No matter how we try and try, and then try again, to make ourselves into figurative tubs of Chiffon -- remember Chiffon? -- we crash and burn upon the rock-hard realities of "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."
Oftentimes, this principle is demonstrated most starkly and tragically when it comes into conflict with the modern-day dogma of universal autonomy, which holds that "f***ing is an entitlement." NBC News unveiled the latest chapter of an interminable tale of hubris and woe this morning on Today (above) and on MSNBC:
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson may have known years ago about the deadly risks of its birth control patch Ortho Evra, according to internal documents obtained by NBC News.NATURAL LAW isn't a popular concept in the postmodern West, but that doesn't make it any less valid. Everything has a purpose. Natural systems, and this includes Homo sapiens, have a certain economy.
Patient reports between 2002 and 2004 show that Ortho Evra was 12 times more likely to cause strokes and 18 times more likely to cause blood clots than the conventional birth control pill, NBC News' TODAY show revealed Wednesday.
When Ortho Evra first hit the market in 2002, it was a big hit. "Time" magazine called it one of the best inventions of the year and doctors have written nearly 40 million prescriptions for it. But as sales surged, so did claims of injury and even death.
Some experts say the patch is problematic because it delivers a continuous and high level of estrogen — 60 percent more estrogen than the pill. When a birth control pill is swallowed, it quickly dissolves into the system. But with the patch, estrogen keeps flowing into the bloodstream for an entire week.
"With the patch… there's no relief of the body of the woman from getting estrogen," Dr. Sidney Wolfe, Medical Director of watchdog group Public Citizen, told NBC.
Concern over the patch has led to high-level resignations at Johnson & Johnson.
In 2005, Johnson & Johnson Vice President Dr. Patrick Caubel suddenly quit, saying in his resignation letter, "I have been involved in the safety evaluation of Ortho Evra since its introduction on the market. … The estrogenic exposure [of the patch] was unusually high, as was the rate of fatalities."
His letter, which was obtained by NBC, said the research was "compelling evidence" that the company ignored. Therefore, he wrote, "it became impossible for me to stay in my position as VP."
NBC's investigation also found a lawsuit by another Johnson & Johnson vice president, Dr. Joel Lippman, who is suing the company for unlawful termination after he says he blew the whistle on the patch's dangerously high levels of estrogen, even before it came to market.
The company, he says, "disregarded his concerns and launched the product anyway."
"The company knew about much of it, if not all of it," said Dr. Wolfe. "They thought correctly that it wouldn't sell as well if you told people how dangerous it was."
Certain plants grow best within a certain environment, and humans thrive only within certain parameters -- physiologically, sociologically and morally. We don't want to hear this, however, because being fallen creatures, we want to do what we want to do.
(For that matter, we don't want to hear that we're fallen, either.)
And we'll find ways to deny the consequences of our doing exactly what we want to do. Which brings us into direct conflict with the one immutable reality of earthly existence -- "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."
THERE WILL be consequences when you violate the law -- moral and physical. Most of them will be ugly.
In every instance, though, we're going to keep trying our damnedest (in every sense of "damnedest") to do just that. You see, in this sad case, we find that the corollary to "f***ing is an entitlement" is more important than the main point itself:
"Making billions of dollars off 'f***ing is an entitlement' is far greater entitlement than f***ing. And we'll kill you to do it."