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Holistic healer witnesses physician purposely inflict pain on patient for training purposes while attending medical school

Western medicine

(NaturalNews) A holistic healer focused on using self-empowering mind-body tools including meditation, spiritual growth, deep relaxation and even self-hypnosis, Dr. Emmett Miller has witnessed firsthand the insensitivity and detachment often associated with Western medicine, spurring him to take a different approach to healthcare. The following is an excerpt from Deep Healing: The Essence of Mind/Body Medicine and details a traumatizing encounter Dr. Miller experienced early in his medical training.

The afternoon was warm, and the chemical disinfectant smell of the hospital corridors mingled with the sour stench of stale vomitus as we entered the room. Dr. Harrington, the British surgeon, wearing his long, white attending physician's coat like a royal gown, strode purposefully to the right side of the room's single metal bed.

One by one, the seven second-year medical students filed in and stood silently around the bed. Our focus was on Dr. Harrington. This was our time to spend with this highly respected abdominal surgeon, and we wanted to learn as much as we could about examining acutely ill patients.

The expression on the face of the middle-aged woman lying beneath the white sheet was one of agony, exhaustion, and despair. Her hair badly needed brushing, and a low moan escaped her parched lips with each breath that she took.

"This woman is an alcoholic," Dr. Harrington announced in the impatient tone we'd come to expect from our professors. They seemed to want us always to be aware that they had more important things to do than teach a bunch of wannabe doctors things they should have known since birth.

"She has acute pancreatitis, a common sequel to alcoholism," he continued. "This disease can produce one of the most painful abdominal conditions you will ever encounter."

Without any warning, he grasped the bed sheet and abruptly pulled it down to the patient's knees, exposing her naked body, her distended abdomen, and several clear plastic tubes carrying fluids to and from her body. She showed almost no response to this, so depleted was her strength, and so complete was her immersion in her pain.

Dr. Harrington continued, "With acute pancreatitis such as this woman has, you will find the most severe rebound tenderness of any disease!"

Dr. Harrington now placed his hands on the woman's abdomen, just below her rib cage and pressed firmly with the tips of his fingers. Her face contorted in agony; she cried out, and her hands struggled weakly to push him away. My own eyes widened in horror, and my mouth went dry. Harrington kept his hands there for a long time.

Then suddenly he jerked his hands away, a maneuver that causes a sharp pain if the peritoneal lining of the abdominal cavity is inflamed. The patient shrieked. Her back arched, and her body went rigid for a few moments as she sobbed. A wave of nausea swept over me, and my breath stuck in my throat.

At last the poor woman's body collapsed back onto the damp sheets, the last of her reserves exhausted. Sweat beaded up on her forehead, her breathing became rapid and shallow, and tears poured from her eyes. The room fell silent except for her weak, whimpering sobs. I felt confused and paralyzed. I wanted to do something, but didn't know what.

Then, quite abruptly, Dr. Harrington barked at me, "Dr. Miller, demonstrate rebound tenderness."

I gasped involuntarily, looked at him, then looked at her. I was speechless. "Sir," I protested, "I've demonstrated rebound tenderness many times in the emergency room, and it's clear that this is the most severe I've ever seen. I don't see why it's necessary for me to do that."

"Dr. Miller, demonstrate rebound tenderness!" Harrington's voice rose to a demanding growl.

I gazed at the woman in the bed. Who was she? Was she the wife of a man killed in the Korean war, whose children had become delinquents? Was she someone's daughter whose songs once warmed the hearts of her family? How did she become reduced to her present state, to mere "clinical material"?

"I think she's suffered enough," I said, shocked by my own brazenness. "I don't feel there's sufficient indication to hurt her again."

"Very well, Dr. Miller," Harrington said in the most clipped British tones. "Please step back from the bed."

I did. But then I watched in horror as he instructed each of the other students to demonstrate rebound tenderness, not just once but six more times! Harrington's eyes flickered toward my face each time the woman screamed. The message was clear. I was responsible for the torture this woman was enduring.

If I had followed Harrington's instructions instead of my conscience, she would have been spared these awful torments.

Even as I write these words, something in me recoils. Could this really have happened? Did I really witness such blatant torture, in broad daylight? Could I have been the only one who felt infuriated, guilty, and ashamed? Am I simply a disobedient, oversensitive wimp? What crime did this poor woman commit to deserve such inhumane treatment? And was this memory the punishment I would forever endure for disobeying the order of my superior?

Although I would love to erase this memory, I cannot. Many times over the years, I have relived that moment, standing by helplessly as six medical students inflicted pain on that poor woman, under the steady, searing gaze of Dr. Harrington.




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