An Invitation for Bill Clinton to Attend the McDougall Program
Dear 42nd President William Jefferson Clinton:
With all their good intentions, and the use of sophisticated,
expensive technologies, your doctors are allowing your heart disease to
progress as if it were a runaway train destined for a wreck. Your
cardiologist, Dr. Allan Schwartz, at New York Presbyterian Hospital is
telling you further blockage is the normal course of your disease, and
your diet and lifestyle are not involved. Medical experts expressing
their opinion in the news since your surgery are misleading the public
into believing that the proper management of this disease is through
constant surveillance and repeated surgical interventions. This is big
business talking, and in addition to mismanagement of your personal
care, one result will be an increase in the already more than one
million angioplasties and 500 thousand bypass surgeries performed
annually in the US.
Recall your first painful encounter with the heart surgery business
on September 3, 2004 when you were hospitalized following an episode of
chest pain. You had quadruple bypass surgery three days later. A couple
of days ago, on Thursday, February 11, 2010, you needed the heart
surgeons again. You had two bare metal stents placed in your heart
following a few of days of mild chest discomfort. This history will
continue to repeat itself until you seriously change your eating habits
and get these meddling doctors out of your life. You are missing another
“teaching moment” and bypassing another chance to change health and
healthcare in America.
In a letter I sent to you the day
following your hospitalization in 2004, I
pleaded with you to refuse bypass surgery. I told you that bypass
surgery does not save lives in most cases, and I warned you of the brain
damage you would suffer from being on the heart-lung bypass machine.
Likely you did not read that letter. Following your quadruple bypass you
were a noticeably different man. Your sometimes-irrational behavior
during Hillary Clinton’s campaign was in part due to your
surgically-induced mental decline. I sent
letter in the spring of 2008 apologizing for the harm my colleagues
caused you and their failure to offer you intensive medical therapy
founded on a healthy diet. I believe you
received that letter or read the
Wall Street Journal article
that followed about your brain damage.
Since you became aware of your functional loss you have seemed to me to
be in much better control when before the public.
I am taking the opportunity in this letter to try to help you again.
By helping one of our country’s greatest statesmen, I may be able to
help other heart patients (which happens to include most adults
following the Western diet). This is my third attempt, but likely not my
last, because, after all, your heart doctors (Dean Ornish, MD being an
outstanding exception) believe your disease is unstoppable. Remember
what they said: they are going to manage your future health by constant
surveillance and repeated surgical interventions. These well-educated
professionals are dead wrong on how to care for a patient such as you.
In order for you to stop having false hope you need to be told that
heart surgery, including bypass surgery and angioplasty with or without
stents, does not save lives in the vast majority of cases. You have not
been fixed by either procedure. The reason for this is that the bypass
surgeons and cardiologists are operating on the stable hard fibrous
plaques that do not kill people. Why do they operate on nonlethal
lesions? Because they can. These large fibrous stable plaques, which
have been present for years if not decades, are visible by technologies
like angiograms and heart scans. Once visualized, they become targets
for knives, grafts, sutures, and catheters.
The disease that really kills is largely invisible to your doctors.
Tiny festering sores that rupture cause heart attacks, and the deaths
that follow these heart attacks in nearly half the cases. In order to
understand the underlying problem, think about pustules or pimples
rupturing on a teenager’s face, but in this case the deadly activity is
inside your arteries. In medical terminology, these tiny sores are
called “volatile plaques.” When they pop, substances generally referred
to as “products of injury” are released. The body’s response is to form
a blood clot to cover up the wound (similar to the blood clot that forms
when you cut your hand with a knife). If the blood clot (called a
thrombus) is large enough, then the flow in the entire heart artery can
be blocked off. The heart muscle that lies distal to this sudden
blockage usually dies—and that is
how a heart attack occurs.
Why do heart surgeons not operate on the killing part of this
disease? Because they can’t. They cannot see these tiny festering sores
with current technology. Even if they could see these “silent killers,”
they have no surgical techniques to stop them from exploding. The only
solution is to allow the body to heal your steadily-progressing disease
by making serious dietary changes. (Medications, such as aspirin and
statins, when judiciously used, can be of benefit as well.)
I realize you were frightened by the chest discomfort on both
occasions (2004 and 2010). Fortunately, changing to a healthy low-fat
diet (like the Pritikin, McDougall, Ornish, or Esselstyn Diets) reduces
the intensity and/or stops the chest pains very quickly. Improvement in
blood flow begins with the first good meal. In a matter of hours the
blood naturally thins and a blood clot is less likely to form if a
volatile plaque does rupture (aspirin helps too).
healing is a powerful force — within
the first week the risk of pustule rupture is greatly reduced. In a
matter of months, reversal of artery disease can be seen by current
technologies (angiograms and PET scans).
The truths I have given you are indisputable and most of your doctors
are well aware of the solid research behind what I have told you. Your
problem now is the same as everyone else’s: making the change. This is
not easy, especially when you have almost no conservative medical
support. If you do not change you can expect your future to be more like
the past, but probably worse, because you are getting older. So for your
sake, and all those who benefit from your work, I invite you to attend
the next 10-day, live-in, McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California,
March 19 to 28, 2010. You can call me at (800) 941-7111. In this short
time together, I promise we will change your life dramatically for the
better. When that happens I will stop writing you these cautionary
letters, which so far have accurately predicted your future.
John McDougall, MD