WHERE the welfare of humanity is in question, willful ignorance, as Samuel Hahnemann once said in other worlds, is nothing short of a crime.
This consideration is impelled by the reading of an address delivered recently to the Students of Guys Hospital by Sir Farquhar Buzzard.
The title of the address was “The General Medical Council,” and here is an extract:.
“the General Medical Council has no power to erase the name of a practitioner from the Register if he adopts any theory in his practice, however contradictory to the principles in which he has been trained. For instance, he may practise homoeopathy, osteopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, sanipractic, and all the other pathies and practics which, during the short tenure of their lives, feed on the pathetic credulity of mankind. It is quite a good rule, on general principles; the only comment one has to make in that regard is that it enables a medical practitioner who has passed through the orthodox medical training and who has, presumably, acquired a large amount of scientific knowledge, and perhaps a certain degree of critical faculty, to adopt some pathy for the purpose of practice, in which he can express his belief.
That is a practice which is, no doubt, advisable from the point of view of the public, but knowing what the public are, knowing their love of something which is not quite orthodox, it is certainly open to abuse. Fortunately, only a very small number out of the hordes who prey upon the public under these alluring titles have had any medical training worthy of the name, or have made any attempt to become either duly qualified or registered. For this reason they rarely concern the General Medical Council.”.
Now, Sir Farquhar Buzzard is, to say the least, a quarter of a century behind the times. We are frankly astonished to find in these days such ignorance and prejudice in regard to Homoeopathy. We are not now concerned with the other “pathies” mentioned in the above list, though, in regard to that still greater heterodoxy, osteopathy, it might interest Sir Farquhar Buzzard to know that some of his otherwise orthodox colleagues are beginning to study and employ its methods.
Is Sir Farquhar really not aware that homoeopathic practitioners (the duly qualified ones there are the unqualified kind in every branch of medicine) have had to pass through the same schools as their allopathic confreres, qualify in the same way, and then study, in addition, the homoeopathic method. The homoeopath then, is in a much more logical position to criticise orthodox medicine than the orthodox man is to criticise Homoeopathy.
The classing of homoeopaths among “the hordes who prey upon the public under these alluring titles” to our mind approaches the actionable. At any rate, such prejudiced and unbalanced outbursts bring no credit on the school of thought represented by Sir Farquhar Buzzard.
Fortunately those who are open-minded and intelligent enough to investigate for themselves in an unbiased manner find that Homoeopathy is based on a law and is essentially scientific, while its results are incomparably superior to those of ordinary medicine. But students have not had the same opportunities of learning to sift truth from chaff, and it is a great pity that at the outset of their careers, they should be presented with false conceptions of the only scientific system of medicine it will be in their power to study, and this by a person of Sir Farquhar Buzzards standing and presumed knowledge. To condemn “homoeopathy” (we wonder who is responsible for the wrong spelling) or any other system without a careful and unbiased enquiry is an eminently unscientific procedure.
(We feel safe in assuming that Homoeopathy has not had this careful and unbiased enquiry from Sir Farquhar Buzzard, as we have never known anyone giving it such enquiry to remain unconvinced of its truth and value, Truth always reveals itself to the mind that really seeks it).
As Herbert Spencer said, “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”.
“Quacks will flourish only as long as patients are treated not by true physicians but merely by medical practitioners, devoid of the highest qualifications required in healers of men. If we give up the soulless methods of healing characteristic of medical practitioners which I have criticised in this book, and if we become once more true physicians and earnest and devoted priests in the temple of health, the days of the quack are over,” From The Doctors Mission, by Dr. Erwin Liek, translated by Ellis Barker.