the blanks and checking all the boxes, and that is a form of pressure not experienced until government and insurance companies conspired to make life difficult for doctors and patients alike. Very often, critical care decisions are made not by a fully trained doctor, but by someone remote from patient care and detached entirely from the extant situation. Often, that individual may even lack a college degree of any kind. And yet their authority to overrule both doctor and patient decisions is virtually unlimited.

One recent study1 looked at the number of publications addressing the time pressure problem over the past fifty years. This study looked for papers on the topic in the twenty years between 1970-1990, and found 113 published papers in that interim. In the ten years between 2010 and 2020, by contrast, an amazing 2,570 such papers were published! The vast increase isn’t accidental.

A slightly earlier study2 looked at the daily time use of internal medicine residents. These future specialists spent an astounding 50% of their time on the computer and on administrative duties (and probably—just my guess—despite a waiting room full of agitated patients they had to see). A more amazing statistic is that they spent less than 10% of their time face-to-face with patients! The study cites a similar decrease in clinical skills and physician confidence, plus both doctor and patient satisfaction was lacking. This reflected the loss of trust by the patients, poorer treatment outcomes, and notably deficient quality of care (and no wonder—look at my wife’s and her sister’s experience with younger doctors as stated above).

The Darwin Connection

What I am about to say in no way implies that a good physician must share my worldview. Neither do I say that finding a secular physician with high levels of competence, compassion, common sense, and a caring attitude is impossible. These traits are simply not encouraged nor taught well in most training situations today, but are nevertheless gifted to all kinds of people who may disagree with many of the tenets of my faith and worldview.

With that disclaimer in place, I decided to explore the impact of the teaching of evolution on medical care.

When I was in training, evolution was not taught, and seldom mentioned, except in college biology courses. At best it was—and still is—a theory in the ordinary, unscientific sense. Findings that discredit and disprove the entire concept of evolution are totally ignored by the evolution establishment. Even so, evolution permeates almost all educational, scientific, and governmental entities. When the concept of long ages (millions and billions of Darwin Years) does not fit the evidence, novel excuses and often wild speculations are generated and intensive effort is made to suppress or shame those who disagree. The statistics and probability calculations don’t lie, but they can certainly be ignored.

One can find literally thousands of papers linking evolution and medicine in some way, but practically all continue to treat the false and disastrous theory of evolution as totally beyond question (except those published by ignorant fundamentalist Christians like me, as well as associated organizations). Most such papers (and I’ve read numerous ones in researching for this article) are highly optimistic that evolutionary understanding will pave the way to better patient care and longer lives. Not a single one that I could find points to the teaching of naturalistic evolution as a major cause of deficient medical care. When I was in medical school, those who believed seriously in evolution were a silent minority; but today, you’re in danger of being expelled or failed if you refuse to bend the knee to this demonic doctrine.

Compassion Is Biblical

Altruism, or caring for other people despite personal inconvenience and cost, is a Biblical principle expressed in both the Old and New Testaments.

Doctors in general have always been highly respected for possession of this trait of altruism, which leads them to the belief that every human being is special, even the least fit, the sickest, and the least productive. Western medicine, influenced by the Bible, taught that all people were created by Almighty God and deserve respect, compassion, and the best care that can be delivered.

When medicine begins to lose this characteristic, the bad things that can happen are myriad, and several of them show up in the two experiences I relate above.

Selfishness Is Darwinian

Altruism is not a natural result of evolution, but is one of many dozens of absolute proofs that the theory is false. Evolution teaches that even consciousness, our complex and inexplicable brain, and our natural human compassion are all undirected accidents. Under strict evolutionary teaching, time constraints and pressures, plus our natural selfishness and an accepted attitude that people are just animals, the altruistic instinct can be suppressed or negated significantly.

If one wholly subscribes to such evolutionary views, why should a doctor care, and why shouldn’t doctors treat their patients like animals while extracting maximum financial benefit from them? Extending this thought process further, aren’t hate and greed considered natural and self-sustaining, so why should we persecute doctors, lawyers, or even politicians who practice these things? Such an uncaring attitude toward the welfare of your fellow man strikes practically all thinking people as abnormal; evolution defends such people as simply being and acting in normal fashion. Moreover, it violates (1) biblical teaching and (2) for physicians, the Hippocratic Oath.

It’s a terrible infection, far worse than Covid-19, which we see all around us every day if we deal with people. There is a solution, but most people will reject it. Here is my solution: return to the belief that man is NOT a natural result of millions of years of evolution; he was created by God to rule over the works of His hands.

A Call to Return to the Greatest Commandments

Unfortunately, we have an abnormality known as the sin nature, which we inherited from our common parents, Adam and Eve. There can be only very limited fellowship between a holy God and sinful man, but fortunately the Almighty has prepared a way for all mankind to know Him intimately through the sacrifice of his perfect Son, Jesus Christ. Repentance and confession of sin, then asking Christ to come in and take over your life, enables an eternal connection to the Godhead.

The words of Christ tell us how we should treat our fellow man, found as the answer to the question, “Which is the greatest commandment of the Law (of Moses)?” Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind…The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”3

Loving your neighbor is like loving God, and it’s closely tied to the greatest commandment. One really can’t show others whether they love God, one can only demonstrate love for Him by the way you treat your neighbors. So if you’re convinced there is no God, and thus all things are the result of random, accidental processes, you may feel you can ignore any such advice and do your selfish best to prosper during your brief time on Earth. But the result will produce eternal consequences, and in some cases, consequences in this present life.

Jesus heals a blind man, illustrating Divine compassion on the poor and needy. (Václav Mánes, Wikimedia Commons).

The Hippocratic Oath Derives from Our God-Given Conscience

Since I’ve mentioned it, here is the Hippocratic Oath taken by all physicians on graduation from medical school. This version has been modified several times from the original Greek, most glaringly by removing the pledge to gods of the pagan Greek pantheon. The original Oath was written several centuries BC, and most recently revised in 1964, although some schools apparently still use a form of the original:

“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

  • I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
  • I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
  • I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
  • I will not be ashamed to say ‘I know not’, nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
  • I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
  • I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
  • I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
  • I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
  • If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”

May all physicians re-read this again, and remember that it’s a binding and necessary oath.

References

  1. Schattner, A. The Spectrum of Harm Associated with Modern Medicine. J GEN INTERN MED37, 664–667 (2022).
  2. Mamykina L, Vawdrey DK, Hripcsak G. How do residents spend their shift time? A time and motion study with a particular focus on the use of computers. Acad Med 2016; 91:827-32.
  3. Matthew 22: 37, 39 (NASB).

See also our previous articles on evolutionary medicine:


J.Y. Jones MD has been an eye physician and surgeon for five decades. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran, speaks Spanish, and has volunteered in 28 overseas eye-surgery mission trips. He has received numerous awards for writing and photography, and is a frequent speaker at sportsmen’s events, where he particularly enjoys sharing his Christian testi­mony. J.   Y. and his wife Linda have been married since 1964.

Dr. Jones is an avid hunter who has taken all North American big game species using the same Remington .30-06 rifle, resulting in the book One Man, One Rifle, One Land (Safari Press, 2001); Dr. Jones helped Safari Press produce the Ask the Guides series, their most successful North American hunting books. He has written 14 books and some 300 short articles for various periodicals. For more articles by Dr Jones, visit his Author Profile page.

 

 

 

 

 

(Visited 432 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply