ON SELF DISPENSING.
An open letter to the High Ministry of Ecclesiastical, Educational and Medical institutions of Berlin.
(“Zeitung de homoeopathischen Heilkunst von Schweikert,” 1832, No. 50 and “Allgem. Anzeiger d. D.,” No. 154).
Your edict of March 31st, 1832, rests on the important confusion of the accepted meaning in the existing medical laws, of the word medicament (medicine) and the dispensing of simple remedies which are not yet mentioned in any laws of medicine (before the violent attack of the old school) because the wish of the dominant doctors of the Old School in the State is to hinder in every way the healing scientists of the new school from continuing to cure the sick, who have been already ruined and almost made incurable by the old school doctors who desire to obscure and throw down homoeopathy quovis modo.
Even the apothecary who has no right to treat patients gives simple remedies (simplicia) unhindered, in the Prussian States, as in all countries, to the patients themselves, over the counter for money, and triturates cinchona bark, for instance, in the mortar before giving it to the patients, and no law of medicine has so far, made it a crime for the apothecary to carry on self- dispensing, when he gives the finely triturated cinchona bark, or the shaken up solution of tartar emetic, as a mixture for the patient, in spite of the fact that this happens daily.
Why? Because in the wording of the medical laws no simple remedy (simplex) be it triturated powder, or solution, is ever considered a medicine (medicamentum) which in the language of these laws only means: a mixture of several simple remedies, sometimes scientifically united into one mass, according to the prescription of the physician on the basis, compounded of some adjuvantibus, also perhaps corrigentibus and a constituents. Only such a mixture, in accordance with a prescription of the physicians of the old school, was ever called by the medical laws in all German countries, medicine (medicamen, medicamentum) and the German apothecary alone had the privilege over these mixtures and amalgamations of simplicibus, that is, no one in the country, apart from the apothecary was allowed to presume to undertake such mixing and combinations of several simple ingredients-so that they might be made into one medicine (medicamentum). In the observances of the old school no physician was allowed to prescribe anything for patients, except medicines, that is, mixtures composed of several simplicibus, from one basis, from adjuvantibus, corrigentibus, and a vehicle or constituents, and he was not allowed to let anyone prepare these mixtures except a privileged chemist.
On the question whether a physician should be allowed to prepare mixtures of simple substances himself, all the existing laws are silent until the advent of homoeopathy.
Now while the apothecary sells directly to a patient, his simple fine powdered cinchona bark, and solution of a couple of grains of simple tartar emetic, and with this, is looked upon in all the states simply as a vendor and dispenser of simplicibus (so long as he does not mix a second or third ingredient with it, and therefore, according to the sense of the medical laws, does not dispense medicine (medicamentum) to the patient) it becomes a glaring injustice, when a person who is lawfully qualified, and given by the State the right to exercise his curative powers, which being a homoeopath he is more competent to do than any other, only because he is a thorn in the flesh of the old school physician, is not allowed to give his patients (free of charge) a simple trituration, or solution of a very minute dose, seeing that in accordance with the medical laws it is not a medicine. What an injustice it is to desire to forbid him to do this and to want to place him so much lower than the apothecary who is ignorant of the science of medicine, and is not allowed to practice it, and yet can sell for money directly to the sick his simplicias in trituration or solution in large doses, which if wrongly administered can be very harmful!
The craftiness of the old school physicians in power, was admirable when they attempted to suppress homoeopathy by re- coining the ancient expression, used in the medical laws, for medicine (medicamentum) in order to honour with this name, a simplex, of the most minute doses as given to its patients by the rules of the New Science, homoeopathy. This was done only for the purpose of making it a criminal offence in the criminal offence in the eyes of the Law, to dispense them, so that it might be called a forbidden dispensing of medicine, which never meant anything but a mixture of several ingredients.
Only the mixing of several simple ingredients, so that it might become medicine (medicamentum) was exclusively assigned to the chemist (the assistant of the old school physician, who had to prescribe mixtures in his prescriptions, lege artis) by the law, so that no other, but a qualified chemist, should assume the right to do it.
But they wish to compel the homoeopathic physician, through fear of a fine of 50 thalers, to have his simplexes prepared by a chemist, a man whose privilege is the mixing of medicines, that means reversing the laws before the eyes of the whole world in order to overthrow homoeopathy, the new and better science of healing quovis modo, so that the old harmful prescribing might triumph on its ruins. For no ordinary apothecary understands sufficiently well how to prepare the homoeopathic remedies in this new way, and none of the apothecaries-for they all consider homoeopathy to be unprofitable and are all enemies of it-I say no apothecary would, even if he understood it, prepare the remedies in all moral probability, without deceit, and so conscientiously that the homoeopath could rely upon them as if he had prepared them himself and handed them on to the patient.
The homoeopathic physician gives his prepared simplex gratis, so that the poorest of the people may rejoice in the rehabilitation of his health-salus publica summa lex esto-the apothecary is dependent on payment even from the poorest, although the latter had to sell his bed for it.
The homoeopathic physician has no need of medicines (medicamentum) in the sense of the old undistorted medical laws, for the treatment of his patients; how then could he be forced to employ for the simpler medicines that he dispenses free of charge, the assistant of the physician who writes the prescriptions, the mixer of medicines, as homoeopathy only deals with simple remedies which are given to patients, and not with mixtures of several strong substances, which the apothecary alone has the privilege of dispensing, and nothing else. The apothecary is not even allowed to sell in retail solid simplicias, therefore he surely cannot have the right to dispose the simplicias of the homoeopathic physician.
The assistant which the State has granted to the old school physician who mixes his medicines, is not needed by the homoeopath for the dispensing of his simple substances, and it was never mentioned in medical laws before their falsification; he needs no mixing of several substances into a medicine from the apothecary, on which alone rests the right of the chemist-he does not need his help; and see, officia obtrudi non possunt (obligations cannot be forced upon-R.H.) according to an old and well-known rule of justice. It is true that the physicians of the old school only superficially know the new teaching, but this much they know of it, that the new art of healing is impracticable and would therefore be pitilessly extirpated, if it is made impossible quovis modo for homoeopathic physicians to do their own dispensing (for their helpfulness in sickness, rests in the self-dispensing of conscientiously chosen simple remedies so that the patient may rest assured he has received the right remedy, which could never be so certain through a third person). This old Guild which as medical board and family physician to those who make laws, has the upper hand in the State, and acts as the judge in its own case, although of the opposite party, and the most just judges are led astray and forced to suppress ignominiously the better thing-because they give themselves out to be the only ones in office, the only artis periti (experts- R.H.) and what arouses most surprise, proclaim to be conscientious friends of man.
Videant Consules, ne res publica detrimentum capiat. (Let the consuls see that the state suffers no harm-R.H.). The Ministry has been wrongly informed with regard to the earnings of an apothecary on the dispensing of homoeopathic simple remedies, if it has assigned to them a considerable gain.
I beg of the High Ministry of ecclesiastical, educational and medical institutions, to recall their counter prohibition of March 31st, 1832, of the existing undistorted medical laws, with definite words, so as to prove themselves just, in the honest mind of the present world and of posterity, without humouring these although ancient yet harmful medical guilds, to the disadvantage of suffering humanity and their true helpers.