What clouds of murky living, of susceptibility to disease, might be rolled away were a knowledge of disease suppression conveyed to popular understanding. Not even cure is as important for the medical or lay man to recognize, as is suppression and its results.
As domestic and public sanitation has been the greatest of all the benefits of modern medicine, so as understanding of medical sanitation would be the greatest benefit to be gained from a knowledge of homoeopathic principles.
On the other hand, teaching the layman medical practice of any kind is positively harmful in several ways. The harmful results far outweigh the benefits except in rare instances. That kind of propaganda should be used only as a last resort. The English homoeopaths have been forced to it, unfortunately, and so may we if we cannot maintain out rights in any other way.
Nevertheless, to explain the disastrous results of suppression as expressed by the dislocation of symptoms, insidious and obscure though they may be at first, should be by far the greater part of any propaganda among laymen. WATERBURY, CONN.
DR. WAFFENSMITH: Suppression of natural disease symptoms has long been recognized by the homoeopath. Those who treat with this thought in mind, who see the linked connection between different episodes in the life of an individual, clearly perceive its baneful effects.
The highest art of medicine is to preserve life through protection of, and improvement in, natural processes when disease overtakes, which is the key stone of true homoeopathy.
The increase of medical knowledge among thinking people is a definite fact, broadcast through all public avenues of modern education. The public demand this information. We need to be realists, face the facts, ethically teach the truth as we see it to both profession and laymen, they thereby becoming fully able to decide whether it meets their approval or not.
We are coming into a situation, increasingly realized by all physicians, which demands some form of action to prevent anarchy in medicine, resulting from the indiscriminate use of massive doses of powerful synthetic drugs.
DR. GREEN: It is entirely possible and wholly profitable to teach homoeopathic philosophy to laymen without in any way enabling them to prescribe for themselves. Indeed, such teaching of philosophy removes from the lay mind any desire to choose drugs. A great respect and almost reverence is engendered for the amount of study and experience necessary to prescribe successfully.
In this teaching of philosophy an understanding of the homoeopathic conception of suppression is emphasized, so that laymen begin to watch for it in others and guard against it in themselves.
We shall be far on the road to almost universal success in homoeopathic prescribing when all our patients understand the baneful effects of suppression and its proper place in homoeopathic philosophy. DR. GUTMAN: The discovery of aspirin in the year 1874 makes that date a memorable one in the history of medicine. With it began an era which might be called the “Era of Aspirin- Medicine.” A host of pain-relieving, symptom-suppressing synthetic drugs have been introduced since.
The problem of suppression, of shifting of symptoms, is now so great, that the layman should be made to understand the dangers of the “Medicine of Suppression”. DR. HAYES: To “close the discussion” by commenting on the foregoing, Dr. Green says it is quite possible to teach homoeopathy to laymen without teaching materia medica or prescribing. It would be interesting to know whether her observation related to the general public or merely to the select circle of homoeopathic practice. I will refer to this indirectly, further on.
Dr. Waffensmith appears to see some kind of handwriting on the wall for the suppressive dosage of drugs of common use. Let us hope his interpretation is correct. It would seem that the mass experience of war medicine and especially of post war
activities should teach both doctor and patient and their friends and neighbors to recognize immediate and remote effects of gross medicaL practice. But they seldom are probably few will ever recognize them until a dynamic therapy is provided so that comparison may be made.
Reading behind Dr. Gutman’s lines, if he will permit an interpretation, any proposal to enlighten the general public presents almost insurmountable obstacles. It seems to me that any purely negative, “don’t do so” attempt must fail, even accompanied by the attempt to teach homoeopathic theory, although after the matter has attained some momentum the public will give ear to it.
At present the subject of suppression must be tied in with that of food, hygiene, vicious propaganda and practices of public health officials and their subordinates, food and drug advertising, the cancer and other constitutional disorders, statistics, questions of politico-economic policy, legislation, appropriations and the like; in short, with things of the day that people are most interested in.
We are so few and far apart that we should begin now to have closer association and communication within and between our groups and between individuals. We should practice alertness to all that goes on within the social and medical economy; by discussions so conducted as to arrive at facts, policies an decisions, not leaving conclusions up in the air while opinions refuse to budge from their birthplaces. This is a dynamic age and we need to induct the dynamic power that is generated by cooperative thought and decisions.
Above all we need to concentrate thought on the problems of our special profession. For if there is not correct thought there can be no positively salutary and corrective action, no matter how much we talk or what we do. True cooperative action cannot reach its highest efficiency without preliminary individual concentration on the matter in hand. To be led is not enough. Let us find ways and means to attract people out of the mire of suppression into which they have fallen.