ARTICLE 11) The Infamous 1-2-3 Racket
Author: Donald S. Rehm

How do you extract the maximum amount of money from someone who enters a hospital with symptoms of clogged coronary arteries? First you make certain that the victim is given no information, either oral or written, about the ease with which arteries can be unclogged with a low-fat diet. Then, using a well-honed technique of fear and intimidation, you work the 1-2-3 racket.

1) ANGIOGRAM (Also called arteriogram or cardiac catheterization): "We need to take a picture of your coronary arteries to see how badly they are clogged." This procedure is more of an operation than a test, with such undesirable outcomes as kidney damage, heart attack, stroke or death. Furthermore, the interpretation of the films is full of inaccuracies. Even if the results were accurate, they are of no value to the person who has the wisdom to immediately change to a low-fat diet. They are of great value to the hospital and doctors who use the test to set you up for the next punch.

2) BALLOON ANGIOPLASTY: "Look at these partially blocked arteries. You may need a bypass operation, but we can first try to expand these arteries to increase the blood flow." (The cardiologist is not going to refer you to a bypass surgeon until you and your insurance company have been relieved of as much money as possible.) In this procedure, using TV cameras and special dyes, the cardiologist guides a balloon-tipped catheter up through an artery in the thigh. When the obstruction is reached, the balloon is expanded to try to break up the plaque and stretch the artery. Some of the dangers of this procedure are:

  • Injuries and tears in the arterial lining result in reclogging of the artery within six months in over one third of the victims, resulting in the need for repeat procedures.
  • Two to three percent of these procedures create the need for emergency surgery because of the many possible complications.

Sometimes stents (cylindrical braces) are installed in damaged arteries to keep them from reclosing. Since blood tends to form clots at the stent location, such heavy doses of blood-thinning drugs must be used from then on to prevent strokes and heart attacks that there is a risk of bleeding to death. When these disasterous interventions fail to halt the progress of the heart disease, it is time to bring the bypass surgeon into the picture.

3) BYPASS SURGERY: "You're going to die if we don't do bypass surgery at once." A few of the risks of this procedure are:

  • Five to ten percent of the victims die during or soon after the operation.
  • A second or third operation may be required as the arteries reclose.
  • Neurological damage, causing memory loss and changed personality, is common.

Don't become a victim of these dangerous, profit-motivated interventions. Once you are in the hospital, every effort will be exerted to prevent you from leaving. It takes a courageous person to resist all of this and say "I'm going to get a few more opinions and do some research on the alternatives before I agree to any of this."

An aquaintance of mine entered a hospital with this type of heart problem. He asked a nurse for something to read while he waited for test results. She lent him her own book dealing with the benefits of a low-fat diet and getting one's cholesterol down to a safe level. "Hide this book when the doctors are around", she said. "Don't tell anyone I lent it to you or I'll be in trouble." This information, along with some previous knowledge of the subject, caused him to decline further testing and, against the wishes of the doctors, leave the hospital. When he got home, he started on a low-fat diet and regular exercise. Within a few months he felt much better and had even dropped 40 excess pounds to reach his desired weight of 175 pounds. There is no better example of a "narrow escape."

The medical industry has become very skilled at manipulating its victims. Don't fall for it!

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