Oversensitive Patients

Every man should put himself to the task of studying the Materia Medica; he has no time to lose, no time to fool away. The physician can really have no excuse at the present day to leave our proved medicines, the medicines that are recorded in our books; he can have no reasonable excuse for stepping aside in to ways that are dark, treacherous and recommended only by tradition.

Some physicians hold that it is liberal to do anything for a patient. This is a pitfall, a rock, that will destroy any physician that will not avoid it. We know that there are doctors, who claim to be homoeopaths, who attempt to justify, upon some ground or other, the administration of remedies merely to palliate and relieve suffering. With such men there must be a lack of sturdiness in listening to the sufferings of a patient.

It seems to me that no one who is honest, and who has knowledge of the stupidity that comes after the administration of a medicine that will cause the symptoms to disappear, will actually tie his hands against the finding of a remedy that will be suitable to cure. As surely as the voice of the symptoms is hushed, so surely does the physician put out of his way the opportunity for selecting a homoeopathic remedy.

When the index to the remedy is spoiled the ability of the physician to benefit his patient is destroyed. If you give quinine, go on with it; if you give an opiate, go on with it; do not go back into Homoeopathy. This man who does these things is a homoeopathic failure. Some men are incapable of grasping the homoeopathic doctrines, and fall into mongrelism, which is a cross between Homoeopathy and Allopathy. I would prefer an allopath to one who professes to be a homoeopath, but does not know enough Homoeopathy to practice it.

Why should you put crude medicines upon the diphtheritic membrane in addition to giving your remedy? If the crude drugs do anything they will spoil the appearance of the throat, and you will not be able to know what your remedy has done. If these adjuvants to the remedy do anything at all they will effect such changes, as will damage the case; if they do not effect changes, why use them?

There can be no reason for administering something that does not effect changes. This question came up one time, and created controversy in an association meeting. One doctor recommended the use of Peroxide of Hydrogen. in pus cavities; he said it did no harm, it did no damage. The question is, does it do anything at all? If it does, the changes it effects injure the case. Lay it down, as a rule, that you will use nothing that can effect changes in a case in addition to your remedy.

After you prescribe a remedy you want to know when you come back whether that remedy has done anything. For this reason you must rest your case upon that which you believe to be the nearest homoeopathic remedy. All changes must be watched, because by observing changes we know what next to do. If something has been given by the patient’s friends and changes have occured in the case from such meddling the doctor is in confusion. If absolutely no changes have occured after his remedy then he is in intelligence and knows what next to do.

Doctors sometimes give opium to suppress pain, but it is more frequently given to suppress the cry of people that stand around listening to the patient. The friends stand there wringing their hands and saying: “Doctor, cannot you do something?” and the poor doctor loses his head and gives a dose of opium. What does he do that for? In order to quiet the cry of the people. He knows he is damaging his patient, he knows he has put out of his hands the ability to cure that patient homoeopathically.

What if the patient does suffer? Can that be an excuse for the doctor destroying his power to heal that patient hereafter? The doctor justifies himself by saying. “If I had not done this the people would have criticized me.” What business is it of the people? If a doctor has not the grit to withstand the cries of the family, the criticisms of the friends, the threatening of his pocketbook and of his bread and butter, he will not practice Homoeopathy very long. An honest man does not fear these things.

There is but one thing for him to consider, what is the right thing he must do. The harangue of the crazy old women who stand around wagging their tattling tongues, what has that to do with the life of the patient or the duty of the patient or the duty of the physician? Will they shoulder the responsibility of the patient’s death, if he die? I say now that the death of a patient is nothing in comparison with violation of the law on the part of the doctor. In both instances the doctor gets the worst of it. The doctor who violates the law also violates his conscience, and his death is worse than the death of the patient.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.