The Starfield revelation: medically caused death in America

by Jon Rappoport

March 6, 2015

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My 2009 interview with Dr. Barbara Starfield, a year and a half before she died, focused on her stunning exposure of medically caused death in America.

Starfield was a revered public health expert at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Her July 26, 2000, review, “Is US health really the best in the world?”, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Starfield paper can be downloaded freely (as a .pdf) from here (via The paper is fully cited as Starfield B. Is US health really the best in the world?. JAMA. 2000; 284(4):483-4. Dr. Barbara Starfield’s wiki page is here.

In other words, this was a mainstream report. There was every reason for it to cause a firestorm in the press, and in the halls of government.

But that’s not what happened.

After a flurry of press stories, intentional amnesia set in.

If you’re looking for evidence that institutionalized American medicine doesn’t care about killing people, here it is.

Medical societies don’t care, most doctors don’t care, medical schools don’t care, public-health agencies don’t care, Congress doesn’t care, the Department of Justice doesn’t care, Presidents don’t care, drug companies don’t care, insurance companies don’t care.

As for major media and medical reporters, they intentionally hide this story and its implications every day of every year.

When people with the power to do something about medically caused death—and I’m talking about huge numbers of victims—know what’s going on and ignore it…what do you call that? Depraved indifference? Negligent homicide?

I call it murder.

Mass murder.

Barack Obama and his allies have done everything they can to bring more people into the US medical system. Changing that system has never occurred to these politicians.

Like much of America, they accept the cliches and slogans about American medicine. “It’s the best in the world.” “People are being denied treatment.” “We must take care of our citizens.”

How about this far more accurate slogan: “Let’s force more Americans to die in the care of doctors.”

The American healthcare system, like clockwork, causes a mind-boggling number of deaths every year.

On July 26, 2000, the US medical community received a titanic shock, when one of its most respected public-health experts, Dr. Barbara Starfield, revealed her findings on healthcare in America. Starfield was associated with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

The Starfield study, “Is US health really the best in the world?”, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, came to the following conclusions:

Every year in the US there are:

* 12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries;

* 7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals;

* 20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals;

* 80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals;

* 106,000 deaths from FDA-approved correctly prescribed medicines.

The total of medically-caused deaths in the US every year is 225,000.

That’s 2.25 MILLION deaths per decade.

This makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer.

The Starfield study is the most disturbing revelation about modern healthcare in America ever published in the mainstream.

On the heels of Starfield’s astonishing findings, media reporting was rather perfunctory, and it soon dwindled. No major newspaper or television network mounted an ongoing “Medicalgate” investigation. Neither the US Department of Justice nor federal health agencies undertook prolonged remedial action.

All in all, those parties who could have taken effective steps to correct this situation preferred to ignore it.

On December 6-7, 2009, I interviewed Dr. Starfield by email. Here are excerpts from that interview.

What has been the level and tenor of the response to your findings, since 2000?

The American public appears to have been hoodwinked into believing that more interventions lead to better health, and most people that I meet are completely unaware that the US does not have the ‘best health in the world’.

In the medical research community, have your medically-caused mortality statistics been debated, or have these figures been accepted, albeit with some degree of shame?

The findings have been accepted by those who study them. There has been only one detractor, a former medical school dean, who has received a lot of attention for claiming that the US health system is the best there is and we need more of it. He has a vested interest in medical schools and teaching hospitals (they are his constituency).

Have health agencies of the federal government consulted with you on ways to mitigate the [devastating] effects of the US medical system?


Since the FDA approves every medical drug given to the American people, and certifies it as safe and effective, how can that agency remain calm about the fact that these medicines are causing 106,000 deaths per year?

Even though there will always be adverse events that cannot be anticipated, the fact is that more and more unsafe drugs are being approved for use. Many people attribute that to the fact that the pharmaceutical industry is (for the past ten years or so) required to pay the FDA for reviews [of its new drugs]—which puts the FDA into an untenable position of working for the industry it is regulating. There is a large literature on this.

Aren’t your 2000 findings a severe indictment of the FDA and its standard practices?

They are an indictment of the US health care industry: insurance companies, specialty and disease-oriented medical academia, the pharmaceutical and device manufacturing industries, all of which contribute heavily to re-election campaigns of members of Congress. The problem is that we do not have a government that is free of influence of vested interests. Alas, [it] is a general problem of our society—which clearly unbalances democracy.

Can you offer an opinion about how the FDA can be so mortally wrong about so many drugs?

Yes, it cannot divest itself from vested interests. (Again, [there is] a large literature about this, mostly unrecognized by the people because the industry-supported media give it no attention.)

Would it be correct to say that, when your JAMA study was published in 2000, it caused a momentary stir and was thereafter ignored by the medical community and by pharmaceutical companies?

Are you sure it was a momentary stir? I still get at least one email a day asking for a reprint—ten years later! The problem is that its message is obscured by those that do not want any change in the US health care system.

Are you aware of any systematic efforts, since your 2000 JAMA study was published, to remedy the main categories of medically caused deaths in the US?

No systematic efforts; however, there have been a lot of studies. Most of them indicate higher rates [of death] than I calculated.

What was your personal reaction when you reached the conclusion that the US medical system was the third leading cause of death in the US?

I had previously done studies on international comparisons and knew that there were serious deficits in the US health care system, most notably in lack of universal coverage and a very poor primary care infrastructure. So I wasn’t surprised.

Did your 2000 JAMA study sail through peer review, or was there some opposition to publishing it?

It was rejected by the first journal that I sent it to, on the grounds that ‘it would not be interesting to readers’!

Do the 106,000 deaths from medical drugs only involve drugs prescribed to patients in hospitals, or does this statistic also cover people prescribed drugs who are not in-patients in hospitals?

I tried to include everything in my estimates. Since the commentary was written, many more dangerous drugs have been added to the marketplace.

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This interview with Dr. Starfield reveals that, even when an author has unassailable credentials within the medical-research establishment, the findings can result in no changes made to the system.

Many persons and organizations within the medical system contribute to the annual death totals of patients, and media silence and public ignorance are certainly major factors, but the FDA is the assigned gatekeeper, when it comes to the safety of medical drugs.

The buck stops there. If those drugs the FDA is certifying as safe are killing, like clockwork, 106,000 people a year, the Agency must be held accountable. The American people must understand that.

As for the other 119,000 people killed every year as a result of hospital treatment, this horror has to be laid at the doors of those institutions. Further, to the degree that hospitals are regulated and financed by state and federal governments, the relevant health agencies assume culpability.

It is astounding, as well, that the US Department of Justice has failed to weigh in on Starfield’s findings. If 225,000 medically caused deaths per year is not a crime by the Dept. of Justice’s standards, then what is?

To my knowledge, not one person in America has been fired from a job or even censured as result of these medically caused deaths.

Dr. Starfield’s findings have been available for 15 years. She has changed the perception of the medical landscape forever. In a half-sane nation, she would be accorded a degree of recognition that would, by comparison, make the considerable list of her awards pale. And significant and swift action would have been taken to punish the perpetrators of these crimes and reform the system from its foundations.

The pharmaceutical giants stand back and carve up the populace into “promising markets.” They seek new disease labels and new profits from more and more toxic drugs. They do whatever they can—legally or illegally—to influence doctors in their prescribing habits. Many studies which show the drugs are dangerous are buried. FDA panels are filled with doctors who have drug-company ties. Legislators are incessantly lobbied and supported with pharma campaign monies.

Nutrition, the cornerstone of good health, is ignored or devalued by most physicians. Meanwhile, the FDA continues to attack nutritional supplements, even though the overall safety record of these nutrients is excellent, whereas, once again, the medical drugs the FDA certifies as safe are killing 106,000 Americans per year.

Physicians are trained to pay exclusive homage to peer-reviewed published drug studies. These doctors unfailingly ignore the fact that, if medical drugs are killing a million Americans per decade, the studies on which those drugs are based must be fraudulent. In other words, the whole literature is suspect, unreliable, and impenetrable.

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

20 comments on “The Starfield revelation: medically caused death in America

  1. Are the death caused by VACCINATION included in figures?
    Every year in the US there are:

    12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries;

    7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals;

    20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals;

    80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals;

    106,000 deaths from FDA-approved correctly prescribed medicines.

    The total of medically-caused deaths in the US every year is 225,000.

    That’s 2.25 MILLION deaths per decade.

    Deaths From Prescription Painkillers up 300%

    Here in india MILLION kids die each year under age 5 due to malnutrition, now for the first time fears h1n1 death!

    India JUSTICE dept in FEAR and PANIC?

    VIRUS PANIC india

  2. From Québec says:

    “This makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer.”

    Hum! Not sure about that. I think the medical system should be the number one leading cause of death in the US, because vaccines and toxic drugs cause cancer and probably also affect the heart

    • This would probably be very accurate to say, IF we were able to find the undeniable evidence to make that link.

      A large portion of our cancers, heart-disease, and many other health-related issues comes from our FOOD. There virtually is no such thing as “healthy food” in our supermarkets anymore. That is why home-gardening is becoming very popular, and many municipalities and states are doing their best to outlaw them!

      • From Québec says:

        “This would probably be very accurate to say, IF we were able to find the undeniable evidence to make that link.”

        Well we have one evidence. The polio vaccines had cancer cells in it. They admit it:

        Start listening at 3:30

        Weaponized Cancer Viruses Exposed! with Dr. Mary’s Monkey Author Ed Haslam

    • norandmurr says:

      I agree 100%.

  3. From Québec says:

    UN Drug Czar Attacks U.S. States for Ending Cannabis Prohibition
    The UN’s army of drug warriors has been meeting in Vienna to plan a response and demand obedience to its global drug-control regime

  4. elnura1 says:

    The Journal of Patient Safety says between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death.
    http://journals.lww (dot) com/journalpatientsafety/Fulltext/2013/09000/A_New,_Evidence_based_Estimate_of_Patient_Harms.2.aspx

  5. Skylar says:

    What would be a rational response to someone with the argument that “more people would die without the medical system. The FDA approved drugs that kill 106,000 people a year save many more than that and without these drugs many more people would die.”

    I don’t buy this [argument] for a second but can’t see any flaw in reasoning.

    • From Québec says:

      “I don’t buy this [argument] for a second but can’t see any flaw in reasoning.”
      – Shylar

      The problem is that the medical system only practises allopathic medicine.
      Drugs, drugs and more drugs.

      Drugs usually do not cure anything, it only masks the symptoms. Since most drugs are toxic, it lowers your immune system and eventually you get all sorts of side effects that will require more drugs. The result of all that is that you will die 10 to 15 years earlier than you should and you will have a miserable life, in an out of the hospital.for the rest of your life.

      When in fact, if they would allow natural medicine in the system, you could be cured once and for all, most of the time.

      Of course, when you have a car accident or something similar, you go to the hospital. They can stitch you up, stop the bleeding, put you in a cast or operate you. They are good at that. They can repair the body frame, but they know nothing about the engine.

      On top of all that, the food they serve are toxic and the salubrity of their hospital rates quite low. So you can catch some viruses that otherwise you would not have caught if you wouldn’t have gone to the hospital.

      • blakmira says:

        “From Quebec” — 100% agree with all you said! Most drugs don’t even “work” — if they seem to, it’s only because they’re masking the symptoms, meanwhile causing more illness. They’re all synthetic chemicals — foreign objects the body detects as “invaders.”
        Hospitals should stick to emergency trauma/accident cases! That’s all they’re good at.
        Yes, the food at hospitals is nasty processed garbage! They must KNOW that it makes you sicker! No vitamins, minerals or nutrients, no fresh fruit or raw vegetables or organic salads or squeezed juices….
        There are millions of cures found in nature — in the rain forest, the desert and the garden.
        Plant medicine and plant-based nutrition — the secret cures they don’t want you to know about.

    • NWO Reporter says:

      The underlying premise of that argument is that pharmaceuticals are the best or only way to prevent and cure disease. If the premise is false, the argument fails.

    • Eye of Horus says:

      The problem with that argument is that it assumes because some lives may be saved it is a good thing and their deaths are justified. We have the same type of argument in war zones. It’s call “collateral damage.” The question is: How many of those 106,000 who die could be saved if the drug companies and the FDA would take the time to create drugs with little or no side effects? What the drug companies are focused on is getting the drug on the market in spite of the deleterious side effects. With a complicit FDA just rubber stamping whatever the drug companies say, people will continue to die. Consequently, what we have here is a logical fallacy.

    • jacobite2015 says:

      Sure, lives will be saved from acute & chronic illnesses with their pharmaceuticals but that’s their intent – to obtain and keep customers in their system.

      For example, there’s an epidemic of osteoarthritis with middle-aged and older people in this country (primarily the result of obesity/overweight problems and sedentary lifestyles). People will see their doctor and be prescribed a NSAID, usually for long-term use. NSAIDs are proven to cause GI and renal problems (FDA warnings on these – imagine that). So, these same patients with GI problems will again see their doctor and many will be prescribed an acid-suppression medication. Long-term use of acid-suppression meds are proven to cause severe osteoporosis (another FDA warning on this-can you believe it?). Consequently, the patient will need “another” drug for the osteoporosis problem.

      Now, you can see the vicious cycle that has occurred here – more & more drugs to treat the side-effects of the initial drugs. And look who laughs all the way to bank….big pharma! So, I’m guessing big pharma wouldn’t want too many people to die in the American healthcare system – it wouldn’t be good for their business model…

  6. From Québec says:

    They want to ban guns because it kills people. How about banning the corrupted medical system instead?

    Compare both in this excerpt.


    “Your doctor is FAR more likely to kill you than an armed criminal

    It’s true: You are 64 times more likely to be killed by your doctor than by someone else wielding a gun. That’s because 19,766 of the total 31,940 gun deaths in the USA (in the year 2011) were suicides. So the actual number of deaths from other people shooting you is only 12,174. ”

    Doctors, comparatively, kill 783,936 people each year, which is 64 times higher than 12,174. Doctors shoot you not with bullets, but with vaccines, chemotherapy and pharmaceuticals… all of which turn out to be FAR more deadly than guns.

    This is especially amazing, given that there are just under 700,000 doctors in America, while there are roughly about 80 million gun owners in America.

  7. theodorewesson says:

    All Chronic Diseases Are Rooted In Mineral Deficiencies! – Dr. Peter Glidden, ND

  8. jacobite2015 says:

    Informative post Jon…and with those statistics we’re suppose to “trust” the medical community with vaccinations, therapeutic medications, elective surgeries, etc.? The whole medical system is completely defective. Can they screw it up anymore?

    This hits home: I have a family member, who while hospitalized, suffered preventable harm – a stoke and the infamous “hospital-acquired pneumonia.” Your right; the doctors don’t care, the hospital administrators don’t care, no one in the system cares.

    Be aware – if you or a loved one have the misfortune of being hospitalized, you may be in for a surprise…

  9. Diane says:

    I had a condition that I have never heard of called myelopathy…according to the “doctors” I would be paralyzed without the surgery. This was in 2009. I had a posterior fusion from c2 to t3… has literally crippled me. The “doctor” ( I found out in 2013) created scoliosis in my neck. (It was obvious to me that something was terribly wrong) The “doctor surgeon” just wanted rid of me. I took pain medicines for a while but…I take nothing now as I have become so suspicious of the medications. I have tremendous pain quite often. I also had a total hip replacement in 2010. I had pain for a long time. The “surgeon” that was treating ( I use that word jokingly as there was no treatment) me for the fusion told me to take an advil, the neurologist told me to take an ibuprofen, my primary care “doctor” an internist told me to “stay off of it. Not one of them would even try to find out why I could not walk without terrible pain. I finally went to the er. The real doctor there told me that he could not give me anything for pain as I had driven myself. I told him I did not come here to get medicine. I said I came here to find out why I cant walk. I am seeing three doctors and not one of them is concerned by the fact that I cannot walk. The real doctor took xrays and my left hip was bone on bone. I found a different surgeon and he operated. He told my sister he did not understand how I was even walking as my hip was out of socket and he said it looked like a dog had been chewing on it. When my mother became seriously ill she was mistreated as she was dying and the hospital wanted us to just take her home or a nursing home. Her kidneys had failed and there was no way we could take her home or to a nursing home. She was dying. She did die days later but we took her to a hospice hospital because the hospital was just going to sit her out in the street from I gathered by their conversation. You absolute must be an advocate for your own health. You absolutely cannot trust the “hospitalist” (as these hospital doctors? are called) You absolutely cannot trust the hospitals, There are very few doctors that are not pushing antidepressants and other deadly chemicals. You ABSOLUTELY cannot trust vaccines, you cannot trust drug makers, the FDA. I am not a paranoid I absolutely believe that there is an absolute evil that is permeating everything and the money trail will lead you right to them. I try very hard to avoid medications as much as possible and it can be a very painful process for me. Chemicals do not belong in the human body and I have learned that I can tolerate a great deal of pain. In particular I learned that in the hospital in 2009 when I awoke in intensive care after being butchered and the “surgeon” had gone off and left absolutely no orders for any type of pain medication. I cannot take morphine and the “doctor” on call would not order anything but morphine. This is our medical system and I guess I should be grateful that I was just butchered and not murdered. A wonderful book I own….Back to the Garden of Eden.

    • Roxanne Jones says:

      Hi… old are you or were you when you went through the first surgery? Were you sized up by these butchers, so-called docs, because of your education level? You sound like after the immense harm done by these predators that you had no idea that they were each lying to your face, just like I also was taken advantage of. I did go back to college after their abuse and began studying medicine though. Now that I understand that they are all lying to the public and that the tests that they use upon us each to sway us to respond and allow them to butcher or chemo upon us are each lies too, I have been and am currently trying to take this all to Court and expose our U.S. Medical Society. We, the honest hard working citizens of the U.S. should not be harmed by the U.S. Medical Society, only helped along our individual life journeys until natural death. If rolls were reversed, each of the U.S. Medical Society individuals, would need this respect of a person, adoration and dignity given to every human being, no harm done.

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