Is Medicine Really the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US?

Probably not. Compelling evidence says it is THE leading cause of death, even ahead of heart disease and cancer.
A troubling report just published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) calculates that medical errors kill 251,000 Americans each year, making it the third leading cause of death behind cancer and heart disease.
This report updates previous estimates that were much lower—the Institute of Medicine (IOM), for instance, estimated only 98,000 deaths a year are caused by medical error. The authors of the BMJ study comprehensively analyzed four major studies to arrive at the conclusion that over a quarter of a million Americans die each year due to medical errors. Because of the scarcity of data outside hospitals, this was based largely on hospital data.
This figure is shocking enough, but it still may understate the problem. Dr. Gary Null, an award-winning journalist and a leading advocate of natural healing, calculated in his book Death by Medicine that conventional medicine is actually the number one cause of death in the US, killing 783,936 a year. Even this number may be an underestimate, since Dr. Null uses the IOM’s number for hospital deaths caused by medical errors, when these more recent calculations put it much higher. He writes, “Dr. [Lucien] Leape, in 1994, said his figure of 180,000 medical mistakes annually was equivalent to three jumbo-jet crashes every two days. Our report shows that six jumbo jets are falling out of the sky each and every day.” You can see a breakdown of Dr. Null’s figure here.
These numbers point to systemic failure in the American medical system to provide quality care to patients. Even worse, those patients and doctors seeking to use natural remedies to both prevent and treat diseases—and rely on safer and more effective methods—face a concerted effort by the medical establishment to shut them down and even take away the doctors’ licenses.
Conventional medicine usually claims that natural medicine is neither effective nor proven safe, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. These attacks also raise a vital question: Are the defenders of a system that kills more Americans than both heart disease and cancer really in a position to determine what is safe?

Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health:

FDA Defies Congress, Slips Money to Hospitals, and Stiffs Consumers
Disappointing Final Outcome of POM Wonderful Case


  1. Opt out of this madness as best you can. Carefully consider any and all ‘treatments’ these clueless practitioners have in mind for you. Not everything is bunk, but probably 90%. Even one course of antibiotics can have devastating long-term consequences.

    1. I agree. For example, I know several women who were literally crippled by that vaginal mesh debacle. I’m so tired of American surgeons using patients as unknowing guinea pigs.

  2. Individual drugs kill few. Polypharmacy kills many. Consider this: the US population is about 7% of the world’s total yet we use 25% of the drugs sold. Does this improve our lives? Of the top 20 nations in the world we rank around 17th in almost all measures of health, survival at birth, and life expectancy

  3. I agree that the number is higher than what the authorities are willing to admit to.
    My own mother was killed because of hospital negligence, but due to various factors we decided not to sue, so her death was considered as … “oh, just one of those things that happen” …
    I am quite certain that her death was not counted in the statistics of “medical errors” .
    Although I am speculating, I seriously doubt that my mother is the only one. The hospital staff was SO nonchalant and cavalier about it ….as though they considered their negligent behavior to be more or less the norm .

  4. Is US Health Really the Best in the World?
    Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH JAMA. 2000;284:483-485.
    • 12000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery
    • 7000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals
    • 20000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals
    • 80000 deaths/year from nosocomial infections in hospitals
    • 106000 deaths/year from nonerror, adverse effects of medications
    These total to 225000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes.

    1. These are just the ones that are reported. Considering that was in 2000, I would say by now you need to add 2 or 3 zero’s to the end of that total at least.

      1. Indeed and most of these estimates are based on hospital figures; what is happening outside is just not known. Null’s Death by Medicine is worth reading.
        I have written to the FDA relating to the deaths caused by properly prescribed and used pharmaceuticals (106,000) but they did not answer; they are more concerned about getting their clients new drugs (and probably ineffective) fast tracked than the safety of the general public.

  5. Let you body doctor itself, by providing it nutrients, (vitamin/mineral/herb/diat), staying active, and laughing a lot. Screw the phama/doctor ‘death cult.’

  6. RIP Monty Oum. Lost to ‘routine medical procedure’.
    Further reinforced the hatred I have towards pharmaceuticals and the modern medical industry. (outside of actually, y’know, saving lives)

  7. I had 16 friends. 15 of them died by doctors or pharm drugs. one died by a drug dealer. if doctors are killing more people than drug dealers, something is seriously effing wrong.

  8. The numbers also do not count the deaths from pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed and administered and used as directed, which is reportedly around 106,000 annually in the USA from the normal, expected side effects. (Null, Death by medicine, 2011) and (Food Matters Documentary)

Comments are closed.