A series of guest posts on David Healy's blog (links at the foot of this post) have coined a new phrase, "Pharmaceutical Rape."
The posts, eloquently written by Laurie Oakley, a first-time author (Crazy And It Was - Surviving the Corporate Pharmaceutical Corruption of Western Medicine) and, in her own words, a simplicity junkie who delights in the rhythms of the so-called ordinary, have caused quite a stir and are a series of extracts taken from Laurie's second book, 'Rape Is Not A Metaphor - A Framework For Understanding Everyday Pharmaceutical Harms', due for publication later this year.
When one reads the headline, 'Pharmaceutical Rape' one can take it as the writings of a conspiracy theorist who is merely out to grab headlines, to shock, or one can also see it, as I do, as the quintessential analogy of the harms pharmaceutical companies (and their wares) can cause those who are not fully informed of potential risks when taking prescription medications. (That means all of us).
In fact, it's not even an analogy as it stands very much alone in its own right, yet we find ourselves explaining or clarifying it. Nor should it be deemed a metaphor, to do so would distract the reader from the harsh reality of it all. It is exactly what it is, it exists yet it's taken mother of two, Laurie Oakley, to tap into our psyche to show us what is already in front of us, such is the stranglehold and culture of the pharmaceutical industry.
In her latest post, Pharmaceutical Rape: The Good Patient, Laurie defines pharmaceutical rape culture. Take a long hard look at this paragraph, it's pure poetry...
A pharmaceutical rape culture is a culture in which iatrogenic harms are pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about medicine and health care. It is a complex set of beliefs that tolerates the commercialization of healthcare and supports everyday harms in medical and mental health care settings. It is a society where harm is only acknowledged as rare, yet is accepted as necessary, and inevitable. In a pharmaceutical rape culture, doctors and patients unknowingly trust what are oftentimes pseudo-scientific facts put forth by drug makers about drug safety. Both doctors and patients end up disbelieving the reality of the adverse events they see, and instead believe alternate explanations for such events. A pharmaceutical rape culture condones widespread medical harms that are rooted in reckless practices within the industry-government-medical trade alliance because multiple societal systems are involved in producing, reproducing, and disseminating “information” about pharmaceutical products. This “information” sat-urates the public and reinforces that alliance.
Coining the term, 'Pharmaceutical Rape', Laurie writes...
Pharmaceutical rape stems from the collective decisions of powerful individuals within an industry-government-medical trade alliance. It is an offense that results in an invasive violation of bodily autonomy for the victim. A pharmaceutical product is introduced into one’s body that causes harm — something one did not consent to — something that one had a legal right to more information about so that a different choice could have been made. Most often, it involves trusting and having that trust violated.
Which leads me to a video that has recently gone viral on the internet. It's not for the faint-hearted. Before you click the play button imagine, if you will, that the officers featured in the video, are, to family and friends, law abiding citizens who never cross the line between right and wrong. On the face of things they are decent human beings who have sworn an allegiance to protect the public.
Take a good look at their version of events compared to the version that was captured on CCTV. Also, listen to the county sheriff at the end of the video.