THE REVOLUTION NOT COMPLETE
But great as the work of Hahnemann is, and great as is the Revolution he has brought about, the Revolution is not yet complete. It is true, there are in the United States of North America upwards of 10,000 practitioners of medicine following in the footsteps of Hahnemann, and all the world over the positive- as well as the negative-benefits of the new method are known. It is true, also, that allopathic professors, after filling their book, with the records of their labours in torturing dumb brutes, and endeavouring in vain to extract from these some therapeutic pabulum wherewith to allay the cravings of their famishing pupils, are fain to present them with a dish of crumbs furtively swept from Hahnemann’s floor. But this by no means contents us. As Hahnemann’s heirs, much remains for us to accomplish. He has shown us the better way; it is for us to go forward. We must develop our inheritance, and defend it against the attacks, overt and covert, of those in power in the profession. We must make our case plain to the people, who are the ultimate judges and masters of either medical school.
There is much talk in these days about Medical Ethics. In the minds of our opponents Medical Ethics is an invention of recent date, expressly or mainly designed for the purpose of putting down homoeopathy.
Ladies and gentlemen, the only principle of medical ethics I know, is the good of the people; and for each individual doctor the people are represented, first and foremost, by his individual patients; and after that, according to his powers, by the world at large. The profession exists for the people. But this is scarcely the view of the allopathic section. In this country strong men-yes; even strong Scotchmen!-dare not do the thing they own to be right, because, forsooth! their College says they must not: and this is what they understand by medical ethics. Over the Atlantic. in the Land of Freedom, the same “code of medical ethics” holds sway; and because some have ventured to rebel against the old commandment of the Dark Ages of Medicine,”Thou shalt extinguish the light,”-which is, being interpreted into the language of to-day,”Thou shalt boycott homoeopathy,”-fierce civil war has broken out in the allopathic ranks.
So long as this state of things continues-so long as the allopathic materia medica remains the most hated and hateful of the studies of the medical curriculum; so long as its professors present their students with the torturings of dumb creatures as the only source of progress in the art of prescribing, and slander Hahnemann whilst they steal homoeopathy, and for the most part mar what they steal; so long as the student is hindered from following the dictates of his own conscience by the pressure of authority and professional opprobrium:- so long must we be at work and in arras.
There is a comfortable maxim of which we are all very fond,”Truth is great and will prevail.” Yes; but also- lies are great, and at present they prevail; and unless we walk in Hahnemann’s steps, and endeavour with all our might to set forth the truth as it should be set forth, lies will prevail to the end. Truth is worth working for and fighting for; and truth demands it. We may sit at home cozily repeating our beautiful maxim, like the American editor in the time of the war, who could not fight-much as he liked fighting-because he had to remain at home to announce from day to day the inspiriting news that “the Government were about to take vigorous measures to put down the rebellion; “but if we all do this, the liberation of medicine will never be complete- the lies will prevail to the end. The same strenuous efforts, the same faith and fortitude which enabled Hahnemann to accomplish all he did, are demanded of us, according to our measure, to maintain what he began. We lament that our powers are so small, and our numbers so few; we wish with all our hearts that the great men opposed to us (and their greatness we do not call in question) would bring their great powers to work the rich field which is altogether too vast for us to overtake, instead of using the weight of their names to resist our efforts and to dissuade those who would from following in the better way. Still we are not discouraged; we are doing what we can. Our little hospital here stands out as a witness for the truth, and though we could wish that it were larger, and our own skill more worthy, we have no reason to be ashamed of the position it holds among the institutions of the metropolis.
Its wards are open for the inspection of those who wish to learn; and for those who have time to attend regular classes provision is made for systematic teaching in the School of Medicine with which the hospital is combined.
We are doing what we can; and we hope to do yet more in the time to come. The Revolution is progressing. But the progress is slow; and those who hate knowledge are many. Our work is for Truth and Justice and Light. To all who love justice and are not afraid of Truth we look for help in our endeavour to break down what still remains of the tyranny of Darkness in Medicine, and to hasten the coming of the perfect Day of Liberty and Light.