To operate — or not to operate: the eternal question for the homoeopathic physician. Without the shadow of a doubt, the homoeopathic remedy is our keenest scalpel; it saves our patients from the necessity for surgical intervention every day we practise in accord with the homoeopathic principles. But there are cases where we must “remove obstacles to cure,” even as Hahnemann instructed.
How can we judge those times? When our well selected remedy, even though seemingly helping to relieve the pain, is not taking sufficient hold of the patient himself; when the white blood count soars to the danger point and beyond; or when the symptoms are better and the patient is worse. These are three tentative tests of the efficacy of our prescribing in any given case.
No physician has the right to jeopardize the life of a patient. This is just as true whether the physician subjects the patient unnecessarily to surgery or whether he will not permit him to be operated if in his judgment surgery is the emergency measure to save a life; then he can cure the patient afterward.
No really homoeopathic physician finds it necessary to operate as often as the man who is not thoroughly equipped with the homoeopathic armamentarium; our best prescribers use surgery only rarely, and in those cases where their judgment has deemed it necessary they usually find themselves justified in their decision.
These emergency cases are usually those who have not been under homoeopathic care, or who have not seen their physician for some time. They call in the physician when the case is in a state where life itself is endangered.
Looking over our surgical cases for a number of years we find the following cases: 1. A well-developed diarrhoea that has continued for several days as the result of Pluto water in excessive amounts under the prescription of a naturopath. The remedy checked the diarrhoea and held the patient, who had been near collapse, for a brief time; then she slipped. X-ray pictures indicated pathology and surgical intervention to save life was instituted.
Findings: the largest abdominal abscess, as the result of an appendix burst before the Pluto water diarrhoea, that the physician or surgeon had ever seen. 2. A retrocaecal appendix, attached at the kidney, which had burst. 3. A very large gall-bladder, adhered completely from every side, black and on the point of an active gangrenous state. All these made good recoveries. These are three typical cases from a very brief list of cases. Would the remedy alone have cured these patients?.
Some of our homoeopathic prescribers boast that they do not use surgery; the patients call them up and tell them they do not need their services longer. The physician assumes the patient is better, and true enough, sometimes he is — through the help of the surgeon they called in !.
If we concede that surgery is necessary, let us not neglect out duties as homoeopathic physicians; let us not forget that surgery does not cure. Let the surgeon do his work, and we will continue to take care of the patient, prescribing for him during his incarceration, and if he still needs it, after his release from the hospital. It will be homoeopathy that cures the patient after the menace to life is removed.
In other words, work with your surgeon; he will understand your point of view and co-operate with it.