To the Editor:.
Early last December I obtained an introduction to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, and I want to tell you what was accomplished then and tell you why I want to back up one hundred per cent the appeal you printed in the Recorder for March by Dr. William Gutman.
I had my talk with Dr. John L. Lavan, Director of Research. To appreciate the courtesy of Dr. Lavan, let us consider that he is by training and conviction an inoculationist, a laboratory man, an animal experimenter, who looks to an ultimate serum or virus for the final answer to the problem of poliomyelitis. But he, together with the whole Foundation staff, is under the directive of the President of the United States to leave no stone unturned, no avenue unexplored, to find the answer to that problem.
Dr. Lavan could have dismissed me as impertinent when I suggested to him that there is a field in medicine which he and his associates have not explored; but instead he accepted that suggestion. I stated further that, so far as I had seen reports, poliomyelitis has been treated successfully in that field of medicine, and if it would be welcome to the Foundation staff I offered to gather as many case reports as I could and submit them. Dr. Lavan said these case reports would be welcome. I then requested that when and as received, these reports be properly filed and held available at all times, to which Dr. Lavan again agreed.
Carefully I emphasized that the physicians from whom I hoped the cases would be reported would have not the slightest desire to seek approval or endorsement from the National Foundation, but would be acting simply to assist the staff of the Foundation in the solution of its problem, provided their assistance would be acceptable. I said that no doubt these physicians would be willing, if invited, to care for case of infantile paralysis alongside other physicians caring for other cases by any other method whatever, provided that their treatment met with no interference, that proper records are kept and are publicly available, and that any laboratory checks or tests performed upon the patients are agreeable to the physicians in charge. To all of this Dr. Lavan again thoroughly agreed.
Immediately I began a hunt for case reports from practicing homoeopathic physicians.
Dr. Benjamin C. Woodbury came right back with six cases, all of them cures, one of which he could detail for me. He added a seventh, encouraged at a later date, also a complete cure, which he could detail. That made two that could go to the Foundation.
Dr. Theodore K. Keith gave me another, well detailed, corroborated as to diagnosis by a state neurologist, and that made three.
Clinical Experiences, by the late Dr. Erastus E. Case, provided another, and that made four.
Those four are all the cases that I have been able to get from all of the competent homoeopathists in the United States between middle December and the close of March, three months and a half! Dr. Ray W. Spalding has promised one. That, when it comes, will bring the total to five.
That, I am sure, looks like a pretty thin record to the National Foundation people. I am sure it is not what homoeopathy is capable of showing, for many of my own appeals made directly to key homoeopathists have not even been acknowledged. Either the Foundation sponsored by President Roosevelt and admonished by him to keep open mind gets some benefit from a sound contact with genuine homoeopathy, or it gets just another good laugh. Which, it is now for the practicing physicians to determine. There is nothing more that a layman can do.
If the physicians of homoeopathy will back up this effort, I am sure something will come of it; for there is no way for the Foundation to side-track it. The conditions to which the Foundation has freely committed itself open the way unobstructed to homoeopathy, without binding homoeopathy to anything at all except its own facts with relation to infantile paralysis. Homoeopathy has everything to gain and nothing to lose. This is a clear opportunity, in my opinion, for homoeopathy to do some- thing in a pressing public cause, and get public credit for it.
May I add just one thing. Many cases are averted by homoeopathy that in the physicians opinion would have proved to be poliomyelitis. These cannot go down in the polio statistics, it is true, but they are among the most valuable of all citations; for they tend to show that under proper care the case may not need to reach the diagnostic stage.
In reporting such cases, I hope the physicians will state their reasons for suspecting incipient infantile paralysis. And by all means I hope they will not leave out suspected cases, just because they are only suspected.
My purpose with this letter is to put the situation before you, and through you the entire International Hahnemannian Association. I hope you will feel free to employ the letter any way you think will be most effective.
ARTHUR B. GREEN.
Bureau of Publicity.
American Foundation for Homoeopathy.
P.S.: No physicians names appear in my transcriptions to the National Foundation, but I do want to name the remedies.