I’ve lost three old friends over the years when they refused to have medical treatment for serious health conditions.

One had a treatable form of breast cancer but believed a conspiracy theory: Doctors had cured cancer with a natural remedy, and Big Pharma had hidden this from the public.

She followed the advice of a local herbal salesperson and died six months later.

Andy Winnegar has spent his career in rehabilitation and lives in Santa Fe with his wife, Judy. He can be reached at a@winnegar.com.