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People Generally Don't Do Things That Go Against Their Self-Interest

The quote most often used to describe this psychological behavior is from Upton Sinclair : It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it. But this corruption often goes beyond just economic self-interest, into the full range of social, economic and political interactions, with the Cerberus, 3-headed dog from Hell behavior of : Hypocrisy., Nepotism and Cronyism.

As with many issues I have blogged on, this is timeless and universal. Yet at the same time this human trait is one of the worst and deadliest vices that we inflict upon others.

I have had the fortune/ misfortune to be able to study this first hand in my reporting of the worst medical misconduct in modern US history: UNC senior administration allowing a drunk interventional radiologist to operate drunk for at least 2 decades from 1988- 2008. What makes it the worst, beyond the simple fact that it involved the most victims and the deadliest complications, is the extent of the cover-up, from the initial cover up contemporaneously, covered up by co-workers, the immediate supervisor, the chair of the Dept of Radiology, the chief legal counsel for the School of Medicine, and probably the Dean and CEO of the Medical system. After the fact, the cover up has extended well beyond the School of Medicine to an astonishing extent. I will describe this in more detail in upcoming blogs.

Unfortunately this same core human nature likely also explains a great deal of the lack of awareness of Gadolinium Deposition Disease, and in reality all the serious adverse effects, from other drugs to PFAS. I have used the statement often: there is no money in talking about patient safety. I started using this statement when I began my quest for patient safety with shining a light on medical radiation and CT and the risk for cancer development.

We are killing ourselves/ being killed and most of it as a direct cause of Upton Sinclair's observation from about 1 century ago. This same observation no doubt having been made repeatedly over the last 10,000 years or longer. The critical difference: human bad behavior now has a global reach, which it never had before.

I am doing my part: starting with having fully brought to light Gadolinium Deposition Disease. This an iatrogenic disease. It is extremely comparable to, including what is the best treatment, for an even more universal disease: Lead Deposition Disease. I am now ratcheting up public exposure and combating of an fascinatingly comparable serious example of bad human nature: gross ground floor medical misconduct with the cover up by supervisors who let this happen at the time it was happening, and who post hoc continue to cover it up at the University of North Carolina (UNC). The gadolinium story: the population of GDD suffering individuals ignored and shunned despite toxic effects from GBCAs, with contemporaneous and post Hoc cover-up; and the UNC story a drunk doctor operating on patients, with contemporaneous and post Hoc cover-up by senior administrators... same story, different actors. It is also the same physician in both these accounts, amongst hundreds who would be aware that misconducts had gone on, are going on, and continue to go on. A number of observers could say that Dr Richard Semelka is a sucker for putting the welfare of others before his own. Yes maybe I am a sucker in the way US society is today, but I think it should be thought of in the correct terms: it is having the integrity and courage to help out others, despite or perhaps especially if it comes at great personal cost, In today's environment it is likely only the investigative journalists who put themselves directly in harms way to protect others, that exhibit this trait. I have to think it must be the Schindler gene. When faced with a crisis of conscience I, and brave investigative journalists, cannot help but protect victims. It may not be a choice so much as a calling.

This boils down to the absolute need for transparency and accountability. But not just idle feel good talking points on tv, like thoughts and prayers. But real and stern accountability - if there is a serious interest in creating change....for GDD.. for protection from drunk doctors. safety of an innocent public in Ukraine... for anything that is important.


Protector Publicus

Richard Semelka, MD


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