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What is wrong with our doctors?

By Christopher Kennedy

It does not surprise me that young doctors have mental problems at twice the rate of the general population. It was only one hundred and twenty years ago that doctors figured out what the heart did. Two hundred years ago they were also the town barber and surgeon. They had no idea. Doctors may look confident and capable but it has not been very long since they figured out, what looks like to us now, some fairly simple deductions.

Another example is the washing of hands between births. A young doctor come up with the idea in Germany in the 18th century but it took thirty years before the bloody-minded mainstream medical establishment agreed with him that some sort of basic hygiene would save the lives of now millions of babies. That is thirty years of needless deaths of infants. Let us be frank, the medical establishment is not particularly enlightened quite often.

Let us take vaping and e-cigarettes. I vape. I am fifty years old and my friends are starting to die of cancer and I want to try other options. So I tried vaping. My teeth are now clean, as is my fingers, I have my breath back, I am doing more exercise. All good, I have a much better life. Yet the doctors are demanding that I give up that because they don’t like any type of cigarettes. To justify this they argue that anyone can give up cigarettes. They support a large and well-funded anti-smoking lobby; I have yet to see another schizophrenic give up cigarettes, though all have tried very hard. The medical establishment doesn’t give a toss about that though either.

Another contentious area is cannabis. The argument put up by the head of the AMA recently was that cannabis had not been tested in controlled experiments. If one in six people are smoking pot in this country then the doctors must either be blind or neglectful if they can’t see it in their own patients.

One morning I went to the psychiatrist and noticed that the files for patients he was seeing that day laid out on his desk. On the files where the names of a group of people I shared some cannabis with that morning. I pointed out to the psychiatrist that he was in for an easy day. Like me they where going to come in, grab the script for their medicines and get the hell out of there as soon as possible.

This particular psychiatrist, a very good and empathetic healer in my and my friends opinions, was pushing a rock up a hill trying to stop people from smoking cannabis.

As for the theory linking schizophrenia and cannabis, don’t make me laugh. The increase in cannabis use has been so widespread that the number of schizophrenics would go through the roof. But it hasn’t changed. As for them going mad after a joint they are mad to start with and they are simply mad and stoned when they have a joint. They are alright but their carers tend to get annoyed. The stoned schizophrenic sit in their rooms laughing to themselves. I should know, this complex I live in has seventeen schizophrenics in it.

It’s simply the cheapest and most effective drug around for many ailments. For some people it may not be suitable but no one has died from trying it. And the fall in opoid addiction rates and the general well-being of people where it has been legalized is becoming more and more newsworthy.

I would like to get this medicine, which is fairly tame compared to the anti-psychotics I am on, proscribed to me with an intelligent discussion from a doctor outlining what the suitable levels of CBD and THC (the active ingredients in cannabis) are for my anxiety and depression are. Buying off the street you have no control over that. Yet every doctor in Western Australia refused to undertake training in medical cannabis. This has no medical basis; it is a political statement. The rot has set in.

How far has this rot gotten? Take a story on the second page of the West Australian newspaper from last year which caused a ruckus among the pro-cannabis group. A professor from the University of Western Australia, associate Professor Stuart Reece, announced that cannabis caused inter-generational genetic defects. This is a professor from what I use to think was a good institution, however once you put his name into the computer you find that in “September 1999 he was raided for his reckless naltrexone, addictive benzodiazapine and faith healing caper. Threatened with closure he claimed that the QLD government would have blood on its hands if he did not get his way. 20 months later, 25 patients where dead … He was raided and closed down again.“ This is quoted from the website “Losing in the Lucky Country” written by Paul Gallagher.

Heaven knows what department of voodoo Dr Reece runs and how he came to be running it but a professor is supposed to be a medical leader. I cannot see how he got to be an associate professor. Mind you, this is the university that was going to give a chair to a climate denier in return for a government grant (but that is a whole other story). Definitely the department of voodoo.

So we are faced with the same bloody-minded mainstream medical establishment, which as far as I can tell doesn’t give a bugger about our predicament. So much for the medical establishment but I cannot say I hope the doctors enjoy their brushes with mental illnesses, as it serves them right for pretending to be God, but rather feel pity for those young doctors who are being put under so much pressure by such an unyielding establishment.


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  1. Hettie Lynch

    Joseph Semmelweis was a Hungarian, working in Germany, and it was the mothers, not the babies that his insistence on handwashing saved.
    Get your facts right, please.

  2. Roswell

    Hettie, and how much does that small correction effect the message in the article?

  3. doctortrish47

    One error destroys credibility

  4. Maeve Carney

    Roswell, knowing that one fact that I know about is wrong doesn’t fill me with confidence that the rest are right. Anyway that fact that was wrong is kind of hard to justify since it was all about the maternal deaths in the first place.

  5. diannaart


    I’m with Maeve and Hettie on this one.

    Although I am in agreement with much of Christopher’s article – doctors are part of a very traditional clique, they find it hard to accept change. But, they do change, eventually, just compare today’s medical procedure’s with that of only 50 years ago.

    As for getting points of history correct, it is all about inclusiveness, giving credit to whom it is truly due.

  6. Christopher Kennedy

    Sorry about the mistake Hettie and apologies to Hungarians everywhere. The man was a hero. As for the rest of the column I think I got it about right. Cross fingers.

  7. Freethinker

    Roswell, Hettie contributions appears to be to criticise the work of the authors but I cannot see any positive inputs from him about the topics.
    Perhaps he have to move on?

  8. Roswell

    Dianna, let us assume that Christopher had that point of history correct. What did you think of his argument? Or did you not read it?

  9. Roswell

    So he was Hungarian, and not German. Big deal. I can’t see what difference that error makes to the article. Truly, I can’t.

    I read somewhere that it was an English doctor. Really not worth making a song and dance about.

  10. Roswell

    Yes indeed, Freethinker. Hettie is in a picky mood today.

    He/she joins a list of others who’d rather have a go at the writers above anything else.

  11. Allen

    Christopher, the medical industry is in its infancy. My impression of psychiatrists is that they are treating symptoms with drugs in order to alleviate the said symptons. Similar to not identifying the relationship between exposure to the sun with sunburn. Ozzie ozzie ozzie . . .

  12. Michael Taylor

    The article says:

    A young doctor come up with the idea in Germany in the 18th century

    Nowhere does it say he was German. Hettie Lynch says he was a Hungarian doctor working in Germany, in which case the article is correct.

    What’s everybody’s problem?

  13. Miriam English

    After trying for ages to get doctors to wash their hands between patients, Ignaz Semmelweise (see Hettie? anybody can make a mistake) had a breakdown and spent his final 14 days in an asylum — he was beaten to death by the guards. He was only 45. Women greatly feared giving birth in the hospital where they stood a good chance of dying. Many would prefer to give birth in the street pretending to be on the way to the hospital. He was spurred by noticing the deaths of women who gave birth in the hospital, comparing it to how few died giving birth in the street. Doctors refused to wash their hands even though Semmelweise’s published findings were quite conclusive about the decrease in mortality that accompanies it.

    There was one harrowing story of one of his strongest and most vociferous critics refusing to wash his hands and when, in doing this, he infected his daughter who’d been admitted to hospital and she died, he killed himself in remorse.

    Just today I was wandering through the booklists at Project Gutenberg (they now have more than 50,000 free books for download!!!). Anyway, being the most easily distracted person in the world I happened to notice a magazine published in 1877 and browsed it out of interest. Here is what I found in there written by a doctor about Whooping Cough.


    According to Dr. Sturges, an English physician, whooping cough is not always to be escaped by preventing contagion, for at a certain age the disposition toward this disease is so great that the child will originate it. He says: “Whooping cough is a nervous disease of immature life, due immediately, like nervous asthma, to a morbid exaltation of sensibility of the bronchial mucous membrane. Although possible in a modified form at all ages, it has its period of special liability and full development simultaneously with that time of life when the nervous system is irritable and the mechanism of respiration diaphragmatic. A child of the proper age with catarrh and cough is thus on the very brink of whooping cough. A large proportion of such children will develop the disease for themselves upon casual provocation, all contagion and all epidemic influence apart.” Therefore he does not think contagion plays the important part generally supposed, and the assumption of a specific morbid poison is in his opinion entirely gratuitous. As to treatment he says:

    “The specific remedies for whooping cough (which have their season and may be said now to include all drugs whatever of any potency) have all of them a certain testimony in their favor. They agree in a single point: whether by their nauseousness, the grievous method of their application, or the disturbance they bring to the child’s habits and surroundings, the best vaunted remedies—emetics, sponging of the larynx, ill-flavored inhalation, change of scene, beating with the rod—all are calculated to impress the patient, and find their use accordingly.

    Bear in mind that we now know it is a highly contagious disease caused by bacteria. Note in the piece here how utterly confident he is of his (wrong) pronouncements… and his awful “remedies”. This was 22 years after John Snow showed cholera is spread by an organism in the water, and more than 10 years after Louis Pateur proved the germ theory of disease.

    Are doctors today better? Some are. I remember hearing them talk not so long ago about autism not being a real thing, but caused by bad parenting, and that homosexuality is a mental illness. Only recently did an Australian researcher show that stomach ulcers had nothing to do with stress (as all doctors thought) but were caused by bacteria. What things do doctors take for certainty now that are completely wrong? Hopefully much less than in yesteryear. Many of the doctors I know are very smart and have great understanding. I have met some imbeciles who should never have become doctors, though.

  14. Miriam English

    oops, spelling: Pasteur.

  15. Carol Taylor

    Miriam, that’s so true. I recall a story of how infant mortalities increased alarmingly as did the deaths of new mothers. This was at a time when men decided that they knew more about childbirth than midwives. The only problem was that doctors (all men of course) didn’t wash their hands compared with midwives who were more likely to use boiling water and to wash.

    I also have it from 3rd year medical student daughter that Australian doctors have in the past been inadequately trained in two things – diabetes management and pain management. The fact that current medical students are being taught this gives some hope that the situation will improve.

  16. Roswell

    Hettie, get your facts right, please.

  17. Kaye Lee

    They were conducting clinical trials on cannabis in the 1970s at Sydney University. There was a pharmacy lecturer whose name escapes me who was a firm believer in the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. She called for volunteers to take THC in tablet form and was inundated – I think they then did a driving simulation to see how they were affected. That was not research on long term use of course – more on immediate effect.

    I have seen the benefits first hand with relatives suffering from cancer and I agree with Christopher that many prescription drugs have far greater side effects.

    Demotivation syndrome can be a worry for young people but for those with a medical condition that it may help, I cannot understand why this drug is demonised. Even used for recreation, it does far less harm than alcohol in my opinion. I have never seen a stoned person want to fight anyone.

  18. diannaart


    How I interpreted Maeve’s and Hettie’s comments; I believed they were making the point that women/mothers were the instigators for washing hands between births – that a male physician has taken the kudos is just typical and we need to correct the exclusions of women throughout history. Maybe I misunderstand Maeve and Hettie. However, what I stated about recorded history is true. Miriam elaborated on this point above.

    As for Christopher’s article – I did comment in my above post that I agreed with him on many aspects of his article and that the medical profession remain very slow in changing.

    Perhaps YOU could try reading ALL of my comments, before pointing out real or imagined mistakes.

    Now, are we done? I wasn’t trying to derail or focus on the trivial.

  19. helvityni

    Concentrating on the pedantic and the trivial, takes away from the gist of the article, be someone Hungarian or German , that’s not the issue here..

  20. Joseph Carli

    Doctors, priests and lawyers..: “One will ruin your health, one your pocket and the other your soul”….Italian saying.

  21. Johno

    Once I had a killer toothache and had three days before I could see the dentist. I started taking Nurofen which made me feel like shit. Cannabis saved the day, I actually got some sleep.

  22. Roswell

    My apologies, Dianna. I was getting pissed-off with all the bullshit over the doctor’s (irrelevant) nationality.

  23. Glenn Barry

    Sorry to be the bearer of contrary evidence, and I am not anti-drugs, however marijuana isn’t a harmless substance anymore. For decades It hasn’t been the source of mild inebriation it once was.
    Cross breeding, strain isolation and hydroponic growing techniques have lead to catastrophic strength increases.
    The balance between the various active constituents no longer exists.
    This has been researched and verified, two complimentary components, one a psychotic, the other an anti-psychotic which used to exist in balance in un-molested strains and plants are out of balance, disastrously so.

    How do I know, I have a psychotic brother that I have had to exclude completely from my life with AVO’s, he has/had a pathological marijuana abuse habit dating back many years. It wasn’t the only drug he abuses/abused, however it was consistently abused every single day.
    His behaviour when not abusing marijuana was intolerable, and unfortunately my narrative compares with many others I have spoken with about family/partners/friends and marijuana abuse.

  24. paulwalter

    Semmelwies? Wasn’t that the mid 19th century? Read a novel on it so many years ago. He had statistical evidence from the time he ran ward, where his nurses and doctors were instructed to improve hygiene but his older colleagues rejected his conclusions. In the same era Florence Nightingale applied similar ideas during the Crimean war with similar results. It was an era when Londoners still believed the vapours caused fever rather than contaminated water, but they also discovered otherwise and within a generation were introducing a sewage system and reticulated water to London, with seriously good results.

    The maternity and infant mortality issues were of course huge facts of life until about a century ago, as a visit to any older cemetery in the country will reveal quickly, but I really doubt whether Roswell meant any offence.

    From a distance, it is an interesting thread with the use of medical cannabis becoming the latest victim of conservative fear as it is shut down through its relation to recreational cannabis which is a mistaken one… chalk and cheese, thanks to science and selective breeding of plant stock.

    I think scientific observation and conclusions should be the criteria, but medical Hansonism will see the bogey with some years yet to survive before/if reason wins the day.

    As for recreational cannabis, this writer was more of an enthusiasts in the past, but has been happy to let it go of late. It is no worse than alcohol or many pharmaceutical drugs, but in the end I’ve reached the conclusion that, for this, that and other reasons, de-romanticised, it is no better either

  25. Hettie Lynch

    I Googled Joseph Semmelweis to check the spelling of his name, and where he worked, because my memory was that he had worked in Austria. Turns out the reference I turned up was not a good one.
    Wrong about his given name and his place of work which was indeed Vienna, Austria.

    My major point of contention with the writer was the claim that it was the babies who were saved, when it was the mothers.

    To start an article about medical practice by referencing a pioneer of hygiene, but not naming him, getting his location wrong and getting the impact of his work wrong, so destroyed the writer’s credibility for me that I did not read on.
    Why would I?
    The message I took from that first paragraph was “This guy not only doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he is too lazy to check his facts, too lacking in respect for his readers to realise they might think he is not credible if he makes errors of fact in his opening paragraph.”
    If that’s picky, then yes, I’m picky.
    Picky enough to google again, choose a different source, and find that his name was indeed Ignaz, and that my other recollections were correct.

  26. Michael Taylor

    The message I took from that first paragraph was “This guy not only doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he is too lazy to check his facts, too lacking in respect for his readers to realise they might think he is not credible if he makes errors of fact in his opening paragraph.”

    This is an opinion piece, for Christ’s sake. Get over yourself.

  27. Michael Taylor

    You didn’t put a capital G in Google in your last sentence. That’s intolerable.

  28. Joseph Carli

    ” so destroyed the writer’s credibility for me that I did not read on.”…well..those jolly jokers who “wrote” the Bible were wasting their time worrying about pleasing you then, eh, Hettie?

  29. Joseph Carli

    And of course, that old fraud ; Tacitus and his “Calgacus speech”….well!

  30. Joseph Carli

    And we won’t even go into Cassius Dio…I mean..who can you trust?

  31. Helen Bates

    Michael Taylor
    you questioned me about my comments on mature aged: I’m sitting here smiling at the seniors showing how to be bored in retirement
    I rest my case 😀

  32. Michael

    It seems to me that the article successfully challenges human doctors (in this case, but applicable to all of us) to decide whether they are part of the problem (keep eyes, ears, mouth shut) or are part of the solution (keep eyes, ears, mouth OPEN).

    As for cannabis, etc fast tracking – suggestion = give all current weed horticulturalists/garage chemists amnesty on condition they join a Cannabis Research Institute on say $125,000 each and let’s see where we get.

    Thank you, Christopher Kennedy, for giving me/us a small window from your world.

  33. Michael Taylor

    I Googled Joseph Semmelweis

    His name was Ignaz Semmelweis. Get it? That’s the second time you’ve called him Joseph.

    Do you ever learn?

  34. Michael Taylor

    Helen Bates, you don’t have a case.

  35. diannaart


    Thank you for your apology. For my part I did misunderstand Hettie’s issue with Christopher’s article. I did not intend a war of pettiness.

    Christopher used the example of hygiene and the unbending of the medical establishment as it was in the dark past. I think medicine has not only improved and moved with the times, but will also find the benefits of cannabis as well as ironing out the problems.

    Like, alcohol, cannabis offers remedies. In fact, I believe cannabis has more to offer than alcohol – which is just an antiseptic for topical application, a poison if taken internally to excess – as well as its tendency to elevate hostility, whereas cannabis tends to just chill out. Medicinal cannabis is not being marketed for the soft, warm high, but for actual pain and tension relief.

    The medical ‘fraternity’ is on the magic bus, even if it has to stop occasionally to take on a more diverse range of practitioners and leave behind the brain dead (ultra-conversative traditionalists).


  36. Kaye Lee

    I know I am guilty of this too but we are arguing over unimportant stuff IMO. I think the debate about the medicinal (and dare I say, recreational) use of cannabis is worth having.

    I suffered from morning sickness right through my pregnancy. You have no idea what it is like throwing up when you are 9 months pregnant. I remember kneeling in front of the toilet, throwing up, tears streaming, wee coming out, and then my nose started to bleed — with my less than two year old patting my back and passing me tissues. That memory still brings a tear to my eye. Why am I telling this? Because a nurse told me I should have a joint to stop me throwing up. It is an anti-emetic. I didn’t take her advice because I wasn’t the only person inhabiting my body at the time and I figured I could manage the vomiting better than any possible risk to my unborn child.

    I have watched the programs about parents of children with severe epilepsy. I wouldn’t hesitate to do whatever I could to help my child in that situation.

    Perhaps for some people with a predisposition for psychosis, there can be a problem. That should not preclude its use for others as the same could be said for many legal drugs.

  37. Kaye Lee

    And to Helen Bates, I would ask why you are perpetually joining we “bored seniors”. You really are a nasty waste of space.

  38. Joseph Carli

    ” Helen Bates” is really “hzhousewife” from Sinclair Davidson’s “Catalaxxy Files” ..a Libertarian wank-fest….Here is a sample of her “work” :

    “Apologies to all, I am usually hours or even days behind all the comments but sometimes I simply have to put in my spoke.

    Anyway as per above, I wouldn’t really want to be the person who wrote that when they end up in the Nursing Home. Can you imagine what they will be like at the afternoon tea table, discussing the quality of the scones.”

  39. Kaye Lee

    Helen has plenty of time to cast shade on others. The nanny is no doubt seeing to the children after the cook fed them and the tutor helped them with their homework. Helen is a bored junior who has had everything handed to her on a platter. She wants to advise others who to vote for without knowing anything about policies. What are they? Helen is the epitome of over-privileged, under-informed gentry who doesn’t feel the need, or have the capacity or interest, to actually find anything out for herself. Perhaps that is why she is here but can’t drop the superiority long enough to admit she is learning things.

  40. paulwalter

    diannart nails the other element surfacing through the thread, which is the attitude of the conservative probably overly male medical establishment, a resurfacing of feminist objections to the way medicine has been practiced over many, many years going back through history.

    I think she has done well to bring this into focus and most educated people here know she probably has a point depending on how you interpret the history of fertility, gestation, birthing and nursing of infants over centuries (let alone the socialisation of kids).

  41. diannaart

    Wow, Paul, just wow!

    So I’m not just filling in time till I am carted off to the nursing home?

    Sort of on topic (I have no intention of winding up in a nursing home BTW), hoping the medical establishment will have progressed to the point where nursing home residents can grow their own weed, are provided with vaping equipment and not ever bullied.

  42. paulwalter

    Yes. the business about locking old folk in at nursing homes was on telly a night or two ago. Gets freaky, this getting old stuff..Bronny Bishop, petrol baths, nurse Ratched and the straight-jackets, wide boys with thin nasty lips and big syringes of Largactyl, cold water hoses. You know, all of that stuff just because you couldn’t remember where you put your keys (again)?

  43. paulwalter

    And don;t forget the trusses.

  44. helvityni

    Did any of you watch Lateline tonight, there are some of your answers : Aussie and American doctors have always been too quick describe medicines…something to do with the power of medicine merchants.

  45. paulwalter

    Just caught it, or part of it. Only a small gap if one exists at all between ethical pharma and Monsanto.

  46. Miriam English

    I dread ever landing up in some old-age home.

    This is one example where artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics can be so transformative.

    I never had any kids and I don’t have a partner and the history of women in my family on my Mum’s side means I’m more than likely to develop Alzheimer’s (in fact I worry that my increasing need for my thesaurus nowadays indicates it may already be sneaking in). And I have no money. So who is going to have the patience to look after an old person that they’re not directly related to?

    The staff in nursing homes are, I’m sure, mostly good people, but we humans all have a deep flaw that lets even the best of us unwittingly become bullies when we have power over others. However this is a flaw we can design out of AIs. We can ensure that they have the same unquestioned and full-hearted devotion that dogs do. The knowledge of how to build this into AIs may be the greatest gift dogs ever provided to us.

    Lest you think I’m speaking of some far-flung future that’s irrelevant to us here and now, look into what’s happening in AI now. It is advancing by truly breathtaking leaps and bounds.

    Poker is a game that even AI experts thought would remain a pursuit for humans only, for perhaps another decade or more. But in January this year an AI beat the world’s top, professional poker players in a 20 day tournament. Poker is unusual in that it features large amounts of incomplete information. Handling incomplete data has always been a big problem for AIs.

    AIs now exhibit intuitive decision-making, and creativity, and have become better at recognising images than humans are. We are quickly approaching the point where they will make ideal nursing companions. Already I have programmed my computer to talk to me at various points in the day and evening to remind me of things. My program doesn’t use AI, but it will in the near future. I receive regular email updates from Numenta (just got another this morning). They’re one of the leaders in the AI field, and they share their work as Open Source so that it is being developed and enhanced by people like me all around the world.

    Medical AIs are already able to diagnose better and more reliably than human doctors can and can learn and understand the interactions of drugs, foods, and a person’s physiology better than any human can. Please note that I’m not arguing that this makes humans obsolete, but that it frees us — a human partnered with an AI is infinitely more capable than a human alone. The long history of human doctors making flawed decisions based upon what amounts to superstition may be coming to an end.

    Add to that the artificial limbs and exoskeletons that have balance and strength that humans lose as we age. I was watching an amazing talk by mountaineer technologist Hugh Herr, who lost both his legs in an accident and built himself artificial ones with a small amount of intelligence built into them. He pointed out that as other people age, their balance and reflexes will degrade, whereas his will actually improve. I note that most broken bones in old people are are from falls caused by failing balance reflexes.

    I look forward to being freed from dependency upon other people by AIs and robotics, so that they become like extensions of my aging self, allowing me to remain more or less an equal among human friends, to my final days.

    Best of all, this stuff gets better and cheaper year after year. The AIs from Numenta are free!

    Oh, and cannabis? I expect AIs will help us understand that distorting our minds is never an improvement; that yes, cannabis can be calming, but you always pay for it later by becoming more anxious, impatient, and quicker to anger when it wears off. Staying stoned isn’t an option either, as our nerves gradually adapt to whatever chemical disturbance we throw at them, so that we no longer get the effect wanted, but suffer ever-worsening backlash when it wears off (an alcoholic easily gets to the point where a drink doesn’t get them tipsy anymore, but going without precipitates lethal convulsions). But even if cannabis was completely innocuous, it still puts a distorting pane between you from the only life you’ll ever have, making it impossible to understand and be in control of your own mind and body, and at the mercy of and unable to adapt to events around you. Why would anybody want that?

  47. Roswell

    I couldn’t ever imagine that happening to you, Miriam. You’re too sharp.

  48. Helen Bates

    Kaye Lee I may have some personality traits you don’t like but so do you as I see on here how you continually try to assert that there is only one way=The Kaye Lee way and no one else can ever be right
    In a question posed by “fact” I said one thing I would like to see would be better care and payments for Seniors as by god most had earned it.As for my time management I was taught well from a young age”If you can get it done for $50 an hour it isn’t worth your time or effort to do it personally-If it is over $100 an hour it is obvious you need a professional”
    I did in fact come to this site to read about politics and get to see some opposing views as politics isn’t something I care too much about and I am most certainly not a political tragic as some appear.So far I haven’t had much to change my views.I do see in your comment that you sent a Facebook message to Pauline Hanson.Did you notice the couple of THOUSAND likes for her comment? In any case it is not Pauline or Ashby that I am voting for but good One Nation candidates who may rock the two big parties out of their slumber.
    It is my day out with friends today so don’t expect a response 😀

  49. helvityni

    It all depends on a nursing home, I visited my mother-in-law in her nursing home in Holland ( sorry, Netherland), a beautiful place, excellent care…when the staff found out that we all the way from Oz, they invited us to stay in their guest room, free of charge of course.

    Few years earlier I had visited her older sister in a care home in Amsterdam, similar experience.

    When in high school, my daughter and her friend did not want to attend a sporting excursion, so they had a choice to spend the day in a local nursing home…..they were horrified, came home crying….

  50. Michael Taylor

    I did in fact come to this site to read about politics and get to see some opposing views … So far I haven’t had much to change my views.

    Is that your confession?

    When you first came here you said you didn’t know who to vote for, but it is now apparent that you’ve been a Hanson voter all along (which is fine, of course, as you’re free to vote for whoever you wish).

    I think you’re just here to disrupt whatever you can. This is how you “get your rocks off” (to borrow the term you threw at us).

    Kaye was right: You really are a nasty waste of space.

  51. Joseph Carli

    Helen Bates.: “It is my day out with friends today…” Who died and left YOU a friend?

  52. Miriam English

    Roswell, thanks. 🙂 But no. I become more blunt day by day, I think. I was truly sharp once upon a time.

    Helen Bates, Kaye has proven that not only is she a brilliant researcher, but that she changes her view with the evidence. Sadly I’m unable to say the same about you, so it’s utterly unsurprising that despite all the information shown you, you’re unable to change your views. And I’m sorry to say that your revelation that you’re a One Nation voter thoroughly collapses any credibility you might have had.

    helvityni, social services in many European countries seem to be far ahead of Australia. I’m hoping we can catch up. And please don’t misunderstand me. I’m certain there are some lovely old folks’ homes, but how do we sort the wheat from the chaff?

    I’ve loved being alone for pretty-much my entire life. Having to live in close proximity to many others and being required to take orders from people who would regulate every hour of my day doesn’t appeal to me at all… even if the people doing so were kind and gentle and saintly. I’d sooner strap exoskeletons on my body and have an AI speaking in my ear to answer my question, “What did I come into the kitchen for?” At 64 I take absolutely no drugs — legal or illegal, prescribed or recreational, not even caffeine — and expect never to. Oh, wait, maybe once every couple of months I get a headache that doesn’t respond to drinking more water, so resort to a single aspirin. And a year or two ago I contracted a mystery fever that was life-threatening, which was abolished by a short course of antibiotics.

    Oh dear, I do ramble. Perhaps another sign. 🙁

  53. Freethinker

    helvityni,mmy 93 years old mother-in-law is in a nursing home in NSW and she has a fantastic attention.
    She has her own AC room with ensuite, a bar fridge and all what her like to put on it including spirits and the things to go with them during the “happy hour”
    She is free to go out any day and also the nursing home bus take her out not less than 3 times a week.
    Manicurist, pedicurist and the people to do her hair come to her room.
    The cost? she has left about $40 a week form her single age pension.
    It is not the life that I would like to do but if the body is frail why not finishing in accommodation like that and have no worries about anything?

  54. Sean

    Christopher K, you say about marijuana “I would like to get this medicine, which is fairly tame compared to the anti-psychotics I am on, proscribed to me . . for my anxiety and depression.”
    Have you ever thought to stop and ask what it is that you really want?
    Do you want to understand the source of your anxiety and depression or do you just want temporary relief?
    Addiction to drugs is a result of some psychic injury. Survey your life and identify the injury and in that understanding your desire to escape into a drug haze will evaporate. If you can handle being around the word ‘God’ then the 12 step program of AA is worth a try. 25 years on, no dope, no alcohol, no looking back.

  55. Miriam English

    Freethinker, that sounds pretty awesome, though still not what I’d want, I think. I guess it cost a lot for her to buy that slice of paradise. I enjoyed the movie “In Her Shoes” recently, which spent the last half in a retirement home and for the first time in a while I felt it might be a good thing. I think I’m at least 20 years away from having to worry about that though. And by then there should have been countless major revolutions in artificial intelligence and robotics that will let me live alone to my last days.

  56. Freethinker

    No Miriam it has not costed one cent to her only about 80% of her pension.
    If you have assets then it is different, it will cost over $300.000 security deposit.

  57. diannaart

    Not all nursing homes are there for the residents, many homes are private and for profit (not even not-for-profit). I remain staunchly against the idea that caring for people can also be profitable – an oxymoron in fact.

    As for MJ – it is like any other drug in that just the right amount does you some good and too much doesn’t. Then there are people who are sensitive to cannabis or other drugs, like alcohol. Use with caution, which would be more possible if decriminalised and regulated by independent medical groups. A large scale “pill test” like many medics have provided at parties and other rave-ups.

    On ‘recreational’ substances – I did my fair share in my overly extended youth. My current state of health is due to a variant of Epstein-Barr virus and a series of unfortunate events. In spite of my chronic illness, doctors expect me to live for a very long time – well into 90’s (like most of my family). Me, I’m more into quality rather than quantity – never did get into this ‘long life’ greeting, unless one suitably prospers. (Yay, Star Trek reference).

    As with any of our old, traditional organisations, change within the medical establishment is slow, painful and often appears as if it is not going to occur at all.



    Miriam, I have been reading your comments for years now and have not noticed any decline in your perspicacious abilities.

  58. corvus boreus

    Miriam English,
    I think it is important to differentiate issues of the ‘slight hangover’ resulting from adults using (burning and inhaling) high THC cultivars of cannabis as a recreational substance from it’s medicinal uses, both from the palliative applications (which seem to mostly utilise the psychotropic THC compound), but particularly from the curative employment (especially for treating chronic seizures), which mostly seem to utilise other non-psychoactive cannaboid compounds.

    The right of an adult to inhale the smoke of a burning weed in order to get a bit giggly is an utterly trivial issue compared to the right of a parent to administer a plant extract that will the save the life of their child.

  59. Miriam English

    corvus boreus, diminishing the withdrawal effect of cannabis as merely a “slight hangover” misses the point and does users a disservice. It isn’t a hangover the way drinkers think of it. It is far more subtle and insidious. Cannabis withdrawal distorts people’s patience, causing anxiety and irritability, and makes it difficult to for them to relax. Users will mistakenly think they’re being perfectly reasonable and that it is their circumstances or the people around them that are causing those feelings. This is especially dangerous when driving a car. Regular cannabis users when withdrawing drive too fast and are too prone to anger — not good when careening along the road in lethal control of a ton of metal and glass.

    I am fundamentally opposed to all mind-distorting drugs, but nevertheless feel that people should be able to decide for themselves. (Anti-drug laws do far more damage than the drugs they attempt to control and should be repealed.)

    However using cannabis to control pain, distress, vomiting, and loss of appetite in cancer patients, and using it to control seizures in epileptics simply makes good sense. The politicians standing in the way of those, and other remedial uses have rocks in their heads.

    A while ago I met a friend at the airport to give her a lift. I knew she would be tired after the long international flight, but I was unprepared for the thoroughly foul mood she was in. I’d forgotten she smoked cigarettes. After she went to the designated smoking area where she stood with a pathetic, stinky group of other desperate smokers and got her nicotine fix she was in a much better mood. All mind-altering drugs screw with your ability to manage your life.

  60. Miriam English

    Thanks diannaart. I hope you’re right.

  61. corvus boreus

    Glad you mentioned nicotine withdrawals, which cause much more serious symptoms than those from cannabis.
    In my own personal experience with cannabis (which was decades of regular use), I found that the physical stress and mental instability I suffered during withdrawals were far more intense and protracted (weeks compared to days) during those periods when I (through social influences) routinely mixed tobacco with my weed than those I experienced after I switched to smoking straight unadulterated green.
    Thus I, whilst never having smoked cigarettes, have experienced tobacco addiction, and the weight of dependence and pain of withdrawal makes a cannabis habit seem to be a rather tame beast by comparison.

    On the more important topic of medicinal use, in at least one case I know of (personal acquaintance) the relief from seizures provided by an extract of cannabis (a few mg of oil per day, administered orally) literally saved a child’s life.
    This young girl was afflicted with a chronic form of epilepsy that saw her suffering 100+ seizures a day, which was quite literally shaking her body and brain to pieces.
    She had deteriorated to the stage that she was wheelchair incapacitated and completely unable to attend school, and most doctors were giving her a terminal diagnosis within 6-12 months.
    After her father (a rather conservative and respectable man) tried the cannabis remedy for his child out of sheer desperation, the seizures ceased almost immediately, and his daughter has since recovered to the point that she is back at school and walking.
    When she returned to school her teacher wept with joy and described it as a miracle.
    Those who would deny this natural form of medical treatment don’t just have rocks in their heads, but also have ice in their hearts.

  62. Miriam English

    corvus, I agree almost completely. I’d change the the word “serious” in your first sentence to “obvious”. Nicotine withdrawals don’t kill anybody or cause actual damage, as far as I know. (Though, unlike cannabis, eating a single cigarette would be lethal). I agree 100% with everything else you said.

    My experience of cannabis is similar to yours. I enjoyed the years I spent in Melbourne — all the free science talks and the multitude of science and computing clubs — but hated the way everybody I knew there routinely mixed cannabis with tobacco. I stopped using cannabis a few decades ago and for the life of me can’t understand why the hell I ever used it. I’ve written and created far more since ceasing, and my productivity in programming is vastly greater without it, and I’m pretty certain I’m many, many times happier.

    Taking that child to meet the ice-hearted, rock-headed politicians and having her tell them her story just might thaw their hearts. Probably not much can be done about the rocks in their heads, though. 🙁

  63. Freethinker

    Yes helvityni, that is terrible, I known similar case in Bundaberg.
    I rather get myself a caravan or a motorhome and live on it before finishing in a situation like that.’

  64. Michael Taylor

    helvityni, I almost choked on my porridge when I read that article this morning.

  65. Havana Liedown

    Don’t people read the contract? If you don’t like the terms, don’t sign and moan about it later.

  66. Joseph Carli

    ” Don’t people read the contract? If you don’t like the terms, don’t sign and moan about it later.”… of havana’s used-car contracts..:
    “Awright..I didn’t see you and you didn’t see me, ok?..and sure..anything you say, I’ll fix!…bank acc’t no. here and sign here..”

  67. diannaart


    I have never heard of anger being associated with withdrawal from cannabis. By ‘withdrawal’ do you mean coming down after a few hits or a couple of joints, or stopping cannabis use entirely? I have never experienced any anger or anxiety during my years of relatively heavy use. I am not denying that some people could experience withdrawal anger, I just haven’t heard much about it. I had some periods of grief in my life where cannabis helped me through – far better than alcohol and without the residual hangover. I have never had an addiction for cannabis, I know this because I have never had any issues stopping use of the herb.

    I agree with your complaint regarding mixing tobacco with cannabis – really dumb and why I ended up with a nicotine addiction which took me years to beat. I HAVE observed much anger among nicotine addicts when deprived of their smokes even after a few hours.

    I don’t see why people should not experiment with drugs – most of us manage to grow up and out of the ‘sex ‘n drugs ‘n rock ‘n roll phase. Yes, there are people who do not cope, just as there are people who do not cope with alcohol and there are far more alcoholics than drug addicts, far more crimes (even than heroin); crimes of a wider variety than heroin addicts simply trying to score. Think about alcohol related crimes from domestic violence to brawls, to dangerous aggresive driving and much more.

    It is ironic the two most additive forms of drugs are legal and, further, indicative of our market-place system of economics. Thinking of tobacco companies courting of third world countries, of the reverence for alcohol such as double malt whisky – such institutions of tradition will never be criminalised.

    I am pleased you understand the use of cannabis for health issues where little else has helped – the evidence is growing and politicians do change.

    We also have overflowing jails due to illegal drug use. Be good to make some room for serious offenders such as the violent or white collar fraudsters who cheat innocent people out of millions.

    Basically, we human beings really need to get our priorities in order – chances of that happening? When the proverbial pigs take flight and with the advent genetic technology maybe sooner than we think.


  68. Brett Stokes

    “over night” … disruptive social change is happening … our public health system will be very different very soon … in a good way. a very good way.

    “Grass roots” is a phrase from the old days, well worth dusting off for these amazing changes.

    Two areas of medicine have been the leaders in breaking through to the new better way.

    The childhood epilepsy cases are totally convincing – traditional zombie drugs have failed, parents in despair, a miracle cure, politicians flip from “never” to “now”.

    The cancer scenarios are more complex – we have the accepted ideas of the nausea reduction and pain management, band aids to the expensive cruel chemo and radio “therapy” that sort of maybe work sometimes.

    We also have the miracles of Cannabis Cures Cancer.

    The numbers are hard to know for certain.

    There are many healers and self healers in Australia in 2017, proving the reality,

    All the peer reviewed rubbish in the world will not convince a person who has been cured themselves or has witnessed a loved one cured, without the cruelty and consequences of chemo and radiation.

    There are plenty of cancer cases, plenty of people still getting the chemo and the rads.

    And there are more and more cancer cases seeking other ways … and many are finding the way that works and does not cause harm … and the illegal industry is huge, ready to keep growing and serving the community regardless of the current soon-to-be-repealed laws.

    Civil disobedience is escalating and the people will win.

    So let us get on with getting the law sorted – bad laws out, good laws in, end the cruel costly prohibition of the natural effective medicinal food plant cannabis/hemp.

  69. David Kruszewski

    I was diagnosed with schizophrenia many years ago. I after three or four years bouncing in and out of hospital, i gave up tranquilizers and psychiatrists. This was in part due to the fact they did not seem to have any idea. I did hear a Russian psychiatrist who had defected over the treatment of political prisoners with the major tranquilizer I was on. It sent them schitzo after a few years. I did manage to give up cigarettes. It took at least 15 yeas. I have smoked marijuana on and off since leaving hospital for the last time way back in the 70’s so it did not cause my illness. I gave up when all one could buy was skunk which i found overly paranoia inducing. Although I am now quite adept at telling myself what a load of shit paranoia is, one does not want to have to do it all the time. So I have found marijuana is easier to stop using than tranquilizers or cigarettes. I found the article interesting and relevant. Thank you.

  70. Miriam English

    Brett Stokes, strychnine is natural, herbal. I don’t recommend taking it. Cannabis is relatively benign, but I don’t recommend it either as it distorts your mind, making it pretty-much impossible to understand who you are.

    We humans already walk a tightrope over insanity. Why increase the difficulty of keeping our balance?

    Talking about cannabis as a cancer cure is just dangerous bollocks. If it truly had that ability then all the rich and powerful people in the world who have cancer would be using it. This idea that chemotherapy is the result of some conspiracy is just ridiculous. Stop smoking the shit and think for a moment. If the rich and powerful are still dying of cancer then your conspiracy has serious holes in it. Who then are conducting the conspiracy? It doesn’t stack up.

    The statistics show that the survival rate is increasing. We must be doing something right. As for people who have remissions from cancer. That’s always happened. We still don’t understand why it happens in some people and not others. It happens to people who don’t use cannabis and it happens to people who do. There is no correlation.

    There are a few ruthless snake-oil salesmen who try to capitalise on people’s illness, fear, and insecurity by making money out them when they are vulnerable by selling them cannabis oil and convincing them not to undertake treatment which may well save their lives. I think those crooks are despicable.

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