CHAPTER X. THE MODERN LABORATORY ITS DOMINATION.
Innumerable pathological questions have been studied in the modern laboratory. These studies have brought to light new facts have rewarded their workers in many ways concerning organic and functional life. There has been the energetic spirit to investigate great problems and so find just how happens those things that do take place in the human organism in health or in disease. While some things are determined many are confused or remain in doubt. This may be a confirmation of the possibility that not by some of those paths do we reach the vital need of the patient.
It must be remembered above all thing that the clinical laboratory is an aid to diagnosis, but rarely can it alone furnish a conclusion and, therefore, in all cases I enjoin you to carefully consider together the evidence afforded by the clinical history, the physical examination, and the clinical laboratory. BARTUS TREW, M.D.
The assumption that disorder of any kind or disease of any kind is caused by a specific germ or bacterium is one of the enterprising evidences of so-called science in medicine. The premise does of course afford a substantial beginning for what is generally known as common sense. This being so, the next conclusion follows, that if you destroy the germ you destroy the disease. Which sounds plausible.
We may not look upon the diagnosis of a disease as presenting a distinct entity of invasion, as something from without that has seized the subject regardless of his invitation. We may not estimate a disorder as introduced by an outside morbific agent like a bacillus, from which the organism has no defense or protection. Human disorder must start with the human subject; moreover, with some hospitable welcome from that subject. There is something in the vitality of some subject which repels invasion. In fact, the bacterium may enter, but the disease never.
This gives rise to the inquiry, “What is the germ then doing?” And the query follows, “Is the germ a protector of the organism against invasion?” Or, if there has been invasion, and germ is there, is the germ not on an errant of mercy? All of which sounds very foolish to the present-day bacteriologist. However foolish it sounds now, it does completely dispose of the unnecessary alarm over pathogenic germs in the throat, lungs, and kidneys of healthy individuals.
The truly scientific method of study is that which begins with accurate observation. There is nothing scientific in the effort to prove anything whatever. Which does not give of itself sufficient evidence of its truth. Science is what is so, not what is supposed to be expedient, not what conforms to some favored belief, not what we might like to believe. Science is what is veritably true-nothing more, nothing less-and what may be demonstrated under suitable conditions as being undeniable.
Until these terms are met and satisfied we may not march under the banner of Science, we may not flaunt before the eyes of any audience our mere conjectures as signs of established fact. But repetition of what ought to be obvious in this respect is necessary. We have to remind ourselves of just these obvious propositions again and again in age when too many subjects and systems and projects masquerade in the name of Science.
When we approach the subject of microbiology, the study of the vital energy, function, and relation of the microorganism bearing on all the phenomena of life, we enter a department of research that is comparatively new. It is true that men of centuries past have figured in their philosophical or scientific reasoning the existence of the microorganism as the logical explanation of some problems presented to their conscious vision as a consequence of delving into different concrete difficulties.
The mysteries of vitality from the point of view of the human mind have always sought solution on some one or another material basis. Man likes best what he can see or feel or hear or control. Man is his purely natural state is averse to recognizing the fact that all knowledge or all wisdom is not to be translated into terms of materialism; that when mysteries exist for him he makes them none the less mysterious by giving them names which in no sense describe them.
While mysticism need not be cultivated, and that which is understood may be explained; and while practical truths need no envelope of abstruse or occult jargon, yet there are mysteries which we do not elucidate however we may claim to do so.
Each and every single phenomenon of vital existence is in a real sense a mystery.
There is no denying there are mysterious phases in bacteriology as yet far from being penetrated by rational analysis. Much as has been learned about the habits of the bacterium, much as has been stated as to its definite function in the economy of life, in both normal and wholesale environments (as in nutritive foods) as well as in relation to diseased states of the human family, this microorganism, this minute germ, this active, infinitesimal form of life, is an entity whose power and place are as yet incompletely comprehended.
It is certainly in order to insist upon such definite contention, since a brief review of the science of bacteriology as presented to the world by its masters will evidence the accuracy of such statement. Let it be limited, however, in this discussion to the relation of the microbe not to beneficent and constructive activities in the great realm of nature, but to the roles which have been so conspicuously assigned to it in all the range of human disorders, to disease, to pathology. This is the important filed in which every one is personally concerned. Everybody is interested to know whether the germ causes the disease, whether obliterations of the germ will result in cure of the disease, whether methods of obliteration of the germ in cases of disease will result in benefit to the patient.
Successive postulates in bacteriological science have been presented, each of which in turn has been proffered by its author as “a basis of argument too obvious to require proof.” Well, for a time this may have seemed to be so, but always some ghostly factor would appear, requiring a new postulate, so that begging the question as to the germ being the first cause of the disease has become the rule.
Perhaps every new postulate as it has issued fresh from the laboratory on the eve of some new and important discovery has been well worded to meet the ethics of scientific demand, but in the present discussion we are concerned with the practical demands-whether or not scientific-they have made on the public. It is the effect on the human patient which constitutes the crucial question in all matters related to medical science and medical art.
As to the microbes themselves, they are marshalled in splendid array by the command of students and scholars in this field who have devoted themselves to this labor. The identification and verification of pathogenetic microbes progresses with speed and skill on the part of the laboratory worker. The confirmed association of a certain microorganism with a certain disease is now one of the facts of pathology, whatever variations may enter into this association or indeed, if at times the association may seem not to exist in a given case. Diphtheria is an example or irregularity. It is perhaps the best instance we have wherein the role of the specific germ suffers many deflection.
Now, while it is largely true that in some instances microorganisms cause disease and entail much of the laborious work of every-day life, it is also true that bacteria are our most important coadjutors and friends – THEODORE J GRAMM. M.D.
Bacteriology must undergo important changes before its standards as now formulated can be accepted as reasonable.
A single ounce of soil has been calculated to contain a hundred and seventy million bacteria, and a single bacterium under favorable conditions can, it is said, multiply in twenty – four hours to one hundred and eighty millions. If noxious to the part of nature which man is, they are not noxious to nature as a whole; on the contrary, they rightly, serve it by killing him when, being weaker life, he is a proper subject to be killed and rendered innocuous, which he is apt to think he never is. Hostile as the typhoid bacillus and other bacilli are to him, they do not hurt in when he is strong and fit to live; for they are often found inhabiting his body in typhoid-carries when he appears to be in quite good health. Are they then functionless, as supposed, in respect of him, only waiting harmlessly on guard to act and end him at the proper time? – HENRY MAUDSLEY, M.D., from Organic to Human, Macmillan, London, 1916, page 158.
The bacterium as the direct and specific cause of its defined malady is such a plausible item of common sense that one seems plain ignorant to doubt it, much less to question it. And yet conjectures will crop up in the plain mind. Questions like; Why do the germs always select the weak subject? Why not take good healthy organism for their attack? Why pick on poor soil, when there is plenty of good? Why wait till the good soil becomes poor before beginning to make war? What are the germs doing in so-called “carriers” while they refuse to make the carrier sick.
In such a case it looks as if the germ arrived first, but had nothing to do, while in other cases the disease arrives first, and then the germ seems to have plenty to do. What is he doing? Is he helping or harming? That question has not been answered altogether conclusively. In other examples that may be somewhat analogous, the organisms of putrefaction do not appear till the host is there. Then they do appear even from far and remove the useless or dead matter. They did not cause the death for they were not present but they began their beneficent immediately the task presented itself.
The victims of microphobia surround us. They compose the larger part of the population. And no wonder! The microbe propaganda surrounds them. No doubt thousands of the educated look upon bacteriology now taught as one of the biggest evidences of civilized learning, medical progress, and victory over disease dissemination.
There are many objections to the tenets of bacteriology as now taught. Here are some corrections of the fallacious viewpoints.
I. The germ does nor appear before the disease.
II. When the germ is found in health there is no disease there.
III. When the germ is not attacked per se the patient recovers under other treatment.
IV. When the germ is attacked it is worse for the patient.
IV. Some severest cases provide no germ for identification.
VI. As recovery approaches the germs leave coincidentally.
“Meningitis germs were found to be carried in the army camps – carried by men who were perfectly well themselves, but causing meningitis in the other soldiers with whom they came in physician by radio. It illustrate well the position taken by many doctors and therefore by a very large portion of the public. It is a striking instance of holding to the tenet that the germ is the cause of the disease, but yet fails of its accomplishment. The so-called “carriers” do not become infected by the disease though the germ is present, which of course leads one to the query of why?.
An answer to this query is prepared, and in the face of the main proposition that the germ is the cause of the disease, it is adroitly maintained that for some reason which science has not yet determined, or at least has not seen fit to enunciate, certain persons are susceptible while others are not. That is, those who get the disease are susceptible; those who escape, even with the possession of many specific germs, are not susceptible. By no manner of means could it be argued by these minds that the disease coming first it may be possible that the germs follow as a means of protection or correction. That proposition would shatter the whole structure of bacteriology as taught. That other simple and straightforward proposition that disease are caused by germs would be thrust out of all consideration, and science would have to start all over again. And that would be very difficult for science.
Microbe propaganda has so engulfed the popular mind that no one or at least only a very few persons are immune to its appalling suggestions. Every case of human disorder is relegated by its owner to the logic of the germ theory. That is, the victim assumes immediately that he has become the lodging of a disease producing bacterium.
So far has this gone that the patient voluntarily diagnosticates his complaint with a confidence only to be acquired by the strict attention he has paid to germ publicity. He is likely to think that all bacteria are evil, that there is no such thing as a beneficent microbe. He may not know that they are vegetables organisms, not animalculae at all, and that in the food we eat are millions of a type and character to lend not only the finest flavors, but also contribute the very nourishment most required for the best maintenance of our physical life.
This is all a monstrous pity, for it shows to what a pass has the wrong teaching brought the public mind. In the name of science so many false notions are promulgated that the penalty is paid in toto by the ones most interested and concerned, not by the advertisers.
It is a question of large interest as to whether bacteriologists worthy of the name really believe in the propositions they put forth.
The great fault with our school is that is that we dont appreciate what a good thing we have got. “All true appreciation is the result of keen insight” – o.s. HAINES, M.D.
There are many old families in this country who have never known a case of diphtheria of any member in any generation. The disease is a rare one as far as the experience of persons who heed sanitation and hygiene go. They may catch “cold” when subjected to all the multifarious crimes of heating and of ventilation in places, they may suffer from acute disorders of many kinds, but the fact remains, diphtheria is not one of them.
Notwithstanding this fact, the bacteriologist may find in the mouth and throat of these very persons enough of the Klebs- Loeffler bacilli to initiate more than one attack of diphtheria. Yet there is no diphtheria, although the germ is in situ. So it is plain that something is required besides the germ of diphtheria to produce diphtheria in the human organism, in certain cases at all events.
Consequently, necessitated by this fact, we have the postulate that there must be a predisposition to diphtheria in certain cases, for it is frankly admitted by the bacteriologist that the presence of the essential bacillus for the incitement of diphtheria in many instances does not cause diphtheria.
Those who contend that the old school by the use of vaccines, etc., have thereby recognized and accepted the essential principle of Homoeopathy give every evidence that they themselves are in profound ignorance of both its principles and its practices. – EDWIN A. TAYLOR, M.D.
Pathogenesis is “the development of morbid conditions or of disease”.
Medical treatment and its corollaries have done more in modern times to secure illness than any other agent. The means used for care and cure of the sick have increased rather than abated human disorders of health.
Drugs make pathology. Remedies correct and banish it. Remedies in potency may be proved. Drugs are often proven if employed too long in single instance.
The advances made in Homoeopathy are in direct line of proving study and development. Hence the advances made in homoeopathy correspond directly with its accurate employment.
The proposition is a simple one, that Homoeopathy should be practiced according to its specific requirements. It cannot be fooled with profitably or even safely, but it will yield abundant reward to all concerned when faithfully employed.
Many years have elapsed since diphtheria antitoxin was first introduced. Of all the sera now on the market, it or its successors is still the only one highly vaunted. Others have been administered as specifics, some extensively, but the results are not desirable for publication. Just how to vanquish the bacterium and not the patient is still the problem, and the precise vocation of the bacterium is yet a secret.
It is clear that the task set himself by the laboratory worker in his declaration. ” The antisera are specific”, is exceedingly difficult of illustration, despite the great and interesting thoroughness of laboratory industry in the twentieth century. The physicist, the biologist, the chemist, each does his own work in his own way, and his conclusions approach and suggest Homoeopathy. But he does not as yet by any of his accomplishments express Homoeopathy at all clearly. He has started with an assumption, a presupposition, that involves knowledge by himself at least of processes which can hardly be determined, much less explained. It is one thing to recognize and count corpuscles, quite another to reckon with their vis a tergo. Hypotheses may be useful and logical. They are dwelt upon in the absence of facts. It is, however, well to bear in mind that hypotheses as such are abandoned when facts arrive – not before.
The therapeutic problem of today is one of safety, and it confronts the patient everywhere. It remains to determine whether it is right and expedient in the nature of medicine as a science and art to invade the human organism with the forces of any crude procedure while the utility of that procedure is not positive.
The view of disease as due primarily to bacteria established the need of immunity. When the first premise, which we reject, is entertained by the bacteriologist, he ignores all evidence to the contrary.
The immunity proposition, that everyone must have had a form of the disease in order to be safe, is assuming that individual resistive power does not exist.
The laboratory of Homoeopathy is the living human organism, and it includes in its equipment the whole man; not his body alone, but his mind and all his functions. This important laboratory differs essentially from the so-called biological laboratories that flourish by reason of arbitrary and empiric medicine.
We insist that only the laboratory of Homoeopathy, the human being itself, its own economy, is delicate enough to aid and guide the therapist in his glorious obligation to conserve human health. Rats and rabbits and guinea pigs, and even the noble dog. Cannot tell us the things that we most need to learn.
If the homoeopathist had only to cure his patients of disordered health, instead of the incalculable morbid disasters from unscientific drugging of all descriptions, his work would be done with infinitely greater ease.
Homoeopathy has no use for an artificially prepared serum that is unproven, nor for the hypodermatic administration of medicine. Such agents and such methods are too coarse and brutal for vital employment. There is nothing in the vital integrity, to say nothing of the delicate complexity of the complete human organism, that gives license to brutality of of treatment. Homoeopathy is never clumsy nor crude, but it is perfectly adapted by the preparation and application of its agents to the correction of disturbed health, whatever be the grade or intensity of disturbance. It cures the sick.
Its remedies are proved as received through the mouth into the laboratory of homoeopathy, the man himself. Here affects are produced in a manner entirely safe, from dosage never hazardous, and the organism gives free expression to these effects in manner that is fully intelligible.
Whatever the ingredients of a serum, or the manner of its elaboration, its mode of exhibition is highly open to objection. The method is a most artificial one, by means of which the substance is forced directly into the organism itself without actual regard to that organisms resistance. This alone is against the spirit of science and rationality. Such is not the case with remedies entering an orifice of the body, applied to the mucous membrane, or when introduced even directly into the stomach. In a sense the remedy is still outside the body. It has not reached the circulation. It has by no means secured lodging within the organism. There yet remains to the latter power to reject it, or, at least, a discretion as to the best disposition that is to be made of the foreign element.
Two of the important factors in taking the case of any patient are injuries in childhood and medication during childhood. The latter may be difficult to determine. It is imperative that all be learned about it that is possible.
As to injuries received in play or by accident of one kind or another, usually something has been kept in the memory of the patient or his family.
Imperfect human organisms from hereditary causes are the rule. And no doubt every human being requires some constitutional remedy. Remedial care of this order belongs strictly to Homoeopathy. Cod liver oil, Blauds pills and strychnine tonic or aspirin will not do the trick.
When we analyze the effects of long continued drugging with opium, quinine, compound laxative pills, aspirin, et al., we find all varieties of disorder, indeed, all varieties of disorder from one and the same drug in different individuals, according to the nature of the particular individual. This chronic affect has nothing what ever to do with diagnosis. In one case the outcome may be bronchitis, in another gastritis, and in another carditis. This fact furnishes in itself a substantial, and in another carditis. This fact furnishes in itself a substantial argument for the truth of Homoeopathic reasoning. We know that no medicine is curative unless it is capable of producing the symptoms of that given disorder. We know further that every medicine wrongly applied, but continued, produces permanent effects that should be recognized in their true light, but seldom or perhaps never are. Metabolic disturbances are sometimes delayed in giving their evidence.