Surgery has come to have a glamour of its own in the scientific world of today and obviously ever new entrant into the medical profession wishes to share that glamour and incidentally earn more also. So he starts dabbling in surgery without any proper training as an apprentice to a senior surgeon.
[The author refers particularly to conditions in his native land-ED.] He begins to advise an operation for any ailment for which a surgical and the ignorant patient both come to grief. Although in the primitive past barbers used to practice surgery in India as well as in the West, modern surgery is a highly specialised art and as such the knife should not be allowed to be handled by anyone except a specialist.
Surgery seems to have caught the fancy of the people in general also. Even the patients, instead of taking treatment at the hands of a physician, welcome a surgical operation as a short cut to quick relief and take pleasure in submitting to it without realising the risk they are running. It appears that the stress and strain of modern life are responsible for such a state of affairs.
A busy man prefers to have his abdomen cut open and have the appendix or stone removed in a jiffy and get on to his work within a few days rather than suffer pain indefinitely and take prolonged treatment from a physician, whether homoeopath or allopath. It is probably because one cannot afford to miss work and income even for a few days in this era of mounting costs and false values and hence this “kill-or-me-doctor” mentality. But these persons little realise the consequences of this dare devil state of mind.
Dr. Harold L. Foss of the American College of Surgeons recently said in a meeting of surgeons in New York that a large majority of operations are needless and il advised and are being performed to an extent which demands stricter controls by the medical profession. Ability to cope with the complex problems with which the surgeon is confronted is rarely possessed by a man who has not had sound training and long apprenticeship to older surgeons. Yet the glamour of surgery that they are difficult for the recent graduate to resist, even though the time and means to acquire thorough training are lacking.
It has been my experience also that “a large number of operations ar5e needless and ill advised,” resulting in very serious consequences to the patient. I have seen a majority of them suffering endlessly thereafter I have come across cases of operated piles and fistula ending in cancer with all its attendant misery. These ill-fared patients, if they had been well advised, would have easily got well within a short time under homoeopathic treatment. Dr. Foss has rightly sounded a note of warning against the indiscriminate use of the knife. It is a matter of great delight to know that there are such noble persons in the profession even today who are so straightforward in telling the TRUTH regardless of any opposition.
During my 40 years experience in homoeopath practice, I have treated a number of cases which were to all intents and purposes surgical cases and most of them were cured. Carbuncle, appendicitis, stones in kidney and bladder, gall stones, pyaemia, diabetic gangrene, mastoid abscess, nose polypus, tonsils, piles and fistulae, etc., etc., are all amenable to homoeopathic drugs. Homoeopathy does not exclude surgery. To say it does is tantamount to ignorance and misguided knowledge of Homoeopathy. In fact no homoeopath can afford to ignore the need for surgical and when it is absolutely unavoidable.
There can be some occasions when surgical aid becomes imperative. Just as Homoeopathy cannot exclude surgery so also surgery cannot exclude Homoeopathy. In all such cases surgery can come in as a last resort and that too with the cooperation of the homoeopath who had been treating the case previously. According to the late Dr. Rudolph F. Rabe of Morristown. New Jersey, U.S.A., “a homoeopaths knowledge of disease and its diagnosis, his understanding of the philosophy of Homoeopathy, all contribute to his ability rightly to estimate the requirements of a given situation in which surgery may become a factor.
His knowledge of Materia Medica enables him to prepare the patient for an operation and his after-treatment of the surgical patient contributes greatly to restoration of normal health. This cooperation between the surgeon and the homoeopath is in the best interest of the patient.” But unfortunately this cooperation between the surgeon and the homoeopath does not exist in India, the result of which is that when a homoeopath surrenders his patient to the surgeon he does it with some misgivings for the well-being of the patient, because he feels that he would not be able to give the patient any post-operative treatment which would lead to speedy and complete recovery.
It is therefore high time that patients and surgeons think twice before undertaking a risk the consequences of which they are not in a position to foreshadow. It may take a little more time to get well but a little faith and patience can save endless suffering.
I earnestly appeal to all my patience can save endless suffering, allopaths, homoeopaths, ayurvedas or hakims to shed their prejudices and bias and cooperate with each other in their great national effort to eradicate disease and to alleviate the sufferings of their country men.