I was asked to give a paper on Philosophy. I suspect the chairman wanted Homoeopathic Philosophy but he didnt specify, so I have assumed the privilege of talking like a philosopher.
All down through the ages wise men have given good advice and, in a general way, have been disregarded until long after they were dead. Ben Franklin, I am sure, had considerable to do in shaping our destinies in his time; and in our present day Will Rogers gave us plenty to think about in his own quaint way of wise cracking.
It has taken me all this time to build you up to what I really want to talk about. That is the deplorable state of affairs the medical profession is in to-day; not just we homoeopaths, but the whole medical profession at large.
History is about ready to repeat itself in what I like to call “The Boston Tea Party”, meaning Trumans Compulsory Health Insurance.
The medical specialists have “Kited” their fees to a point where the nation is rising up and are determined to get out of the squeeze these pirates have put them in.
When Babylon fell, that wise old prophet, Jeremiah, told the king there was still time to be saved if he would forswear his false gods, but he scorned him. So that was the last of Babylon.
Personally, I feel that we have drifted so far down the rapids that there is no chance of our being rescued and all the satisfaction left for me is the poor one of saying, “I told you so”. Now what can we offer the masses attractive enough to lure them from the trap they are headed for in the Wagner-Murray- Dingle bill?.
I am going to give you something to think about: I practised Obstetrics for about fifty years with as good a mortality rating as the best of the specialists have, and I am sure that less than one percent were in the Hospital. And for the past thirty years I have had only one case of appendicitis operated; maybe I am slipping, because that one case last year, after I had had a clear record for twenty-nine years.
I have a clear record for peptic and duodenal ulcers, and no patient of mine have their tonsils removed by the surgeons.
I am not boasting; plenty of the members here who practice pure Hahnemannian Homoeopathy are doing the same. What I aim to do is to make a contrast of this kind of work and results with what is prevalent in the medical field today.
To summarize briefly, if we were to cut off ninety percent of the surgery, the same amount for obstetrics, there never would be a Wagner-Murray-Dingle bill, there is a Wagner Murray-Dingle bill and the medical profession is to blame for it. AKRON, OHIO.
DR. ALLAN D. SUTHERLAND [Brattleboro, Vermont]: Mr. Chairman, I was glad to hear that Dr. Dixon said his patients still have their tonsils. I dont know what method he uses to keep the tonsils in. [Laughter] I wish he would tell me, because I would like to know it. I proselyte homoeopathy all I can in my practice, and I give patients heart-to-heart talks on the evils of tonsillectomy only to find when I go to the hospital the next day that some little patient of mine is scheduled to have his tonsils out. That happens all the time.
We have a great deal to contend with in the so-called school programs, and so forth. They examine these kids and they look at a tonsil. If it looks a little larger that the end of your thumb, they send to note to the parents that the tonsils have to come out. Some of the parents immediately arrange for the tonsillectomy. Some of them consult me and I give them the “straight dope” on the situation, and the next day the patients are in the hospital! It is quite a difficult proposition. I will have to talk with Dr. Dixon and find out how he works it.
CHAIRMAN WAFFENSMITH: It may be that if you say less about the operation and suggest to the mother that you prepare the patient for the operation, after the preparation is finished, they would probably forget about it.
DR. SUTHERLAND: It is possible.
DR. A. H. GRIMMER [Chicago, Illinois]: I want to say a few words to Dr. Dixons paper. Dr. Dixon always gives us something to think about. That is worthwhile. What he said is largely true. We are drifting down a very dangerous rapids, but I am not quite as pessimistic as he is.
I think that out of this will come good. I think homoeopathy is about to be discovered by the old school people themselves. There are many indications along those lines.
MEMBER: Lord help us!.
DR. GRIMMER: Well, yes, it may be true at first, but I think eventually they will get into the right way. There are a lot of them that are taking up even the smallest doses and we are not opposed to some of these men. And you take the psychosomatic branch of the old school and they are getting on pretty close to the Hahnemannian idea about the mental and emotional states producing sickness.
It may not be our idea but nevertheless they are approaching us in many lines. All we need to do is stand on our own grounds and stand by our guns because we have something and the world has got to come to us for it, if we will stand together and get these things out and give them to public. That is what we need to do. That is what we have failed to do.
The laity should be instructed and educated and I think we can do it if we go at it the right way. I know we can do it and not too expensively either. Just flood them with pamphlets. We cant get on the radio; they will shut us off. We cant get into the newspaper; the American Medical Association shuts us off there. They have an agreement with the world press that no medical knowledge should be given to the public except that they first endorse it. We can get around that; some of us can write some very interesting novels and bring in homoeopathy in a very good way. Incidentally, we can show the assassinations that have taken place under the old school method.
DR. WILBUR K BOND. [Greensfork, Indiana]: I know a lot of men who profess to be homoeopathy, good homoeopaths, who, when the tonsil question comes up to them, flatly come out and say, “Well, if I dont take the tonsils out, somebody else will”.
I have felt like telling them I didnt believe I needed the money quite that bad.
DR. HARVEY FARRINGTON [Chicago, Illinois]: Mr. Chairman, I have been doing some thinking. [Laughter and applause] I recall several things that have come to my notice. One of them is that even the specialist is beginning to weaken and that he is not taking as much as he used to because he believes that the tonsil, especially in young children, is of some use. That is a new one!.
Now, of course, we believe that the Lord made no mistake and every part of our anatomy has been put there for some use, and incidentally the specialists-at least two of them in my district- have come to realize that the suppression of eczema will cause asthma in children.
DR. FRED B. MORGAN [Clinton, Iowa]: I cannot share Dr. Dixons pessimism in regard to homoeopathy. It may be true in so far as our organizational work goes, but it is not true, so far as I see it, with a great many of the people or doctors who are not homoeopaths.
You heard Dr. Weiss yesterday morning. In Detroit, he has a class of four young men. Men of thirty-eight or forty who are graduates of reputable “old school” colleges who are disgusted with the practice of medicine as it has been taught them, and they say so. I have talked with them. They meet once a week in his office and get from two to three hours drill in homoeopathy, and it is, real homoeopathy, too.
That is not a beer and smoking party and so on. It is a drill in homoeopathy. When it is over with, they are tired but they are enthusiastic. I never saw such enthusiasm among our own men. Even more enthusiastic those young fellows are than you are, Dr. Dixon, for homoeopathy. While we are talking post-graduate work, he is doing it.
About tonsils, I took some work in St. Petersburg under a man who is doing biological work, and much to my surprise he sends about fifty different cases up to New York City to be operated on after they have had their tonsils removed.
He would examine them and find out that there was an inflammation of the jugular vein. They had symptoms they were complaining about. He has a test which is very simple but which will spot that inflammation of the jugular vein. He says that is due to part of the tonsils being left in. He doesnt believe in removing tonsils, but after they have been operated on, there is a scar there that shuts in a toxic area and that scar has to be got rid of before the patient will become free of his symptoms. The man is opposed to tonsillectomy, but after they have been operated on, he says that scar has to be removed.
DR. H. E. REED [Dover, Ohio]: Would you mind a word from just a common, ordinary, garden variety of general practitioner? Many of you know that I am second generation physician. My father practiced here in Cincinnati for many years, a very firm homoeopath, and he instilled into me from the start the ground work in the beliefs of homoeopathy; and I have consistently endeavored to practice them throughout my life. I want to take a controversial attitude on this matter of the tonsil, as a result of personal experience, if you will excuse the personal angle. I am now fifty-one years old. I have never in my life grains of any sulfa drug in my system. I have never had any penicillin. I have never had any of the miracle drugs used on me at all. I have had only homoeopathy.
When I was nine years old, I was stricken with a very malignant attack of diphtheria, combined with a “strep” infection. Two reputable homoeopaths, one of them Dr. Lincoln Phillips whom you all know, pulled me through although they didnt expect to.
But following that, the attack of diphtheria, I had a period of several months when I was afflicted with what they called growing pains. I can remember very distinctly getting out of bed in the morning so stiff and sore that I could hardly get to the bathroom to wash my face. Yet they sent me off to school saying that it was growing pains.
I will says that during my life, approximately every five years, I would have an acute flare-up of a “strep” hemolytic infection of my tonsils and it would come after this fashion. The onset would be very sudden. Within six hours, the infection would have involved both tonsils, traveled up the eustachian tube, broken through the middle ear, the ear drum, and would be draining. That kept up until I was forty-one years old, at which time I came with an ace of developing a brain abscess.
In all this, remember that I had nothing but homoeopathic treatment. I was treated not by myself but by such men as Dr. Waffensmith, Dr. Dienst, Dr. Karl Schultze of Columbus, but there wasnt any of them who ever succeeded in eliminating that focus of infection that remained in my tonsils following that terrific attack of diphtheria.
At the age of forty-two, at the insistence of myself and my wife, I had my tonsils removed. It laid me low for about eight days, But I must say that in the past nine years, since I had that done, I have enjoyed better than I ever enjoyed before.
The principle that I an speaking about is this. Once you have a severe infection in the tonsil, you have the development of a certain amount of scar tissues and that scar tissue acts in the very same manner as the removal of a part of the tonsil as Dr. Morgan has spoken about, and once you get that coating of scar tissue on there, if you have a focus of infection back of that, homoeopathy is not very likely to clear it up.
At least it didnt in my case under the very best Hahnemannian prescribing. In cases of that kind I firmly believe that the removal of the tonsil is a very beneficial thing.
I go on this principle-that when the tonsil has become diseased to the point where it is more of a liability than an asset, then I believe in removal of the tonsils. I would have been benefited very much had I had my tonsils out when I was ten years old. I would have had much better health. As it was, I had a heart that could not take athletics. I could do a reasonable amount of work, but nothing strenuous. I still have the effects of that infection that I carried in my system; but the fact remains that in the past nine years I have had better health than I ever had in my life and I have never had a recurrence of infection in the throat or the ear since I have had my tonsils taken out.
DR. ROYAL E. S. HAYES [Waterbury, Connecticut]: I think there is a tendency for the old school practice to degenerate and there may be an opportunity in the further for more propaganda than we have been using, and propaganda is the thing. All the big corporations use it all the time, with pamphlets and papers and circulars. We get it in our mail with our bills, and so forth.
Here is a clipping that I want to read extracts from. This is from the New Haven Register.
“Immunization by Schick test is not absolute. Survey shows big rise in diphtheria. New England total triples”.
“Schick test figures indicate that immunization against ravages of diphtheria in the United State is not as foolproof as might be, two Harvard medical school professors have reported. They published in the New England Journal of Medicine results of a Schick survey of 18,000 naval recruits conducted from October, 1941, to January, 1942. The test was for the determination of the presence of diphtheria.
“Dr. Jane Worcester and F. S. Cheaver found that in 1945 there were 18,606 cases in the nation, more than at any time since 1939, and this was in spite of a declining trend since 1924. The number of cases reported in New England in 1946 was three times the total for 1943”.
These doctors made this observation: “Active immunization has had little demonstrable, direct effect upon the immunity status of the general population as reflected by the results of the Schick survey. In both the North and South, the present Schick test status appears to be directly related to the amount of clinical disease experienced in the last ten years”.
In waterbury, we have had very little diphtheria since we have had the great improvement in the sanitary service. The last six cases that I have known of-according to neighbors and rumors- those six children had had the preventive, the toxoid.
The discrepancy between the results of the tests and the actual incidence of the disease they found to be not a cause of complacency.
DR. EDWARD C. WHITMONT[New York City, New York]: I would like to say something to the tonsil question. I believe there is one danger in our thinking. We believe very often that homoeopathy has failed, but it is our prescribing that fails. Even the best prescribing fails because there are remedies that are insufficiently proven.
I should like to recall the experience of my own oldest boy who did have the very same thing Dr. Reed did as regards his ears. Dr. Morgan found out by the objective method of prescribing that Ustilago was needed. Has any one of you ever heard of that remedy for tonsils, polyps, or ear conditions? It wasnt mentioned in the Materia Medica. It was exactly the similitude.
Of course, in a practical case, we may be just as badly off as before. Yet we must be aware that by falling back on the destructive old school method, we will not make any headway. Our task is to keep on prescribing and check and improve our knowledge of the insufficiently proven rare remedies.
Another example-I an going to present another case of homoeopathy where it apparently failed. It failed apparently because no polychrest would cover the case, which had a well defined symptom of another remedy which, however, ever had been used for that case.
Scar tissue has been formed by nature. Whatever nature does, nature can undo.
This is, I would say, a precept of thinking. A correct line of thought, if it is correct, must cover the individual incident. If facts seem not to correspond to it, something must be wrong in the management of those facts, and it is better to learn how to handle incidents-better than seeking the escape, a cheap way out of a step that ultimately must be destructive.
DR. JULIA M. GREEN [Washington, D. C.]: I just want to say a few words about people getting pessimistic about homoeopathy. I just want to give a bit of evidence on the other side.
We now have between sixty and seventy graduates of our Foundation post-graduate school. I cant say that they have every one of them stayed in the field of pure homoeopathy. We couldnt expect that. But they do amount to fair numbers now who have stayed in the field, and I want to give evidence that the character of students in this school has been raised as time has gone on. We dont always have big classes but the people who study with us are most enthusiastic.
This year we are carrying on the school at the present moment, and there are nine students in it. There are three foreigners and two osteopathic physicians and four in this country who are M.D.s. Out of these four, two or three of them are graduates of Hahnemann and one is a student in the Cornell Medical school in New York City. We have been trying for a long, long time to break the ice and get in touch with Hahnemann graduates.
The testimony of one of our students this year is that he has been hunting and hunting for good homoeopathy for four years and hasnt found it. Why didnt we let him know that we had such an opportunity as this?.
The Foundation has now opened its door to osteopathic doctors who are really prescribing drugs and licensed to do so in the states where they practise. They have been feeling around, studying homoeopathy themselves, and using and drug methods that they have known, but there is a distinct trend toward trying to find the better homoeopathy, and I think that the osteopathic doctors, the good thinkers of them, are going to make very good homoeopathic prescribers in the future.
All of this looks as if we might be entering phase which is not pessimistic.
DR. DIXON [Closing]: I am glad for this free discussion, and I am not going to comment on the different discussants except for Dr. Morgan calling me a pessimist.
I am going to tell you a little story that happened in our city council in Akron. There was an old Dutchman. He ran a grocery story in the community and he was elected to the Council and some point came up that he discussed and in remarks on his discussion, some body got up and called him a pessimist.
He said, “By God, Mr. President, I want you to know I am not pessimist!” [Laughter].