Dr. aschner, a teacher at the University of Vienna, published in 1928 a large and important volume entitled The Crisis of the Art of Medicine-Constitutional Treatment is Needed. Of this volume the fifth edition was recently published. Aschner, like Hahnemann and other eminent medical thinkers, became profoundly dissatisfied with orthodox medicine and surgery and tried to find a way out.
With the greatest industry he set to work to study not merely the latest literature and procedures, but he endeavoured to learn from the wisdom and experience of the past. He studied the the writings of all the great masters of medicine from Hippocrates onward, he translated the writings of Paracelsus, he explored all the ancient methods which have been abandoned, such as bleeding, purging, etc., and he was wise and open-minded enough to study also homoeopathy and the methods employed by those laymen who call themselves nature curers.
He contributed an article under the above heading to the journal Hippocrates of January, 1934. After criticizing the methods of violence employed especially in womens diseases-Aschner is a specialist for womens disease and a surgeon-he gave various examples from his practice. I would quote the following:.
“A woman, aged 45, came to me. Five years previously she had been operated upon on account of a fibroid tumour of the womb, which was as large as a coconut and which had caused serious bleeding. The entire womb had been excised. During the twelve months following the operation she has felt quite well, but two years after the operation a change came over her.
She had the sensation as if she had been given a terrific blow on the head. That sensation was accompanied by terror, and the patient compared her sensations with the effect of a powerful electrical discharge into the brain. Further, she had the sensation that her heart might stop beating at any moment. Some years previously she had been suffering from inflammation of the nerves of the legs.
She then developed symptoms of a rheumatic, arthritic and neuritic kind, which one sees frequently in women in whom the change of life has been effected violently and before the proper time. Most experienced physicians and nerve specialists are aware that excision of the serious symptoms described, but the majority of gynecologists deny that radical operations have these terrible results and justify more or less unconsciously the drastic operations which they undertake so readily and so frequently.
The patient was stout at the time of the operation, weighing 11 stone. Since then she had gained a further 23 lbs. During the last six months her sufferings had been added to by daily attacks of angina pectoris accompanied by a sensation of faintness and of sinking if she made the slightest movement. During the last four months she had been in bed by her doctor who at last called me in for a consultation.
The electro-cardiograph showed that the lady was suffering from pronounced damage of the heart muscle, that the heart was enlarged, and there was pronounced congestion of the lungs and the legs were dropsical. During the part of a well-known heart specialist with heart medicines had been unsuccessful and that he was at the end of his resources.
During my first meeting with her doctor it appeared that her doctor had assumed that in some or other the ladys troubles were due to the change of life. He had given her ovarian preparations which, however, had had no effect. However, he did not consider the fact important that an artificial change of life had been produced by violence several years ago and that this interference might be the cause of the womans sufferings.
I drew his attention to the fact that an artificial menopause is apt to lead to a large accumulation of fact, high, blood pressure, dilatation of the heart, and that it might produce toxic injury to the heart muscle, arteries and veins, consequences which I frequently seen and described.
I prescribed for her. The lady was take Glauber Salt, Senna, Thyroid, and a reducing diet, and the bowel was to be activated in accordance with the principles of treatment by revulsion, or derivation practised by the doctors of the past. Furthermore, from six to eight leeches were to be applied to the heart region.
During the two weeks the patient made remarkable progress. She lost 7 lbs. of her overweight and passed a number of days without any attacks. In view of that improvement her doctor admitted that the extirpation of the womb had been a mistake and that only a conservative operation on the womb should have been effected. He could not deny that the artificially induced change of life caused heart attacks which threatened the womans life.