March 14, 2009

Mediscams: Dangerous Medical Practices and Health Care Frauds–and How to Prevent Them from Harming You and Your Family

By admin

A crusading, award-winning investigative reporter for television and news magazines Extra, Hard Copy, and Inside edition, Chuck Whitlock leads you into the underworld of MediScams. Here medical chicanery, good intentions gone bad, and unrepentant greed combine to consume America’s healthcare dollars by the billions. Are you in need? The MediScams artists are there with false promises of therapies, cures and treatments.A shocking and unnerving book, MediScams blows the whistle on healthcare “professionals” hawking “scientifically proven” treatments that turn out to be fraudulent. Whitlock reveals the dirty secrets of health maintenance organizations and pharmaceutical houses. His expose of the mistreatment of patients and of Medicaid and Medicare fraud has shed light on the seedy underside of nursing home operations. Whitlock is relentless in his pursuit of those who abuse the publics trust. And he isn’t afraid of pointing out the serious malpractice that goes on even in the offices of “respectable” physicians.In MediScams, Whitlock gets in the face of:- supplement manufacturers who cite only selective testing labs and portions of legitimate research to back up their fraudulent claims- bogus plastic surgeons – particularly the enormous number who operate without licenses or medical degrees- the research charlatans who recklessly dispense compounds, powders, pills and placebos- the carnies and hucksters who live off dental MediScams and nursing home rip-offs- fraudulent doctors – yours may be one of themMediScams will scare you, but more importantly, it will make you want to take action. It will show you how easily you may be taken by those who seem to care. All true and all documented, this book is thoroughly annotated, citing the arrests and convictions of the small percentage of those who get caught. An appendix provides a comprehensive resource list of private, professional and government agencies that offer information and consumer guidance, along with agencies that help victims of fraud.

Customer Review: Good intro for the unaware

Chuck Whitlock begins with a horrific tale about John Ronald “Butcher” Brown, whom he dubs “America’s worst doctor.” Dr. Brown comes to final light in 1998 after butchering an amputation job in a National City, California hotel room. The victim, 79-year-old Philip Bondy, was found dead with blood everywhere and his face “frozen in a twisted mask of pain.” (p. 24) Turns out that Bondy was just a stand-in for his Jungian shrink, one Dr. Gregg Furth who first sought the operation for himself. It seems that both he and his patient suffered from “a fetish or paraphilia known as apotemnophilia.” Whitlock explains: “The fetish is also referred to as a self-demand amputation, and involves primarily men who wish to have amputation of a lower extremity for psychological and sometimes sexual reasons. Dr. Furth stated he had been aware of wanting his own leg removed since his early childhood.” (p. 29) Whitlock, who has appeared on TV’s Oprah, Regis and Kathie Lee, Hard Copy, Extra and Inside Edition, follows this with Chapter 2, “A Brief History of MediScams: From Snake Oil to Cancer Quackery.” Then he returns to contemporary times and shares what he has found out about “Dangerous Doctors,” managed care, nursing homes, “Dental MediScams,” etc. He comes down heavily on incompetent and fake doctors and on the medical profession for not weeding them out. Seems that you have to be a combination of Dr. Dracula and the Son of Sam to get the profession to notice that you’ve gone astray. He also goes after bogus cures and questions the efficacy of some alternative medical approaches. There’s a chapter on the placebo effect including some material about the so-called psychic healers of the Philippines. Chapter 12, which he subtitles, “Buying a Pig in a Poke” is on food supplements. Another chapter is on just how botched things can get in the world of plastic surgery. A chapter on nursing homes is alternately titled, “Warehouses for the Elderly?” All in all this is a breezy read and a good, if a bit stringent, intro into the dangers that face the unaware in medical land. There is a “resources” appendix with websites and a Bibliography (no index). Buy this for your medically innocent friends and relatives before they are initiated into the realities of medical science and pseudoscience the hard and expensive way.

Customer Review: Mediscams or medibiases?

Whitlock examines both “traditional” and “alternative” medical practices with results that are hit and miss. He ‘hits’ the HMO debacle right on the head, and his discussion of his mother’s experience with and subsequent death due to HMO ‘mangled care’ will certainly hit a resonant chord with many. Unfortunately, his bias towards ‘traditional’ medicine and the medical establishment is obvious in his discussion of everything from chiropractic care to therapeutic touch. Chiropractors are little more than cheats and charletans, according to Whitlock and his proof that therapeutic touch is bogus? – a ninth grade science fair project. I doubt that had a science fair project had positive results, it would have been cited as proof that an alternative modality works. If you are looking for a balanced, unbiased assessment of both traditional and alternative medical practices, this isn’t the book for you.

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