I must admit that I was hesitant to write this article. On one hand nobody is saying what I feel needs to be said – on the other hand I did not want to use a man’s tragic death as a tool to make a point. The fact that Mr. Layton himself partially used his final letter to promote an ideology that was lapped up by the media was the factor that made me decide to go ahead with this post.
To start, I must admit that I was not a big fan of Mr. Layton as a politician. I did however respect him for his passion, conviction and dedication. We could use a lot more of this in Canada. That being said, I offer my condolences to all who held him close to their hearts – and I know there are many.
My argument with Mr. Layton’s final letter to Canadians is that his paragraph on cancer treatment (what he would call “healthcare”) highlights what is perhaps the major problem with the system. While dying from his second round of cancer at the age of 61 he attempted to try to reassure Canadians that the treatments are great and to stay the course!
Did Everything “Right”, Yet it Ended so Wrong
As a logical person, this is what I see. I see a man who was hailed as being a politician who was physically fit, disciplined, energetic and optimistic. I would guess that he ate and exercised as the “experts” advised. Yet, by age 61 he had been treated for cancer, had a hip replaced and then had cancer return – all signs of chronic failing health. Does he really want his fellow Canadians – now and in the future – to take the same path that led him there? Would his unique case not be reason to perhaps question the approach taken by him and advocated by the experts? If he had gone bankrupt instead of developing cancer would he have asked Canadians to do the same as he and have hope?
This to me is the most profound problem with our “healthcare” system that has led us to interventions that are among the leading causes of death and the first generation in history that is not expected to live as long as their parents. Policies, interventions and recommendations are made by so-called experts that we listen to regardless of the outcomes they produce. We are told this is all scientific, yet the actual science demonstrates that it is not. We dogmatically follow like sheep despite the evidence all around us that is doesn’t work!
If Not Jack, Who?
I think most would have considered Mr. Layton an open minded individual who sought the truth. If any party would be willing to shake up the status quo you would think it would be the NDP. Yet he was so ingrained in his views on the healthcare system he so passionately defended that he could not see what was right in front of him. This is a dire sign for the future of health in Canada.
Local health writer and consultant, Jason Christoff wrote a blog post last month about Jack Layton’s cancer recurrence that you can read here. I commented on the article stating that had Mr. Layton taken an alternate path and actually had a great outcome (and admitted it) it would likely spell the end of his political career because the masses don’t like to question what they have always believed to be true. I hope I am wrong about that, but somehow I doubt it.
It is Up to You!
The moral of the story is that you have to take responsibility for your own health. Mr. Layton’s passing illustrates that the system can’t save you regardless of your stature. Evaluate for yourself, inform yourself and most of all trust yourself.
The expensive (in $ and suffering) experiment of a healthcare system based on diagnosing and fighting disease has failed miserably and will be ending in the next couple of decades. Now is the time to build the muscles and develop the strategies to produce health and vitality for you and your family. Nobody else will do it for you.
On Monday, Sept. 12th I will be giving a free workshop to give you the tools to make great healthcare choices, regardless of your current level of health. We start at 7pm and you can reserve a seat by phoning 613-932-8111.
“The current system is not working. We don’t need more debate about who should pay for healthcare, we need to start debating what kind of healthcare we should pay for.”
– Dr. James Chestnut