ATTACKS ON HAHNEMANN.
(To Councillor Becker).
Torgau, June 11th, 1806
I am not without enemies in my own profession, they have been sent me from above for the purification of my heart, but I conquer them by silence and frequent remarkable cures with medicines which have neither smell nor taste, but usually help in a permanent manner without causing much discomfort. On those occasions I see that I am not lacking the necessaries of life, and have the sweet assurance that I have, taking all things into consideration, made unhappy people happy.
THE CASE OF “BRUCKMANN.”
On March 17th, 1808, U.F.B. Bruckmann, Dr, med and Court physician in Brunswick, published in No. 76 of “Allg. Anzeiger der Deutschen,” a case which dated back more than ten years, in order to accuse Hahnemann of desire for gain. It was in connection with the treatment of an epileptic which Hahnemann had undertaken in the summer of 1796, in Brunswick. Although the patient had not been cured, Hahnemann had demanded a special indemnity of 70-80 Rth. apart from the ordinary fees. The alleged letter of Hahnemann speaks of 100 Louis d’ or-with the remark that people did not like to have to pay in Brunswick, but of course they could not expect great results from the physicians of that city. If he, Hahnemann, achieved a great success it was only fair that he should receive three or four times as much remuneration. Bruckmann then reproached Hahnemann with ill- treating his patients and said that they suffered morally under him. He states in his writing:
I have now been fifty-seven years a medical practitioner in Brunswick but have never known a local physician who was so avaricious and who practised so much charlatanism as Dr. Hahnemann when residing in our city, and later on at Konigslutter. But because this kind of practice did not succeed in our country, and also because the physicians were not allowed to dispense their own medicines, or to extort money out of the patient’s pockets by so-called Arkana, or secret remedies, Hahnemann took up his staff and wandered on, and I do not know where he went to.
How little Bruckmann’s essay could be taken seriously from a scientific point of view, can be seen from the closing part, where he says in connection with Hahnemann’s “Fragmenta de viribus medicamentorum” and the provings of medicines contained in it:
Should Mr. H. continue to carry out many such provings on his own person, I fear that a destruction of his whole body and especially of his brain will take place. Really these kind of experiments should only be carried out on criminals deserving a death sentence. If all physicians had to make such experiments upon themselves, or wished to make them, I would fear that they might all be crippled in body and soul.
The publication of this unusually violent attack which had been started at the first opportunity, and which among other things referred to the pneum alkali, and also to the scarlet fever prophylactic, had brought forward, as the publisher said, an impartial and clear-sighted doctor, H. of W. from the district of the Ocker, who came to the assistance of one so bitterly attacked. In NO. 94 of the “Allgemeinen Anzeiger” of April 5th, 1808, he leaves to Dr. Bruckmann, whom he knows personally, every honour and justification, but refutes the attack on Hahnemann as regards its from and contents. His judgment is based entirely on his “truly scientific and useful publications.”
Such a man who with marvellous science of all the joys of life puts his health in the background, in order to put the physicians on the only true and correct road, in regard to the effect of medicines, should not be openly put in the pillory. One would rather find in such a man, who has acquired great merits from medical science and suffering humanity, what is good and meritorious, sooner than expose his weaknesses. It would be very desirable to keep from the general public such writings, as they are abhorrent to it. Scholars should carry on their discussions in a scholarly way.