Ellis Barker J
THE British Medical Association, the great organisation of the medical profession, has just celebrated its hundredth birthday by a great meeting to which the leaders of the medical profession from all over the world were invited. In his presidential address, Lord Dawson of Penn described in eloquent and resounding sentences the progress of medicine in the course of the last century. It is true vast changes have taken place. Patients are no longer bled to death, nor are they tortured by vigorous blistering, burning with red hot irons, huge doses of mercury, which were given until the unfortunate sufferers spat out their teeth, etc.
The orthodox medical treatments of 1832 are now considered to be an incredible aberration and sheer quackery. If the medical leaders of the time of Hahnemann should come to life again and practise those methods against which Hahnemann protested, they would be expelled from the profession. However, the medical leaders of 1832 looked upon their predecessors of 1732 with the same pitying contempt with which modern doctors regard the treatments employed at the time when the British Medical Association was started. What will be the verdict of the medical men of 2032 on present medical procedure?.
Those who extol modern medicine tell us that at last medicine has become “scientific.” In reality the art of healing has never been at a lower ebb than it is now. The medical man has abandoned the art of healing. He treats his patients perfunctorily with a tonic, a purgative, a sedative, or something of the kind, and he has learned by for skin disease give arsenic, for rheumatism give salicylates, for heart disease give digitalis, for fever give quinine, for epilepsy give bromide and luminal, etc.
If these pitifully elementary treatments do not answer, the patient is sent to the dentist to have all his teeth taken out, or he is sent to the surgeon, or his excretions, secretions, etc., are sent to a laboratory, and the doctor humbly carries out the directions of the laboratory specialist who has never seen the patient. The doctor has become a middleman and an agent for the laboratories, the great drug houses, and the surgeons. Nothing can be more humiliating than the position of the modern doctor. That has been eloquently expressed by Erwin Liek and many other leading physicians and surgeons.
It is true that the death rate has been greatly reduced in the course of the last century. Doctors habitually take the credit for the lengthening of human life, but that credit scarcely belongs to them. The rapid decrease of the death rate is due to improved sanitation, to an improved food supply, made possible by the construction of railways, steamships and excellent roads, to the improved water supply, all created by the engineering profession, and the greatest medical discoveries were due not to medical men but to laymen such as Pasteur, who was a chemist. It was he who inspired Lister.
Careful individual treatment of the past has been followed by brainless mass treatment. Not so long ago leaders of the medical profession advocated that all appendices should be cut out. That craze disappeared and then came the mania of cutting out tonsils. “All tonsils ought to be enucleated.” At the centenary meeting of the British Medical Association, Drs. Allison Glover and Joyce Wilson read a paper on tonsil and adenoid operations, which concluded with the finding:.
“We hold no brief for the retention of diseased or really obstructive tonsils or adenoids, nor do we wish to cast doubt upon the high value of the operation in cases in which there is sure evidence of toxic or obstructive damage. A review of the literature and the epidemiological observations made on a highly tonsillectomized child population suggest, however, that the excellent end results of tonsillectomy in selected cases have been statistically over-weighed by indifferent end results in cases in which the operation has been performed without sufficient indications as a more or less routine prophylactic ritual. In our opinion, a large proportion of the tonsillectomies now done in children are unnecessary, entail some risk, and give little or no return”.
This scathing condemnation was made by two well-known specialists in the treatment of tonsils.
Human life has been lengthened by improved sanitation, not by improved medication, but while the dirt diseases and poverty diseases have gradually disappeared owing to the advent of the machine age, many of the most terrible diseases have greatly increased their toll. All the diseases of the alimentary tract, rheumatism, heart diseases, diabetes and cancer, have fearfully increased, and the medical profession is utterly helpless in the face of these scourges, and is trying in vain on the sufferers the “latest and the most scientific” drugs, serums, etc. A few decades ago every woman had a floating kidney which had to be stitched up. There is a fashion in drugs as there is in operations.
While orthodox medicine has completely changed its methods, and while the latest methods are being doubted by the most thoughtful medical men who have begun to question not only the universality of tonsillectomy, but the universality of serum treatment, of vaccination, inoculation, surgery for cancer, etc., homoeopathy, despised by the orthodox doctors, has steadily and serenely gone ahead because it is based not on fanciful speculations, on fashions and crazes, but on the solid bedrock of truth and law. No orthodox doctor uses now the favourite drugs of a century ago. To do so would seem to be quackery.
The latest and the most scientific well advertised productions of the great drug houses are employed, but they will be discarded a few years hence. Mean while the homoeopaths use the drugs and methods of Hahnemann in exactly the same way as did Hahnemann himself more than one hundred years ago, and if Hahnemann came to life, he would with his homoeopathic drugs of 1832 cure thousands of patients whom Harley Street finds incurable.
Yet the ignorant and incompetent orthodox practitioner who hands over his patients to surgeons and laboratory men boasts of the achievements of medicine and treats with contempt the great new science of healing of which he is utterly ignorant. Unfortunately it requires hard work and brains to master homoeopathy. Men who have been taught like parrots “for rheumatism give salicylates, for heart disease give digitalis” can never become homoeopaths.
“An individual with all his peculiarities the idiot as well as the genius at the moment of conception is formed with all his possibilities in one ten-millionth part of a cubic millimetre.”- DR. HERMANN MENG.