Winter has come. Homoeopaths are daily being asked by their patients and client as regards the propriety of inoculation with cow – lymph vaccine for prevention of small – pox. For the benefit of our readers we give below our considered opinion on the matter:
1. The whole problem of prophylaxis in uncertain and complicated. No system of medicine has yet gathered knowledge enough to speak on the subject with dogmatism and authority. Statistical records provided by the so – called modern scientific medicine on the subject betray many fallacies, loop – holes and irrationalities when they are reviewed with a critical eye and an unbiased scientific mental attitude. It is very difficult – nay, almost impossible – to apply the most recent and advanced methods of statistical analysis in matters biological; and medicine is certainly a department of human biology.
In this connection we request our readers to go through two memorable books of G.B. Shaw, viz., Doctors Dilemma and Doctors Delusions. On perusal of those writings it will be easily evident that the claim of reducing the mortality and preventing incidence of Small – pox infection, solely by the introduction and use of cow – lymph, is wholly unwarranted and certainly debatable.
2. With the advance of human knowledge regarding public health, sanitation and standard of living the incidence of many other infectious diseases (besides small – pox) in epidemic form and mortality rate due to those diseases have progressively decreased. Evidences are not wanting that no country has ever been depopulated with small – pox before Jenners discovery or that serious epidemics of small – pox have occurred in place inspite of mass vaccination being resorted to. So the prophylactic claim of cow – lymph vaccination is still an open question.
3. It is admitted on all hands that bad and sometimes dangerous or fatal after effects do occur after inoculating healthy persons or children with Vaccine for prevention and protection from small pox.
4. Since 1948 State Law for compulsory vaccination against small – pox has been repealed in the United Kingdom of British Isles – but records do not prove either that the incidence of small – pox epidemic has increased in severity or that the mortality – rate due to small – pox has gone up there.
5. Homoeopathy is not opposed to vaccination on principle. But it is opposed to the method of using Vaccination as being a violation of sound, natural principles of medication and potentially productive of serious injury to the living organism. It has been proved experimentally and clinically that such methods as taken recourse to by the “allopaths”, are unnecessary and that the results claimed by their advocates can be attained more safely, more rapidly and more thoroughly by the administration of homoeopathically indicated medicines in sub – physiological doses through natural channels of the body than by introducing it forcibly by means of hypodermic needle or otherwise.
6. Though the dominant method of using vaccination is likely to be attended with bad sequelae, either immediate or remote it cannot be asserted or justified that every case of vaccination will be followed by undesirable after – effects. It depends on individualisation of cases; and we have to carry on further investigations on the point. So we so neither advocate for indiscriminate mass vaccination nor stand for wholesale condemnation of vaccination. The present limitation of our knowledge regarding this problem forbids us to be dogmatic.
7. Dr. Burnett and many others have shown that the ill – effects of vaccination are very similar to the symptoms of sycosis. This is our individualising factor. A sycotic patient has the potentiality of manifesting undesirable symptoms following vaccination. The symptoms of sycosis are known and we might therefore be careful to study the constitution of persons, both young and adult, to avoid disaster.
8. Many distinguished Homoeopaths have claimed prophylactic properties of various remedies prepared in a homoeopathic way. But all of these have stopped short of just naming the remedies. Nobody has left definite instructions about the potencies and frequencies in which a particular drug has to be used or about any certain method of testing the development of immunity acquired by administration of such homoeopathic remedies. Here the homoeopathic doctors differ and from a practical point of view one is at a loss as to what to do. This is one great handicap from the prophylactic point of view. Very often homoeopaths and person undergoing homoeopathic prophylaxis might live under a false sense of security in time of epidemics!
9. To state a few instructions, so far gathered from the current homoeopathic literature:
(a) Dr. Schmidt referred to a French Homoeopath who experimentally demonstrated that higher he went up in potency the longer the immunity as proved by the Shick test. He further said that the 9,000th potency would give an immunity of about eight years. The 1,000th potency would give approximately only 22 years protection and a lower one, a 30th, would give protection only for a few months.
(b) Dr. Grimmer is of opinion that the 10M is a protective potency and the reaction is good at least for that epidemic; and if there comes another epidemic and the people want further protection, he repeats the process only for the epidemic.
(c) Dr. Tyler of England advocated the administration of remedies is successively higher potencies, viz., 1M, 10M and CM at an interval of 12 hours.
(d) The writer of this article can testify that he observed symptoms of feverishness, malaise and pain in the back and extremities in himself and his son and daughter after administration of Variolinum 10M twelve hours after the use of Variolinum 1M. during an epidemic of small-pox in Calcutta.
10. Our considered opinion is that use of potentized homoeopathic remedies for prophylactic purposes is enough in cases where small – pox has broken out in an epidemic form and it is not desirable to use prophylactic medicines either in a homoeopathic or allopathic way, as a routine measure whether there is an epidemic or not. But when the epidemic has broken out in a severe form or when contact with a small – pox patient is unavoidable our advice is to take homoeopathic medicine at first and to be doubly sure to take vaccination afterwards.
Thus we feel bound to compromise ourselves because of our limitation in knowledge and want of having a method to test immunity after the administration of homoeopathic prophylactic remedies. Human life is too precious to make it a prey to our so – called scientific dogmatisms. We admit from our experience that crude form of vaccination goes a great way to lessen the virulence of infection in an already infected person or to avoid dangerous complications of this fell disease viz., Corneal ulcer, opacity and blindness etc.
So under these circumstances of severe epidemic outbreaks of small – pox we advise or support vaccination for those who had no primary vaccination; and advise the trial of homoeo – prophylaxis first to those who had received primary vaccination to be followed by crude vaccination in order not to take any chance for receiving protection with the means known to us and at our disposal. Saving of life should be of prior importance to that of the possibility of any bad after effect following vaccination.
11. Some advocate for the discovery of a homoeopathic remedy suited to the “genus epidemicus” affecting a locality. But there is one practical drawback in such a procedure. We have to wait till the epidemic actually sets in and a number of lives are sacrificed in the first flood – tide of an epidemic outbreak. And it is a known fact that mortality rate is highest in the first phase of any Epidemic.
Some advocate for studying individual constitution and selection and administration of suitably indicated homoeopathic remedies for each case before the expected outbreak of an Epidemic. But it is not at all practicable to take recourse to such a procedure in a modern city of millions of population.
12. There are two ways in which Homoeopathy can assist in any Epidemic:
Though administration of drugs homoeopathically is not possible till symptoms manifest themselves and disease is established, it has been found however that practically certain Homoeopathic remedies do also exert a prophylactic action. Certain symptoms are anticipated, as it were, and assumed to take a certain course, then a remedy which pictures this syndrome can be given with every chance of benefit e.g., prophylactic administration of Belladonna in Sydenhams smooth Scarlatina (vide pp 115, foot – note 17, Organon 6th Edition.). Homoeopaths make use of a great deal of inadvertent preventive medicine in their daily round of practice due to the abortive effects of the clearly prescribed remedy.
(a) So, one way is by administering an immunising agent by way of the mouth, potentized like other homoeopathic remedies, and selected for its similarity with the particular form of the epidemic.
(b) Second way by elevating the patient to that higher level of health which bestowes the utmost general immunity and the greatest power of recuperation. This is accomplished as a matter of course through chronic treatment. The action of this constitutional remedy (not by any means the same for everybody) is to cure morbid tendencies, to build resistive powers, to bestow power of recovery, and thus to promote the highest general immunity.
The best public health is the sum total of individual healths. Health is not merely a state of being. It is power. Health is power to resist, power to recover, power to adapt life to conditions without fear, the power to liver a full life in the world. The aim of Homoeopathy is to build that power.
The constitutional remedy is the best protection not only against small – pox; therefore, it is the higher level of health to which Homoeopathy can lift its patients. “The right constitutional remedy is worth as an immuniser than all the specific Decoctions that could be packed in a ship.”
It is not vaccination at all but can be called the ideal and internal vaccination.
So long Homoeopathy has never been given a chance to be used for public health purposes by any Government of any country. It would have immunised people against all sorts of epidemic diseases and would have avoided all the ill – effects, immediate and remote, from crude processes of vaccination and inoculation as they are practised now.