Corruption in the medical-political complex

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The British Medical Journal had an editorial last week that pulled no punches. It began by saying:

Politicians and governments are suppressing science. They do so in the public interest, they say, to accelerate availability of diagnostics and treatments. They do so to support innovation, to bring products to market at unprecedented speed. Both of these reasons are partly plausible; the greatest deceptions are founded in a grain of truth. But the underlying behaviour is troubling.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency–a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.

It concluded saying:

Politicisation of science was enthusiastically deployed by some of history’s worst autocrats and dictators, and it is now regrettably commonplace in democracies. The medical-political complex tends towards suppression of science to aggrandise and enrich those in power. And, as the powerful become more successful, richer, and further intoxicated with power, the inconvenient truths of science are suppressed. When good science is suppressed, people die.

This is no left-wing organisation saying this. And it is not exonerating all doctors, by any means.

Instead it is a professional body suggesting there is corruption - a term it clearly is happy to use - in what it calls the medial-political complex, a term clearly based on the military-industrial complex condemned for its own political and economic corruption by President Eisenhower over 60 years ago in a parallel that is all too obviously appropriate.

The rest is worth reading. That we need to be wary is all too obvious.