IN wonder we ask: What is wrong with medicine to-day? There is no dearth of doctors, and our medical colleges are flooding the market with the so-called qualified doctors. Doctors with European degrees are also multiplying rapidly. But to-day our first feeling is that we are medically insecure. Why? Because quackery is increasing amongst qualified doctors.
There is no medicine for a common cold, nothing for typhoid, nothing for pneumonia. These are most of our common illnesses. Castor oil is claimed to be a cure for constipation, and quinine for fever, and everyone knows to his cost how prolonged use of these drugs wrecks the health of an average human being.
More difficult diseases like pthisis, cancer, asthma, rheumatism, etc., are declared to be incurable, and patients are left to die a cool health. No wonder that the feeling of insecurity becomes more accentuated every day.
The reason is not far to seek. Our doctors learn everything– anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, botany and a host of other subsidiary sciences, but the one thing we laymen need — healing the sick — forms only a minor part of their education.
They can tell you the name of the minutest nerve that is affected, the smallest bone that is aching, the bacillus that is causing trouble, the Latin name of the disease, but when the question of cure comes they have either no medicine or they prescribe a patent medicine of very doubtful efficacy.
The doctors energy to-day is almost wholly spent in diagnosis which under the present-day pressure of science is both tiresome for the patients physique and purse. As soon as a conscientious doctor is called in consultation he wants the blood, urine, sputum, faeces, etc., qualitatively and quantitatively examined before he is able to give his diagnosis.
If the patients condition is rather serious, he dies before the result of examination is known to the doctor. Even when the result of examination is known and the diagnosis is pronounced it often happens that the doctor has no cure for him.
The diagnosis again changes with either the same disease or the progress of the disease. To-day a fever is pronounced as malarial, to-morrow as typhoid, and day after to-morrow as pneumonia. At least this has been our common, everyday experience. I happened to know of a case where the patient was passing periodically blood with urine. It was first diagnosed as haematuria and treatment for the same disease was given for two months. Next it was diagnosed as chyluria and later on a haematochyluria.
The patient found no cure after full six months of treatment when Brahmin doctors advised an operation for the removal of one of the kidneys, a dangerous operation indeed. The patient was frightened to death, and a homoeopath friend of mine cured him with a single dose of Phosphorus. We fail to understand as laymen what this diagnosis means– unless it is pure humbug.
The more the orthodox medical science is advancing, the insecurity on the part of the general public is becoming greater, and the expense of scientific treatment is getting prohibitive. But with us the people of India there is not a word of protest because we are in a country where Buddhist and Vedanta doctrines of suffering reign supreme.
Another menace to public health is the creation of a class of the so-called specialists. To see the specialist and study him in relation to the special organ in which he has specialized will excite the mirth even of the gods. The dentist, for instance, has a set of false teeth, the optician cannot do without spectacles, the dietetician has the worst digestion possible, and the skin specialist has probably leucoderma.
This specialization theory leads us often to such absurdities, that the whole scientific medicine appears to be ridiculous. I know of a very respectable lady who was suffering from multiple complaints involving the skin, throat, uterus and digestion. The family being thoroughly modern in outlook went in for specialists, and the result was that her skin remained in the hand of the skin specialist, the uterus in the hand of a lady doctor, the nose in the hand of nose, ear, and throat specialist, and her stomach in the hand of a dietetician.
Every one of these specialists gave some internal medicine and some external application, and the lady had sometimes to visit Bombay to present herself to the specialists residing in Bombay, because it is rather difficult for an outlandish place like Baroda to have so many specialists. Thus the treatment went on for years without any appreciable change and the patient became visibly worse. Can you call this science ? My friends call it scientific quackery which the State is encouraging all over the world at the expense of public health.
The doctor to-day is unable to face direct questions: “When do you think, Doctor, my sons fever will abate” is a simple question which no doctor will be able to answer correctly.
They will only speak as much as will help them professionally. “Oh ! you are looking much better to-day,” “your pulse is better,” “your lungs are better,” and with this dope day to day the doctor will feed the patient with hope till the patient is dead, when they will come with their usual philosophy of unrealities of life and a fat bill. This also I call quackery, and time has come when all should rise in revolt against the present methods of scientific quackery.
Sometimes I feel how inadequate our system of education is in the present day. We learn everything, history, geography, mathematics, but we never learn anything about our own body which is so dear to us. University authorities cry out in dismay: 60 per cent. of our boys have had health, and their chief remedy is that the boys should be medically examined from time to time. At the most they will introduce some sort of physical exercise from which all classes of boys somehow or other will try to secure exemption.
It will be far better if the university authorities begin teaching the boys the history of their body, the geography of the bodily organs, and the mathematics of digestion. Without going into the root of the problem, it will serve no useful purpose to prescribe exercise when students have become old and devoid of vigour. If it is possible let every university student learn at least one system of medicine– there are so many available — Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Chromopathy, Homoeopathy or Bio-chemistry.
If people want to live they must study at least one system of medicine and not trust the doctor who has become untrustworthy, otherwise they will not only sacrifice their health but also all their savings as we are unfortunately doing to-day.
“In spite of extreme weakness the state of her mind proved very cross. The tongue was almost clean. Restlessness for almost all the time. Grinding of teeth during sleep. A few days before there was passage of worms (long as well as thready).” Cina 200, one dose, was prescribed.
11.11.34. The child was found not better. She was rather more restless and she was throwing off the covering every time it was being applied, due to unbearable burning sensation all over her body, especially soles for which she was repeatedly complaining, and she was seeking a cool place. Another very painful symptom informed by her mother appeared in my presence– that is, lack of expulsive power– stool protrudes and then slips back again and again.
On enquiry I was further informed that she had an intense suffering almost since her birth from eczema for which she had been placed under the treatment of Dr. . . .Mittra, an old and renowned allopath of Jaynagar. During this treatment various kinds of ointment were applied on ulcers which were cured (?) after a considerable period of time. But, near the anus, there were still some deep ulcers on which ointment was being applied for more than six months without any effect. I prescribed a single dose of Sulphur 200 and also Placebo for two days.
13.11.34. I saw the patients condition quite unchanged. Moreover, the expulsion of her hard faeces were seen so difficult that everyone feared her heart would cease to beat during that time. However, according to the previous history, I put on her tongue a tiny globule of Sulphur 1m and Placebo was left.
16.11.34. In the noon I visited the child whose condition was found slightly improved. She passed in my presence numerous thread worms. The expulsion of her stool became easy. Placebo for a weeks course was given.
23.11.34. The child was found much better in every respect. Placebo to cover another weeks course.
Harmony required another dose of Sulphur 1m on 30.11.34 after which the deep ulcers were radically healed, her mind was seen jolly and she began to gain sound health.