DISEASES OF THE SPLEEN AND THEIR REMEDIES By Burnett J.C
From the time of Morgagni’s De Sedibus, etc., but more particularly with the introduction and generalization of physical and regional diagnosis by Auennbrugger, Laennec, Skoda, Piorry, and the mighty host of their disciples, practical medical men have been led to consider each organ by itself much more than ever before, and this often apart from medical doctrines. We may say the first half of this century thoroughly established the absolute essentiality of regional diagnosis. This separatist practice has gone so far that the organism has not unfrequently been lost sight of altogether.
Piorry in his Traite de Plessimetrie et de l’ Organo-graph- isme, etc. (1827 to 1851), very justly remarks: “Le pathonomisme n`a donc ete possible qu’a cause de la doctrine sur laquelle il est fonde.”
With the direct diagnostic delimitations of the various organs by palpation, percussion, and auscultation came the coining of the words organopathy, organogeny, organography, and such like terms, which, we must say, are both sensible and useful, though organopathy had with and ever since Hohenheim constituted the backbone of the medical practice of certain, in their days mostly heterodox, practitioners, and some of them great masters of healing.
If it be asked, what is here meant by ORGANOPATHY? my reply is that organopathy is the specific local action of drugs on particular parts or organs, as first systematized by Rademacher in the early part of this century. It is thus, a very convenient term in therapeutics as well as in aetiology and pathology. In pathology the term organopathy has long been in general use, particularly on the Continent of Europe. The French understand by Organopathie an organ disease, and as such it is an accepted term in pathology. The same is true of Organleiden in the German language. All this by the way.
In this little work, therefore the word organopathy is used as a technical term of drug therapeutics; it was copied in this country some years ago from Rademacher, and from the Rademacherian writes of Germany, without a single word of acknowledgment. But the real father of organopathy in essence and substances is Hohenheim, an eminent and learned physician commonly called Paracelsus, for proof of which see his works, and hereafter in this little volume on Diseases of the Spleen, if space permits. Organopathy is included in the wider generalization known as homoeopathy; for whereas organopathy claims only that certain drugs affect certain parts curatively, preferentially, or specially, as, for instance, Digitalis the heart (therapeutic organopathy), homoeopathy claims that not only dose Digitalis, e.g., affect the heart specifically (therapeutic organopathy), but to be curative the natural disease of the organ (nosological organopathy) must be like in expression to the therapeutic organopathy or drug-action.
Homoeopathy may be said to be based upon organopathy, for a drug to cure the heart of its disease specifically must necessarily affect the heart in some manner. But the homoeopath specializes, and says further: The drug that is to cure the heart must affect the heart, certainly-that is one of the foundations of our whole therapeutic edifice, but that is not enough; the nosological organopathy and the therapeutic organopathy must be and are similar. And in as much as we can know disease only by its subjective and objective symptoms (its language), it follow that the two organopathies must be symptomatically alike, though possibly antipathic in their mode of action as against one another.
My reason for considering Diseases of the Spleen from the organopathic standpoint lies not only in the fact that I already worked on the same subject ten years ago, but because I believe my experience in this field is somewhat unusual, and likely to be instructive to my readers; and incidentally I wish particularly to emphasize the fact that organopathy was a well-established system of medicine long year ago, and is no child of our time.
No doubt it wants precisioning and developing, and I trust this little volume will work a little in this direction; but for any man to come forward nowadays and post as the discover of organopathy, in either name or substance, presupposes an amount of ignorance that makes one fairly stagger with amazement. I am not maintaining that treating an organ affection by an organ remedy after the manner of Hohenheim, Rademacher, and their respective codoctrinaires, will stand as a medical system sufficient in itself, but that it is eminently workable, and is largely of the nature of elementary homoeopathy, is, in fact, specificity of seat.