There need be no trouble in changing all this if the point of view could be uplifted. But the point of view cannot be changed except from the foundation up. It would be necessary to begin as Hahnemann did to study the beginnings of health deflections and their origin. The study is wholesome and absorbing and rewarding in its fruitfulness. There is need of this intensive study since all the generations of men are degenerating physically. The mortality of all races is greater year by year. True some correction has been made as to infant mortality, but that is more than canceled by the shortening of adult years. This is a matter of dire eloquence. It evidence a great wrong somewhere. And the wrong is inherent in our outlook on vital conditions.
The world has for far too many centuries looked at medicine in a fragmentary way. It has lost sight of the fact life is a unit, not a matter of separate functions of the body; but that, since these bodily functions exist most conspicuously they must also be known as coordinated into one unique force that dominates supremely.
Preventive medicine is said to have begun activity applied directly to masses – military and naval – which of course is unlike the aim for individual protection from his innate physical shortcomings and tendencies, the masses being protected from epidemic typhus, scurvy, and other disease peculiar to limited sanitation and other causes either known or unrecognized as the case may be. The crowded city slums require one order of prevention quite different from the prevention in the case of the individual from his own weak tendencies irrespective of external influence.
Preventive medicine in respect to individual protection from the trend toward unhealth never reached a worthy culmination in actual importance and practical benefit adequate to the occasion, until the practice of homoeopathy began. Worthy preventive medicine is guardianship of personal health, insuring its permanence as far as possible. This is accomplished by measures that favor the best growth and development of the individual, the unit of population, thus forecasting the needs of the organism, needs otherwise inadequately met, and so foreseeing and forefending.
And so, unfortunately, the item of disease comes in for notice. It is disease and not health that is discussed. It is disease as an entity that gets all the exploitation. The mass mind is full of the proposition that to avoid disease one must avoid germs, and that all the effort should be concentrated to prevent their entrance into the body. Taking the stand that disease is an entity that stalks everywhere by means of the bacterium, multitudes are receiving daily the prophylactic serum that is proffered as relief or succor from that which may indeed otherwise never arrive nor even approach in any event.
Typhoid, diphtheria small-pox, measles, the common cold and so on are all looked upon as likely to attack anybody at once of seriatim, and so the antidotal poison is administered wherever possible.
Reflect, for a moment, on this gross, crude, barbaric substitution of infection for the same commodity of health, untainted vitality, natural vigor!.
Is it good sense to entertain the propaganda of preventive medicine in this way? Should we accept through our blood channels the foreign elements that are offered?.
It is not true that most of the remedies in common use have an individuality, as Dr. H.C. Allen calls it, that serves to distinguish them from all others? A.B. RICE, M.D.
In the world of medical healing it is very important to consider, in respect to the patient, his age. This has a definite bearing on his condition and its cure. While the extremes of life provide the most striking diversity that age can suggest, all the intermediate periods have their place in the necessary analysis of the patients specific needs. Though this statement may seem a trite one to the reader, it is not a platitude, and in consideration of the fact that the popular mind takes little note of its truth, emphasis is not out of place. It may also be said that the fact is neglected in much medical analysis.