There is a great hue and cry, nowadays, to make homoeopathy the dominant school for medicine. This is a praiseworthy ambition, a goal for which we should all strive. But the ranks of homoeopathy have for many years past been so torn with internecine quarrels that there is no longer any unity of thought and effort. Having no leadership, we cannot march straight to a definite objective. “We dont know where were going, but were on our way,” is so true of homoeopathy as to bring tears to the eyes.
If a man with vision and “guts” attempts to lead us out of the morass of inertia, he has no backing or cooperation from the profession. If the rank and file cries out for leadership, no individual has the vision or “guts” to assume it. Hence the school as a whole has lost considerable prestige and continues to lose it. We have missed the boat in more ways than one.
We have been afraid to publicize the accomplishments of the homoeopathic method of fear that the laity and our orthodox brothers will take us for a bunch of crack-brained fools. Well, such an attitude would be nothing new in the history of homoeopathy which in the past has always thriven upon abuse.
It is a pitiful sight to see a group of homoeopaths crying on each others shoulders because neither the public nor orthodox medicine has accorded homoeopathy its due. But let us face the situation squarely instead of weeping about it. Just what has organized homoeopathy ever done to acquaint the public and the profession with the full scope of the method which it professes to practise? Furthermore, how many of the 6,000 homoeopaths in the United States actually practise it or are sufficiently familiar with its principles and philosophy to use them intelligently? When those questions are answered frankly and honestly, we shall know where we stand as a school of medicine.
Moreover, we shall understand our loss of prestige, and why an allopath can say, as one said to me, “Homoeopathy? I didnt know they taught it any more!. Had the homoeopathic profession been less eager to climb on the bandwagon of modern medical science, it would not now be wondering: “Whither homoeopathy?” Had it been less avid in taking the discoveries of biological science for its own discoveries. One cannot kidnap somebodys baby and expect him to express any but the most vicious disrespect for one.
One can imagine how little love Koch had for a profession that deliberately tried to make some of the credit for the discovery of bacteria on the grounds that Hahnemann had for told such things in connection with cholera. Yet Hahnemann never saw a bacillus in his life and was just guessing about the cause of cholera. There is certainly nothing in the germ theory of disease to confirm homoeopathy, and the profession would have shown better judgment–to say nothing of taste–to have let it entirely alone.
When sera and vaccines were found to be effective in the prevention and treatment of disease, the homoeopathic school made another snatch. “In this discovery,” it said to the world, “science has merely confirmed the homoeopathic principle of similarity. Sera and vaccines are nothing but nosodes, which homoeopathy has been using for years.”
What a brazen theft! And to what purpose–unless to justify the homoeopaths own use of these substances. I deny no homoeopathic physician the right to use a serum or a vaccine when he believes it is indicated, but I challenge his right to label such treatment “homoeopathic.” Even the allopath knows there is nothing homoeopathic about biological remedies and has only contempt for the man who says there is.
It is our opinion that the shoemaker should stick to his last. Unfortunately the trouble with homoeopathy today is that it hasnt enough shoemakers. Let the few good workmen teach the others how to make shoes. That seems to us so obviously the first step in the effort to make homoeopathy the dominant school of medicine, that it needs to further delineation.
When the shoemakers have learned how to make good shoes, then the shoes must be sold. In order to do this a demand for shoes must be created. That is the second step that must be taken in order to acquire dominance. How to do this requires considerable thought. But certainly the brilliant record of homoeopathys clinical accomplishments can furnish adequate material for an advertising campaign.
For example, the late E. Rodney Fiske, M.D., published a statistical study of some 17,000 cases of lobar pneumonia collected from 700 homoeopathic physicians in the United States. eleven thousand of these cases were treated upon a strictly homoeopathic basis. The mortality was 2.56 percent. Does the public know about this? I am afraid not, nor, I would venture, do the majority of homoeopathic physicians, although these facts were published by Dr. Fiske in the October 1938 issue of The Journal of the American Institute of Homoeopathy.
Does the public know of homoeopathys astonishingly low mortality rate in the influenza epidemic of 1918 and 1919, 4 to 5 per cent compared with 25 to 40 cent under orthodox treatment?.
Do the victims of eczema, asthma and hay fever know that homoeopathy offers them the only hope of cure even after years of suppressive treatment at allopathic hands?.
Must an epileptic remain an epileptic because no effort has been made to inform the public that there is a chance for permanent cure under homoeopathy?.
Is the public aware of homoeopathys role in the prevention of cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes and other chronic ills?.
People love facts and figures, yet our colleges and hospitals, which have the facilities for producing them, have been strangely reluctant to undertake and publish statistical studies proving the effectiveness of homoeopathic methods. Is that an admission of their own ignorance of homoeopathy? The use of the sulfonamides is justified by the statistics of many clinical studies with the result that the public ingests sulfanilamide et al by the ton. If homoeopathy were as well publicized, with figures to back up its claims, the public would soon be eating our remedies by the spoonful and crying for more.
Homoeopathy can look forward to a future of innocuous desuetude unless we all determine that it shall not. The national organization has a definite responsibility in relation to our progress as a school of medicine. If it is unable or unwilling to undertake leadership, then let the job be delegated to some other more aggressive organization. Individually, each of us must get behind and push, for without cohesion and cooperation we are lost.