I believe the correct rendering of the subject in English would be “Why do we fail in Homoeopathy?” instead of “Why failures in Homoeopathic prescribing?” Anyway, both the versions mean practically the same thing for our purposes. The question, however, has been before the house for several months and many of our friends have read learned papers on the subject. They have pointed out the common errors a conscientious novice in the art of prescribing homoeopathically is liable to fall into.
The dangers that lie before a beginner, no doubt, are many. But our literature is provided with beacons as suitable danger points, and, if a prescriber is not heedful enough, it is nobodys fault but his own. Yet the necessity of being ever watchful of these warnings can never be overemphasized, and out friends who have quoted from their personal records certainly deserve our respect and appreciation. Some of our friends evidently did not feel satisfied
with all that had been said, and suggested that I should to say something on the subject, other than that what has already been said and about which they had been alerted many times. Now this seems to me to be a difficult task and I feel I shall have to scratch my head before. I can say anything.
Our friends have already pointed out the dangers of falling into routinism; pathological prescribing; treating the disease rather than the patient; snapshot prescriptions and the like. They have also mentioned all that is found on the point in any good book on homoeopathic philosophy, besides what is mentioned in the master works such a as the Organon of Medicine and Chronic Diseases by Hahnemann, in favour of prescribing on the totality of symptoms as manifested by the patient; matching the genus of the sickness with that of the remedy; careful evaluation of the subjective and the objective symptoms; discerning of the miasm active at the time in the patient, etc., etc.
Examples have been quoted from practice which if duplicated would again not satisfy my friends, since they expect me to dilate upon cases that were not amenable to regular and close homoeopathic prescribing. Limitations there are, and nobody can claim that Homoeopathy, or for that matter any patty, has reached the height of its perfection; neither can any physician put his hand upon his heart and say that he has never failed. Our efforts, however, should be directed towards the narrowing down of these limits as best as we can.
Homoeopathy, wherever indicated, may never fail, but the chances are that a physician may do so, not only because of his own faults but because of the faults of the patient and his attendants. Patients many a time fail to observe the enjoined restrictions as regards their mode of living and dieting. At the very outset, I should say, it is quite possible that the patient may, owing to educational, cultural, social and temperamental peculiarities, present hazards often most difficult to surmount. His very language and sometimes ignorance may defeat the physicians purpose of eliciting accurately the essentials of the case, or a lack of confidence in the physician may make the efforts of the latter futile. Thus the lack of whole-hearted and intelligent cooperation on the part of the patient may be a very potent cause of failure.
In order to attain his objective, a physician has to be wide awake with all his faculties and wits intact, so that nothing escapes his attention and observation. The patient may not be suffering from any somatic disease at all and he may be only in need of some correction of one of his habits : postural or dietetic or even dress.
A young man who happened to be suffering from several gastric symptoms with a dark discolouration of his forehead for many years, so far not amenable to any treatment, came to me for advice. After a couple of weeks of fruitless efforts at repertorizing and sifting. I just observed his too tight waist belt. This was asked to be replaced by a pair of braces and a supply of Sac. Lac. powders t.i.d. proved for him to be the best medicine he had ever used. Wrong diet is very often a source of trouble which is easily overlooked, and I do not think it necessary to illustrate this point here.
There are, however, certain postural habits which cause an undue pressure on some of the vertebrae, producing multifarious symptoms and this mechanical spinal abnormality needs only a little osteopathic help “to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed.” Besides the observation of such mechanical defects, the importance of paying our greatest attention and recording correctly the symptoms is very great. Some years back I had to treat a lady suffering from dysentery for over six months. After a fortnight of usual medication,. it was observed that she was better when she was moving about. This clue supported by other symptoms led me to prescribe Rhus tox. 200. which was enough for the entire cure.
Patients are always said to be impatient, but I say a physician is many times no less. Along with a keen power of observation he is required to be patient, he should wait and watch the effect of the last dose and not jump to the conclusion that the medicine need a change or repetition. Similimums have been discarded in place of those that are not Similimums at all or they have been repeated too soon and the effect of the last dose disturbed. In the year 1928 I was called in consultation by the leading homoeopath of the town, though an amateur, to see a girl of nine years of age lying unconscious with fever and dysenteric stools.
The family physician, an allopath, had declared the case to be meningitis and beyond all hope of recovery. The case was then placed under the care of the said amateur homoeopath, who was a friend of the family, and he, not being able to do much, advised the parents to bring me in. The patient was only three days under the care of the amateur, and quite a number of medicines had already been tried on the poor girl. Apis was one of them and discarded though it was even then being indicated. I decided to give a dose of it in the 200th and wait. Morning and evening the patient was visited and watched, and there was nothing to indicate that she was worse in any way. After the third day, there was a definite improvement and she mistook an orange coloured tea-cup for an orange and asked for it.
Thenceforth there was perceptible and regular improvement and she completely recovered within ten days. In the meantime the condition of my friend, the amateur, was worth noting. From the very second day he was after me to change to this or to that remedy, and after the third day he actually ordered me to repeat the dose, but I stuck to my decision. After the cure he was simply at the power of such a small and single dose.
There are factors, too numerous to be listed, that influence this human body, and if I say there may be many of which we have had no clue yet, I shall not be far wrong. We know about psychogenic causes and are coming to know more about radioactive influences. The invisible counterpart of this human body of which Hahnemann has spoken of as a spirit-like power, the spiritual being, the vital force and the dynamis is still something untouched by the modern and so-called scientific school of medicine. “The physicians high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure as it is termed,” and this devolves upon the poor physician to cure, as it is termed,” and this devolves upon the poor physician a veritable mountain of responsibilities.
We are aware of the influences of the different phases of the moon and what guarantee is there that other and bigger starts do not all so mysteriously influence the earth and it denizens with the magnetic fluid that incontestably issues their far-away splendour? It will not be a surprise if one of these days these astrological influences upon the patients health are proved to be rational and no more tabooed in so-called cultured society. It may be possible to say some day that a particular patient is beyond all medical care however well intentioned and competent the physician may be.
Gentleman, finally I would only say that once of the greatest reasons why we fail in homoeopathic healing is that we neglect to study our Organon of Medicine as we should. A thorough study will reveal that Hahnemann did not leave any auxiliary science untouched that was of benefit to the patient. He recognized the value of water baths as remedial agents, he advocated massage wherever needed, he practiced healing through animal magnetism, mineral magnets, electricity both Galvanic and Faradic, as well as mineral baths and external applications of medicines. We, as homoeopaths, should not feel shy of these aids without which our Homoeopathy may fail.
DEHRA DUN, U.P., INDIA.