THE SCIENCE OF THERAPEUTICS IN OUTLINE


A proper understanding of the great therapeutic field, as mapped by these outlines, will clearly indicate to the practitioner when he is within the pale of one principle, or another, or of none at all; and may serve to keep him from vexatious questions, upon which societies of medical men are “rent and torn,” and from the performance of some hurtful and many useless acts, in behalf of the sick.


III.

GENERAL THERAPEUTICS.

[Continued from page 243] I come, now, to speak of the second grand division of the therapeutic field, where an appeal is made to the vital energies by means of pathogenetic forces.

I might, by numerous quotations like those already made from the writings of Hahnemann and Paine show that the advocates of all active treatment, which is not specially governed by chemical, mechanical, antiparasitic or hygienic principles, agree as to the necessary institution of an artificial pathological condition, which shall lead to the extinction of that already existing.

The pathogenetic action has been variously stated and explained by different writers, some calling it dyamic, or spiritual, and others vital, physiological, etc. Some writers1. (William R.Dundham., M.D., Theory of Medical Science, 1876.) have maintained that there is no such thing as medicinal force and medicinal action; that drugs have medicinal properties only; that while they may be the cause of certain symptomatic displays, they are yet devoid of inherent power.

They forget that all forces which we may employ, are but attributes or properties of matter, so far as our discernment goes, and that we can obtain no knowledge of them, whatever, while they are disembodied, or when simply potential. When they become actual by the presence of something to act upon, and when their immediate environment is favorable, we come to a knowledge of their presence and are able to study them qualitatively and quantitatively in the phenomena of their action.

Whatever the theory or philosophy entertained, all alike recognize a disease-producing property in the remedy and look to the signs of symptoms it may develop, in one way or another, for a knowledge of its special character and tendency.

The first step, in special therapeutics, the institution of an artificial disease, brings up a question of the greatest importance, namely:

What relation must the new disease bear to the old, in order that a cure may result?

A relationship, of some kind, there must be. Taking the disease, as presented in its symptoms and history, as the basis or standard, if we know the relation that the artificial affection must bear to it, in order that a cure may result, a faithful comparison between it and the affections produced by various medicines, should bring us to the right remedy. If that relationship is to be same in all cases, calling for medicines, in determining its character we arrive at a general principle in therapeutics paramount to all others.

In trigonometry, the mathematician has the same need of the relationship between the two sides, of his triangle, when he wishes to learn the third side. The two sides given and the angle between them, he has no trouble in finding the third side.

In looking over the means employed in medical practice, and the different theories entertained regarding their action, we find but four possible relationships between the affections they induce and the morbid conditions they are effected to remove, namely:

1. THE ANTIPATHIC – Where the same tissues or organs are affected, but in an opposite manner; the relation being one of direct opposition.

2. THE ALLOPATHIC – where the same tissues or organs are affected in a different manner, or where other tissues or organs are affected in some manner; the relation being one of general difference or indefinite diversity.

3. THE ISOPATHIC – Where the same tissues or organs are affected in the same manner; the relation being that of identicals.

4. THE HOMOEOPATHIC – where the same tissues or organs are affected in a like manner; the relation being that of similars.

J P Dake