“What have doctors to do with souls? We are concerned only with bodies and their ailments”.
Doubtless some such querulous remark will be made, sotto voce, by more than one of my readers on glancing at the title of this paper.
The retort in kind, Yankee fashion, might be: “what has a plumber to do with the tenant of a house in which he is making some badly needed and rather expensive repairs?”.
“Who engaged the plumber to do the job? who watched him rip up his walls and floors, fumble around in dark passages, cut out and replace pieces of damaged piping clean out filth from obstructed traps and flush them, repair leaky faucets, etc., all the while wondering how much his bill will be and whether his bank account will stand it?”.
The querulous one, thinking he has me there, will probably say with a triumphant twinkle in his eye: “Much obliged for the apt analogy. It suits me to a T. Judging from their lofty ways and the size of their bills, plumbers pay just about as much respect to tenants and their proprietary rights in their dwellings as doctors do to their patients souls. Theyre very much alike, in my opinion. They both ignore the tenant, and thats my argument”.
I shall have to grant the argument, change my tactics, but stick to my proposition, to wit: that there is a tenant in the house- a soul in the body-and that his rights and feelings should be respected. Stated thus, I hope I am in position to maintain my thesis. I have at least established an analogy, thanks to my unseen friend, and that is the real purpose of this article.
Would it not be a good idea for both of them, the doctor and the plumber, to take a long look ahead and do a little serious thinking about the part played by Tenants-of the “house not built with hands,” as well as the dwelling at No. 3 New York Avenue?.
It might lead physicians to pay more attention to the subjective and functional phenomena of the individual, which, from a technical standpoint, is much needed.
In spite of their assumption of authority and independence they are both-doctors and plumbers-merely hired servants of the owner or tenant of the house, and it is he with whom they will have to reckon in the end. He foots the bills and his rights must be respected. Back of him, actually and metaphorically, stand Public Opinion, the Government and the Courts to enforce righteous laws and impose the penalties for their violation. He is a wise servant who knows his real master and treats him with due deference and consideration.
Plumbers and doctors alike, backed by their “trade unions” and favored by class legislation, form organizations which tend to become presumptuous, overbearing and tyrannical. Feeling strong in their traditions, their associations and their legal and institutional intrenchments, they think they can do pretty much as they please. Organized, or “official” medicine, dominated always from “the Inside by a few crafty politicians, avid of “power, place and self,” has steadily crept on, year after year, towards its goal of STate Medicine and complete control of the people; which means force, violence and compulsion.
That goal is nearer today than ever before, although few realize it, even in the medical profession. If any one wants confirmation of my statement let him read Senator William L. Loves recent address before the New York State Homoeopathic Medical Society.
At the same time, however, and virtually at an equal pace, The Opposition forms, organizes and grows. “Every evil contains within itself the germs of its own destruction.” The intelligent, thinking conservatives of all schools of medicine are neither blind nor asleep. They already lead and influence perhaps as large a proportion of the “unthinking” populace as do the older and more closely organized forces of “compulsory medicine.” Their power and influence are rapidly increasing, and the medical despots are very well aware of it.
The general drift of the people away from the medical profession is great and very rapid. Surveying the field covered by all the “no-drug,” non-medical, anti-medical, religious and sectarian bodies and cults, and by the various newspapers and periodicals devoting more or less space to the subjects of health, hygiene and physical culture, it has been estimated that there are now more than thirty million people in the United States who have abandoned the medical profession within the last twenty-five or thirty years. That is something to think about.
Within the medical profession itself there are large numbers of physicians who not only resent and oppose the dominance of the little cliques of political schemes who rule their organizations, but sense with alarm the danger to the true healing art inherent in the vast aggregations of capital invested in huge “medical centers,” hospitals, clinics, “research” laboratories, institutes and foundations.