Dr. Lorraine Day, an internationally acclaimed orthopedic trauma surgeon and lecturer, was on the faculty of the University of California, San Franscisco for 15 years. As Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at San Francisco General Hospital, the only trauma hospital in that city, she operated on as many AIDS patients asa ny surgeon in the country. Dr. Day, like all trauma surgeons,was covered with blood from patients’ gun shot wounds, stab wounds and other massive injuries day after day, year after year,while being assured by the “experts” that her work was not
hazardous.Dr. Day explains in this book how she suddenly discovered that the “experts”were not telling the full truth about AIDS to the surgeons, to other medical personnel and to the public. She reveals astonishing, well documented facts about the AIDS epidemic, facts that the government denies but facts that you must know to protect yourself and your family from this fatal disease.
The seeds of this book were planted in my childhood bymy father who frequently listened to my pleas to “do what allthe other kids are doing.” He would then respond, “Herd-instinct; why do you want to do what the herd is doing? Whydon’t you decide what’s right and stand on your own twofeet!” While I was growing up, both my father and mother instilled in my brother and me the importance of honesty and integrity. “Don’t ever compromise your principles for personal,financial or political gain,” they told us again and again.
As a young orthopedic surgeon and assistant professor atthe University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco-general Hospital, my days were filled with many duties, includ-ing teaching medical students and resident doctors in training,operating on patients and caring for them both in and out of the hospital. Nearly everyone I worked with was honest and straight-forward.
As I moved up the ladder and interacted with the leaders of both the hospital and the university I was perplexed,saddened and even repulsed to perceive how much these leaders had compromised the principles they must have had
AIDS: What the Government Isn’t Telling You
at some earlier time. For example, during one private meeting,the University Dean informed me I was “too prickly” instanding for principles. “But what do you want me to do,” I asked, “sell my soul?” His response was astonishing to meand forced me to understand the enormity of the “integrity”problem in our medical institutions. He placed his chin in hishand and looked me squarely in the eye; “Sooner or later everyone sells his soul,” said this physician, whom heretofore had admired.
Virtually every medical and governmental agency I dealt with had a hidden agenda, mainly political, that keptthem from handling the AIDS epidemic according to well-established public health guidelines. For a long time I was confused, unable to understand why no one seemed interested-in hearing the truth, much less publicizing it and acting on it.
Everyone was so busy behaving in the “politically correct”mode, a mode often necessary to keep one’s job, that creative-and imaginative political rationalizations were constructed to explain abominable committee decisions—decisions that oftenled to loss of life.
On October 2, 1987, when I suddenly realized that the AIDS epidemic was much more ominous than I had been told,I began working privately, not publicly, through hospital channels and medical committees to inject some commonsense into the proposed rules and regulations. In the early days of my involvement, never once did I even think of “going public” with my information. But when I found that my colleagues were saying one thing privately in committees and another thing to the press and the public, I decided that the public had a right to know the truth. So anytime I was approached by the media, I agreed to speak.
The ostracism that followed was unpleasant, and the threats of bodily harm that have been directed at those whospeak out on this issue have been worrisome. But when I triedto back away, my father’s influence, like a recording, began toplay in my conscience. “Don’t do what the herd does. Decide what’s right and stand on your own two feet.”
Over the past several years, I have been very critical of those in government and in the medical establishment wholack the courage to speak the truth about AIDS. If I chose toremain silent because of pressures and threats that have come not only from special interest groups but from well estab-lished institutions of our country, I would be reacting in the same manner as those I have criticized.
I made the decision to tell what I know for the safety of the unsuspecting public, for the safety of my fellow health care workers who are taking far greater risks than the government is admitting, and for my children and the children of other concerned parents who understand that this disease does not discriminate. It can infect anyone.
There have been many who have supported my efforts:my orthopedic surgery residents, who for years have been my extended family; my office staff at San Francisco General Hospital including Mr. Wiley Herring, my administrative analyst, whose advice was often of critical importance and whose perception of events was right on target. His loyalty,friendship and protectiveness sustained me through some very difficult and uncomfortable times.
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