CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN HAHNEMANN AND PROFESSOR DZONDI.
(According to a publication by Prof. Dzondi, in the “Allgem. Anz. der Deutschen,” No. 19, January 20th, 1817).
Very esteemed Professor, How can you think of inviting me to an experiment of this nature? I do not need to be convinced of this, but you do. Make the experiment on yourself or on somebody else with leisure and calmness, but without forming an opinion beforehand and even without witnesses, if you wish to convince yourself which of the two is true? If you had been of a different opinion, as your letter shows, and for which I thank you (when you said that cold water was the best, the only remedy for burns) what does it matter if you revoke your opinion after thinking better of it through an experiment of simple comparison on two members of the same body at the same time, what would it matter in such a case! Do not think that to alter your opinion and principle will bring dishonour to you, no, it will bring honour, the greatest honour! For a man to sacrifice his opinion to the truth shows an heroic conquest over self, and true and rare greatness of mind!
I am, with great esteem, Your obedient servant, DR. SAM. HAHNEMANN.
Leipsic, 13th July, 1816.
Prof. D. Dzondi became abusive after this and replied: Esteemed Doctor, You try to retreat but in vain. How can you-after your public challenge-refuse the suggestion which I made to you, and what is more, not want to convince the world of the accuracy of your statement, and win besides 500 thaler, considering that you are so certain of your case! In order that you may see how certain I am of mine, and also to show you that I am not actuated by the love of gain I will put 500 thaler against your 50 thaler; and these 50 thaler shall go to the Blind and Eye patients, and you-if you are afraid of your skin-I will let you off the test with the red-hot iron.
If you refuse this offer also, you acknowledge that you have a bad conscience, and that your statement will not stand the test of fire. For as you are stating the opposite from what I have stated and have publicly asserted that cold water is harmful in burns; but I say: that in severe burns it is the only efficient remedy, and that I am ready to give proof of this in your presence and that of other witnesses-you must either accept this offer which complies with your request, or otherwise publicly own that you have purposely deceived the public by an untrue statement, and with that earn the name which you shall learn, but which I shall only openly utter when you will have refused to accept my offer.
Your, PROF. DZONDI.
Halle, 16th July, 1816.
Vol. 2-9 SUPPLEMENT 63
HAHNEMANN’S DEFENCE AGAINST THE ACCUSATION OF THE APOTHECARIES OF LEIPSIC ON HIS PREPARATION AND DISPENSING OF MEDICINES.
We take the following publication from the words of Dr. Franz Hartmann, given in the “Alliumhom.Ztg.” (Vol.26), May 13th, 1844, which in many points differs considerably from the text published in “the Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann.” Dr. Franz Hartmann, who was a pupil of Hahnemann and a personal friend of Stapf, introduces the reproduction of this writing with the following remark: “I will reproduce literally the document, which chance put into my hands.” Dr. Fr. Hartmann was familiar with the wording of the document as reproduced in Stapf’s edition, because he was present when the work was presented to Hahnemann on his jubilee. The conclusion is easily reached, that Stapf used for his publication the abstract of the reply to the accusation which Hahnemann had handed over to him, while Hartmann somehow or other found in his possession fifteen years later the actual document with the final wording, and has intentionally published it in this form. After this Dr. Ameke’s quotations in Vol.III of the “Zeitschrift des Berliner Vereins homoeopathischer `Arzte,'” of 1884, as well as the special publication concerning the valuable
work on Samuel Hahnemann have to be corrected, as here (page 150) when enumerating Hahnemann’s works it says: “On the preparation and dispensing of medicines by Homoeopathic Physicians; Stapf, Lesser Writings of Hahnemann, Vol. II, page 192-204; otherwise not printed.”
MOST HUMBLE REPRESENTATION.
Non debet cui plus licet, quod minus est non licere. Ulpian lib. 27 ad Sabinum.
(What is less, may well be allowed to him, to whom more is allowed).
REMONSTRANCE TO THE APOTHECARIES OF LEIPSIC.
That by dispensing my own medicine, I encroached on their privileges is not valid for the following reasons.
My method of treatment has nothing in common with the ordinary medical science, on the contrary it is exactly its opposite. It is a Novum quid, to which the existing measurement of medical prescribing can in no way apply.
The old method of treatment requires compound medicines, each consisting of several ingredients of considerable weight. The compounding of these prescriptions, as a rule consisting of several medicines, requires skilful, often laborious preparation with expenditure of time; the practitioner cannot give either to it, as his time is occupied with visiting patients, and as a rule does not possess the skill to mix several frequently heterogeneous medicines, and must therefore have a scientific helper-the apothecary-at hand, who will prepare these laborious and time-wasting medicinal mixtures, which a physician sometimes prescribes, more than once a day. He takes over the preparation and dispensing of medicines instead of the physician. Because where medical laws speak of dispensing, always and without exception is understood by it: exdiversis pensis componere (dispensare), and nothing else can be implied by it, as all existing medical prescriptions are compounded, that is, prescriptions put together from several ingredients; as even to this day in all Universities, in the Medical Colleges, as well as in the Clinical Hospitals, and in the Dispensaries, all treatment of disease is only taught by making out a prescription, that is, giving the apothecary a list of the medicines he is to combine into one preparation. Even young physician who presents himself for examination must before promotion have studied and acquired the art of writing a prescription contain several medicines for the patient, as in the present medical science more than medicine, and several medicines together have to be written in a certain oral and so fashioned as to be exclusively left to the apothecary and the art of pharmacy for combination and union.
This right of skilfully preparing for the physicians, their compound medicinal remedies, that is, of dispensing, has been by the laws of medicine explicitly reserved for the apothecaries, so that no one should spoil the prescription through ignorance, or by the use of unsuitable drugs, while the physician who is busy with his patients has not always the skill or the time to do it himself.
All the Royal mandates on medical matters point out, that to the privileged pharmaceutical chemist, only, belongs the dispensing of compound and complex medicinal formulas. This is the right of the pharmaceutical chemists, but THE ONLY RIGHT, WHICH IS EXCLUSIVELY RESERVED FOR THEM by Royal decree. The new science of treatment, Homoeopathy, so entirely opposed to the ordinary existing medical science, has no prescriptions to hand over to the apothecaries, and no compound remedies, but for each single case of disease only one single simple remedy.
The word dispensing does not apply, and the State Laws which reserve to apothecaries the exclusive right of dispensing (prepare compound medicinal substances in a skilful manner) cannot in any form apply to the homoeopathic science of treatment.
As every science in the course of centuries must admit of improvements, which ought to be welcomed by every civilized state, so also the science of healing must go on to greater perfection.
If through the wisdom of Providence there arises a science capable of curing disease without compound remedies (more easily and with greater certainty and permanence) and there are physicians who know how to treat disease with one simple efficacious remedy, this privilege of dispensing compound remedies should not hinder them; it should not, in its beneficial progress, prevent this new science of healing from developing, and it should not hinder the physician, to whom all the powers of Nature ought to be available, from helping suffering humanity, from curing human beings by any method that has proved most suitable for this purpose, such as, personal administration of mesmerism, galvanic current, electricity, or the application of the magnet, and in the same way through the personal dispensing of any medicinal substance in which he could not be restricted by any law of medicine, nor has been restricted by it.
Where do we find one single clear syllable in all the Royal Decrees which forbids the medical profession to give simple remedies to their patients?
And as long as no such prohibition is present in the Medical Laws, and further, there is no expression of exclusive apothecaries’ privileges in the dispensing of simple remedies, and even the ignorant sellers of roots, and the old women vendors of herbs have permission to sell in the weekly market to those who seek help, simple medicinal roots and herbs for money, it will remain permissible for the scientific physician, with a knowledge of Nature and the powers of its products, and familiar with human ills, to dispense to his patients simple remedies for their help without selling them, when he considers these most serviceable in their illness.
This is similar to my case, with my new science of treatment which is something entirely different from the prevailing method. In my new book on the science of homoeopathy, all the compound recipes and medicinal mixtures are entirely excluded, and in every case my teaching is to use only one simple substance (M.S. “Organon of the Art of Healing,” second edition, 1819, 297, 298, 299).
I have treated according to this more perfect art of healing, even serious diseases hitherto considered incurable, with very small doses of simple substances, by dissolving minerals and several metals in pure spirits of wine without the assistance of any acid (a preparation which is known to me, but unknown to chemistry and therefore unknown to the pharmaceutical chemist) sometimes by similar small doses of vegetable and animal substances (always in single doses of one simple medicine in each prescription) doses that are so small that they are not noticeable in the ordinary vehicle (sugar of milk or diluted spirits of wine) neither by the senses nor by any conceivable analysis or chemical reagents.
This infinitesimal size of the dose of a simple medicinal substance, in this new art of healing, removes all possible suspicion of harmful strength in the simple dose dispensed to the patient.
The apothecaries, who are incapable of acquainting themselves with fact that the beneficial results shown in the strong curative power of such small doses of simple medicines, consist of a hitherto unknown peculiar choice of the suitable remedy for the disease in question, so far undreamt of by the ordinary medical science, smile at these small doses which contain nothing, because the senses as well as chemical analysis cannot detect anything in the vehicle (sugar of milk and diluted spirits of wine).
Now, even if the apothecary who is jealous of the new art of healing, can detect nothing in the form of medicines and poisons in the remedies used by the true homoeopath, and nothing of a medicinal strength (apart from too much strength which could be harmful to health) how much more satisfied State supervision should be in its care for the welfare and health of its citizens, when it sees what good results can be obtained with such harmless small doses which homoeopathy gives to its patients! It can be infinitely more satisfied with this than with the sale to the public, by the apothecaries, of these same medicines in doses a million times heavier in weight, without any consideration for any one (citizen or peasant), and to people who know nothing of the harm these things can do if used in the wrong way; the only restriction being arsenic, sublimate, opium and a few others which must not be sold to unknown persons.
I draw the attention of the Medical Police to this.
The homoeopathic physician cannot even use the apothecary as an assistant. The medicines used by such physicians are so delicate, so unrecognizable, that when the apothecary has put them into the respective vehicles according to the physician’s prescription (a thing that the physician can do himself in a minute without wasting much time) the homoeopathic physician himself would be unable to detect them, unless they had been dispensed under his own eyes, either by his senses or by chemical means, or find out whether the apothecary had put the right remedy into it, or another, or nothing at all.
This impossibility for the homoeopathic physician to control the proceedings of the pharmaceutical chemist makes it impossible for the physician of the new school to make use of an assistant, be he who he may. He can only rely upon himself, he alone can know what he had done.
Yet this infinitesimal smallness of the dose of all medicines that act dynamically is unavoidably necessary for the treatment of diseases, and particularly so in the treatment of serious chronic diseases hitherto considered incurable and therefore abandoned; it is so absolutely indispensable in every way that one is impossible without the other. Now if the spirit of the Medical laws is chiefly concerned with the Salus publica, and if the most pitiable diseases hitherto abandoned as incurable can only be changed into health by this new science of healing, such as is proved by the cases I have cured, and which have aroused the jealousy of many of the ordinary physicians, to the point of bitterness, there remains no doubt that the Sanitary authorities will give preference to the welfare of the suffering public; before considering any unfounded personal right they will consider the new art of healing as worthy of their protection, and will not force upon it the assistance of the ordinary science of the dispensing apothecary, originally only concerned with the preparation of prescriptions composed of several strong ingredients, because this would only hinder and not help it.
I say, and I am right: “unfounded private claims,” and I add, “inconsiderable and insignificant.” Because how much could an apothecary earn when he puts to a vehicle of three grains of sugar of milk for instance, one drop of a spirit solution of one grain of zinc, a million times diluted, or a drop of rhubarb, or of cinchona bark (just as a homoeopathic physician does with scarcely any expenditure of time)? He earns according to the tariff of the apothecaries of the present day, which are all estimated according to the weight of the ingredients in an ordinary prescription, and on the labour expended in mixing them (which does not happen in the new art of healing), he earns, I say, by preparing such a homoeopathic prescription, in all, what amounts to nothing.
And if he earns as good as nothing in preparing homoeopathic medicines, one would be afraid that if the apothecaries of Leipsic were still to insist on their illegal demand, that there were other secret driving forces at work which would influence them to their own disadvantage, to force themselves upon homoeopathic physicians as assistants. I hope that it is not the intention to put an insurmountable obstacle in the way of the newly fledged most important and irreplaceable new art, of healing, as at least several physicians, who are jealous of the good results seem to wish.
Also the true homoeopathic doctor does not stand in the way of the apothecary as a vendor of medicines, as such a physician cannot charge his patient for the infinitely small dose of a simple medicine which no apothecary could detect in the vehicle; he can only request payment, in this more beneficient art of healing, as is only fair, for his greater labour in research in the discovery of the condition of disease, and the choosing of the most helpful remedy.
As the already existing treatment by means of compound prescriptions, which is the only right that the apothecaries have to defend, has nothing in common, or resembles in any way the new art of healing, in so far that it does not deal with mixtures of bulky quantities of medicines, but with infinitesimally small doses of a simple remedy, prepared in a way that the apothecary can hardly grasp, it follows that the six hundred year old science of chemistry, could not have rights over an entirely new, previously non-existent method of treatment. I tender with good reasons and most humbly:
“That the apothecaries of Leipsic be forced to return to the limits of their own privileges, and be given to understand that their authority does not extend to a new art of healing previously not in existence, and which far from requiring prescriptions of the former kind, consisting of heavy compound medicines (the preparation of which belongs to the apothecaries) requires on the contrary for its method of treatment (decided by the apothecaries) inexpressibly small doses of simple medicines, therefore only Simplicia, which no sovereign has yet forbidden the physicians to administer to their patients, and which there- fore naturally remained permissible in all medical laws.”
I look all the more calmly and confidently for this grant, because this new science of healing has already obtained public significance, on account of its irreplaceable importance, and because in all countries where the German tongue is spoken, men are rising who know how to treasure it as a great benefit for suffering humanity.
Finally, so far as my pupils are concerned, I am not in any way connected with them, and since they are of different calibre I do not represent them. I consider no man my disciple who, next to an absolutely blameless and thoroughly moral life, does not so practice the new art that the remedy which he administers to his patient in a non-medicinal vehicle (sugar of milk and diluted alcohol) contains so small a dose of the medicinal substance that neither the senses nor chemical analysis demonstrates the smallest amount of an absolutely harmful medicine or even the smallest amount of a medicinal substance proper; this supposes a minuteness of doses of medicine which absolutely does away with the necessity of exercising anything like official supervision and care on the part of the authorities.
DR. SAMUEL HAHNEMANN, Member of several learned societies.
Leipsic, 14th February, 1820.
Notwithstanding this excellent defence, the Council of the city of Leipsic, gave judgment, on March 15th, 1820 against Hahnemann, by forbidding him to make, or to dispense his medicine to anyone. Such sentences became valid only after confirmation by the State.
Meanwhile Hahnemann received the support of his influential patient, the Prince of Schwarzenberg, who was at the time under his treatment, at Leipsic. In grateful recognition for services rendered to him, the Field Marshal applied to the King of Saxony on behalf of his physician. Regarding this we have the following documents which are to be found in the State Archives of Dresden:
ps. to the Government Office on July 11th, 1820. Page 63.
Noble Count, The rumour which is being circulated here, that Dr. Hahnemann will be forbidden the practice of his method of treatment, by an act of the Government, forces upon me the necessity to beg His Majesty the King, to graciously grant an audience to my Adjutant-General, the Colonel Baron Wernhardt, so that he may put before him some information regarding this new method of treatment which I am undergoing at present.
The memory of our old friendly relations justifies me to hope, that your Excellency will be good enough to support my petition, before His Majesty, to the best of your ability.
Since I have been under Dr. Hahnemann’s treatment some of my attacks have already been alleviated, and I do not doubt that I shall soon have improved sufficiently to put before His Majesty, personally, my very deep gratitude for the many proofs of His graciousness which I have experienced during my sojourn in this town.
I shall be especially glad to see you again on this occasion, after a long separation, and to assure you once more of my friendly sentiments and deep esteem.
I have the honour to be, Your Excellency’s Obedient Servant, KARL, Prince of Schwarzenberg.
Leipsic, July 8th, 1820.
ps. to the Government Office.
July 11th, 1820.
The rumour is spreading here that Dr. Hahnemann, whose treatment I am undergoing at present, will be refused, by a decree of the Government, the right of treating patients in accordance with his new system. Therefore, I respectfully take the liberty to humbly request Your Majesty to grant an audience to my Adjutant-General, the Colonel Baron Wernhardt, and to allow him to put before Your Majesty, in my name, a few disclosures on the method of treatment of Hahnemann, which I was able to acquire while under the care of this physician.
In the hope that You will graciously accept my humble petition with your usual clemency, and that my improved health will soon allow me to tender personally my most submissive thanks for the many tokens of your gracious good will received during my sojourn here, I remain with deepest respect and submissiveness.