This is our ever-expanding list of quotes that honestly describe modern medicine. Some of them are amusing, whilst are others are disturbing. Nevertheless, they all point out facts hat we often overlook when looking at the medical establishment, and how it works in the modern age. Those who have followed us on Twitter are likely to have seen many of these before.
"The FDA protects the big drug companies, and is subsequently rewarded, and using the government's police powers, they attack those who threaten the big drug companies. People think that the FDA is protecting them. It isn't. What the FDA is doing, and what the public thinks it is doing are as different as night and day."
-- Dr. Herbert Ley, Former Commissioner of the U.S. F.D.A.
“Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society."
— Henry St. John
"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as a sorry state as the souls who live under tyranny."
— Thomas Jefferson
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will educate his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."
-- Thomas Edison
"Why would a patient swallow a poison because he is ill, or take that which would make a well man sick?"
-- L.F. Kebler, M.D.
"I learned a long time ago that minor surgery is when they do the operation on someone else, not you."
— Bill Walton
"A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running."
-- Groucho Marx
"You may not be able to read a doctor's handwriting and prescription, but you'll notice his bills are neatly typewritten."
-- Earl Wilson
"A doctor's reputation is made by the number of eminent men who die under his care."
-- George Bernard Shaw
"The FDA encourages studies in pediatric patients. Clinical trials involving children and orphans are therefore legal and not unusual."
-- GlaxoSmithKline, e-mail to Democracy Now!
"The number of American children and adolescents treated for bipolar disorder increased 40-fold from 1994 to 2003... Drug makers and company-sponsored psychiatrists have been encouraging doctors to look for the disorder."
-- New York Times, September 4th, 2007
"This topic [the importance of individuality] brings me to that worst out-crop of the herd nature, the military system, which I abhor. That a man can take pleasure in marching to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise him. He has only been given his big brain by mistake; a backbone was all he needed. This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism by order, senseless violence, and all the pestilent nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how I hate them! War seems to me a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such an abominable business. And yet so high, in spite of everything, is my opinion of the human race that I believe this bogey would have disappeared long ago, had the sound sense of the nations not been systematically corrupted by commercial and political interests acting through the schools and the press."
-- Albert Einstein
"More people live off cancer than die from it."
-- Dr. Deepak Chopra
"A man is eminent as long as he is orthodox. When he begins to think for himself he becomes a crank."
-- Dr. Walter Hadwen, M.D. (1925)
"A drug is that substance which, when injected into a rat, will produce a scientific report."
"He's the best physician that knows the worthlessness of the most medicines."
-- Benjamin Franklin
"The fact that your patient gets well does not prove that your diagnosis was correct."
-- Samuel J. Meltzer
"We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it from God to the medical profession."
-- George Bernard Shaw
"Nearly all men die of their medicines, not of their diseases."
"My doctor gave me six months to live, but when I couldn't pay the bill he gave me six months more."
-- Dick Wilson
"Neurotic means he is not as sensible as I am, and psychotic means he's even worse than my brother-in-law."
-- Karl Menninger, M.D.
"I got the bill for my surgery. Now I know what those doctors were wearing masks for."
-- James H. Boren
"The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them."
-- Ecclesiasticus 38:4
"When religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now,when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic."
"Did you know that Jacques Benveniste, one of the world's leading homeopathic 'scientists', now claims that you can email homeopathic remedies? Yeah, see, what you do is you can take the 'memory' of the diluted substance out of the water electromagnetically, put it on your computer, email it, and play it back on a sound card into new water. I mean, that could work, right?"
-- Nick Hornby
“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”
“The science of psychiatry is now where the science of medicine was before germs were discovered.”
-- Malcolm Rogers
“Health is the state about which medicine has nothing to say.”
-- W. H. Auden
“Medicine is a collection of uncertain prescriptions, the results of which, taken collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind.”
"Restore a man to his health, his purse lies open to thee."
-- Robert Burton
"A hospital should also have a recovery room adjoining the cashier's office."
-- Francis O'Walsh
"The only equipment lack in the modern hospital? Somebody to meet you at the entrance with a handshake!"
-- Martin H. Fischer
"Poisons and medicine are oftentimes the same substance given with different intents."
-- Peter Mere Latham
"Financial ruin from medical bills is almost exclusively an American disease."
-- Roul Turley
"It is easy to get a thousand prescriptions but hard to get one single remedy."
-- Chinese Proverb
"One doctor makes work for another."
-- English Proverb
"A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world."
-- Paul Dudley White
"Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine."
-- Lord Byron
"Although the Chinese had used opium as a medicine, there was no widespread addiction before the British arrived."
-- Robert Trout
"I confidently affirm that the greater part of those who are supposed to have died of gout, have died of the medicine rather than the disease - a statement in which I am supported by observation."
-- Thomas Sydenham
"I am dying from the treatment of too many physicians."
-- Alexander The Great
"Modern medicine is a negation of health. It isn't organized to serve human health, but only itself, as an institution. It makes more people sick than it heals."
-- Ivan Illich
"To live by medicine is to live horribly."
-- Carolus Linnaeus
"Today's medicine is at the end of its road. It can no longer be transformed, modified, readjusted. That's been tried too often. Today's medicine must DIE in order to be reborn. We must prepare its complete renovation."
-- Maurice Delort