HAHNEMANN’S REQUEST TO ALLOW DR. LEHMANN TO ESTABLISH HIMSELF AS HIS ASSISTANT. (All documents of Supplement 122 are copied from the original kept in the private archives of Anhalt at Zerbst.)
Most Serene and Gracious Lord,
For some years I availed myself of the permission, most graciously accorded by Your lamented Brother, my patron, whom I could never honour sufficiently to employ as assistant a homoeopathic physician, not dependent on the Allopathic medical authorities, whom I would still have retained had his moral conduct been only to tolerable.
Now I am compelled, by my great age and the afflux of patients from far and near which overtaxed my powers, to select another successor and assistant, and my choice has fallen on Dr. Lehmann of Leitzkau, a man who has for several years enjoyed a good repute as an allopathic physician, and a person of quiet and steady character, who has now embraced Homoeopathy from conviction, and displays such an active zeal for this health- promoting science, that he gives hopes of being able, with my aid, to do some excellent service therein.
I have considered it my duty to announce my choice to Your Serene highness, as your most obedient servant.
This letter has the following remark written on the back: The government authorities must report on this matter. Cothen, August 12th, 1832. The Director of the State College von Reuthe.
And a further remark:
The Director of the High Medical Council must express his opinion on this point soon.
The High Government of the State, v. REUTHE.
Cothen, Aug. 21st, 1832.
As a report of opinion the following was sent in:
1. It is unknown to the Directors of the Medical Council that Hofrath Hahnemann had authority to choose assistants which were independent of the Medical Council.
2. Dr. Mossdorf to whom Hofrath Hahnemann seems to allude, was accorded permission by His late Serene Highness to settle here as a medical practitioner, and was accepted as a subject, and he was also accorded, like the aforesaid Hahnemann, permission to prepare and dispense his own medicines. But he was placed under the direction of the Medical Council like Hofrath Hahnemann, as shown in the letter from the High Authorities. It is now a question of bringing in special physician, which is unnecessary as we are not short of doctors here. For it is known that Dr. Heinrich migrated from here because he could not make a living; the young physicians, Isensee and Heinrich junr. have gone elsewhere as there were no prospects for them, and since then Dr. Hoffmann from Biendorf has become qualified.
Also the appointment of homoeopathic physicians as a special kind of physicians, is not in conformity with science. It is more in keeping with the latter that the State should choose physicians who have sufficient scientific knowledge and intelligence to test the different systems, and are able to adopt the better one, and who consequently may have a conviction of an objective value. No one has ever heard that Brownians, Rollians, Humoral pathologists, and so forth, were appointed as special kinds of physicians.
The dispensing of drugs by the physician is in opposition to the acknowledged principles of the Medical Police. With that is removed a chief means of controlling the physicians, and of protecting the public against mischief and deception through medicines. In every place, where it was practised, it has been, in recent times, strictly forbidden. Only quite recently the prohibition of this has been renewed in Prussia, especially in connection with the homoeopathic physicians, as shown in the enclosed Royal Prussian Decree.
3. Otherwise every physician is at liberty to employ assistants, under the following restrictions.
(a). The authorities must be shown that these assistants (so- called Famuli) have the necessary knowledge. This is acquired either by an examination of the Medical board, or by satisfactory certificates.
(b). The Famuli are only the representatives of the physicians. The rights and privileges of the latter do not extend to them. They may not give medicines to the patients without consulting the physician, and generally they must not treat patients on their own. if they digress from this rule they fall into the category of dabblers.
(c.) The are under the control of the Medical Board, and must submit entirely to their supervision; this, control is very difficult, especially when the physician, who employs the famulus, does not act quite honestly.