THE FUTURE OF HOMOEOPATHY



I leave its consideration now, with the remark that the great university that shall lead the way by devoting its entire medical department to Original Research in Physiology and Pathogenics will cover its name with glory and bring to its regents and faculty and student-experimenters the gratitude of the world during all time.

4. Looking again to the future of Homoeopathy I remark that some changes are to come in matters of pharmacy and posology. While drug substance will be commuted far enough to render its particles susceptible of absorption and conveyance to the tissues to be impressed, or to expand its surface for more ready contact; and while it will be attenuated and mixed with neutral vehicle enough to render it easy to division into proper doses, it will not be treated by bottle-washing methods in the effort to get rid of the drug altogether and secure only its disembodied spirit.

The unmerited odium that our peerless law of cure has been obliged to bear, these many years, by reason of the unwillingness of some of its adherents to employ the sensible doses with which the law itself was demonstrated and with which its most striking victories were won, will be wiped away.

I have now spoken of the leading changes destined to come in the interior economy of Homoeopathy and its practical applications, namely, as to its legitimate domain, its persistency or permanency, its pathogenesy and its posology.

I must now briefly refer to its future position and relations in the general medical world.

External Relations.-It is a great mistake to suppose that Homoeopathy is found only in the practice of men calling themselves Homoeopaths. Not only has its negative influence wrought changes in the therapeutic measures of the masses of medical men in all enlightened countries causing them to abandon blood letting, blistering and heavy doses of poisonous drugs-it has brought the most intelligent of them to prescribe many of our remedies, as we do, in obedience to the rule of similars, and in small and pleasant doses.

It has caused them to look upon the healthy human test as the proper mode for the study of drug influence in the formation of materia medica. It has also led them to pay a great deal more attention to dietetics and general hygienic measures; and shy, pray, should it not do so, since they have often attributed our undeniable cures altogether to such regulations?

Our success and evident favor among intelligent and influential people have gradually raised us in the esteem of our Old-School brethren, till their society doors are open to us on the simple condition that we drop the qualifying term “Homoeopath” from our list of titles. And we are no longer regarded as beyond the pale of professional recognition and help by reason of our additional acquirements in therapeutic knowledge! But, putting all levity aside, we hail with satisfaction the growing acceptance of our views and adoption of our measures, and would be far from saying one word calculated to prevent so great an improvement in the current medical practice and such positive benefits to the sick under its care.

We do not insist upon their calling themselves “Homoeopaths” in order to enjoy the use of remedies that we know cure Homoeopathically; nor, on the other hand, do we see my occasion for us to drop that title from our institutions because we recognize and employ now, as always, surgical, chemical and mechanical, and other means which are neither Homoeopathic nor Allopathic. I fail to see why we should be any worse for the use of a name that indicates very correctly our confidence in the principle similia, when no medical make can be so ignorant as to suppose that we do not understand and follow other principles and use other measures as occasion demands.

In conclusion, upon our future name and relations, I would say that when the right of every educated physician to choose his method and means of cure becomes generally recognized, and his privilege to candidly state his views and temperately criticise the views of others on the floor of any medical society or in my medical journal, is accorded without reproach or abuse-then, and not before, may it be expected that the societies and institutions of the New School will be disbanded or known by no distinct sectarian title.

It cannot be forgotten that our organizations, our journals, colleges, hospitals and dispensaries were matters of necessity for the maintenance of our freedom to choose and apply the new therapeutic measures and to extend their benefits to suffering humanity. but for them, the most important reform in the art of healing now enjoyed would have been arrested at the start. .

With the freedom existing in associations for scientific research and the promotion of social reforms, where each idea and proposition may have a hearing and due consideration, there would be no excuse for different schools or separate organizations in medicine. The only unity possible among medical men and medical associations will be the kind that consists with diversity and with the liberty on all sides to think and work, with all due respect, each on his own lines. Physicians should be as free to criticise each other’s opinions and measures as are lawyers, whose sharp contests make them none the less personal friends to each other and none the less worthy members of the bar.

As matters stand, the right forward step to secure unity is one of common politeness by one medical man toward another and by one association toward others. It requires no disagreeable concession or damaging compromise for one to treat another with the courtesy due among men equally educated and equally devoted to the same cause. There needs to come among us a “Y.M.M.A.;” a Young Men’s Medical Association, that, like the “Y.M.C.A.” can practically solve the great problem of unity in diversity and secure working relations between medical men and medical organizations, which with a common purpose in view, are now moving forward on different lines.

A special dispensation of mercy alone can save us, if we are more adopted and touchy, or have less of practical sense than the religious has, that the Christian young men are, even now, gradually pulling together.

DISCUSSION.

THE CHAIRMAN: This paper will now be discussed by Dr. B.W. James, of Philadelphia, Pa.

DR. JAMES, of Philadelphia: Mr. Chairman. This papers covers the ground so thoroughly that if I only said that I approve of all the views expressed therein, I think I might rest my discussion there. But I will say that I agree with him in several points, and yet there are other points on which he might have touched in which I think the future of our system in its development will be grand and progressive. I agree that it has nothing in opposition to other principles of medicine-other true principles of medicine-that will conflict with it in its progress.

That its rise and the discovery of the law was peculiar-and its progress is peculiar simply because in past centuries there was no known scientific law, I might say of permanency in the Old School, which could guide every physician in the application of his remedy to every known set of symptoms or to any known disease, and we know that whenever an epidemic occurs we care not for the man; we care simply for the symptoms, and we treat these symptoms by the law of similars scientifically, and I believe that the application of these remedies in diminutive doses is the proper mode, the only one, that will ever be demonstrated physiologically to be the true one.

Anatomists and histologists tell us that the different organs are made up of tissues, and these tissues are sub-divided into minute forms, and these are built up of cells microscopically small, and that these minute cells have a special and definite action, not only in the formation of those tissues but in their ability to carry through these tissues the principle of life, removing the waste and supplying new material; and when there is a disturbance in these minute microscopic cells we have disease. How are those cells to be brought again into harmony?

I believe that remedies must be so diluted, or made so fine, that they must reach these microscopic cells, and that the method which came in along with the law of similars is the one which divides the remedy so that it can reach the cells. But beyond all that, these cells each have their own respective spheres of action, and you take the cell of the liver, and of the salivary gland, and each will carry its own product. It will have the food which makes its impression upon the others individually and separately; and I believe that such is the action of remedies in the provings upon a healthy body.

Each remedy selects certain tissues, just as the nitrations principles do, and there is the need of the provings of our remedies upon the healthy system as Dr. Dake has state. The proving of these remedies upon the healthy tissues points the definite ultimate cells upon which each remedy acts. Thus we know that some remedies act upon the nervous system; some upon another part.

The scientific application of a remedy to these cells, and structures, and organs, must be upon some definite plan such as we have found out through Hahnemann’s law of similars, and the proving of drugs. But I will call your attention to the indelible nature of the impress which Homoeopathy has made upon the world. It has been made not only upon the profession, but upon the laity and I believe it will be permanent.

Difficulties have arisen along the pathway of Homoeopathy but they have been all overcome; and the future difficulties, as they may arise, will all be surrounding and our system in the future will grow and strengthen throughout the ages.

THE CHAIRMAN: This paper will be further discussed by Dr. Lizzie Gultherz, of St. Louis, Mo.

DR. GUTHERZ: Mr. President, Ladies and Gentleman: A mother in India once said to me: “My dear, when the bread is not properly beaked and the meat is not thoroughly done, don’t call the attention of your guests to it for they will probably never find it out.” And yet, after listening to the essayist saying that thirty-six years ago in this city he read a paper before a convention, I hesitate to discuss a paper written by so able and gifted a man as Dr. J.P. Dake, and on a subject so far reaching, so vast, so pregnant with interest to all as the future of Homoeopathy. The essayist takes the ground that Homoeopathy will be more clearly defined in the future, yet the principle of similia similibus curantur, taught by the immortal Hahnemann is the same to-day as it was in the past.

He tells us that the governing principle will survive all the ages, only it will be more clearly defined and more strongly established in human experience. In this free land of ours the great future of Homoeopathy is to be placed before the world, and in our city the pharmacists and druggists tell us that where Homoeopathy has most thrived it modified the healing art of the Old School, that they don’t give their poisonous doses in the same heavy way that they once did.

It is through the colleges and their high standards that our cause will be benefited further. Examining boards, when composed of only one school, are political machines and ought to be abolished from the face of the earth. The educated people of the country are coming to the front and accepting our school in a way that never would have been acknowledged had it not been for this association. The intellectual men who compose this body, through their intellectual ability, purity and truth, have placed a gem in Homoeopathy that no other school have ever known.

THE CHAIRMAN: Dr. I. T. Talbot, of Boston, will now discuss homoeopathy in the medical colleges and hospitals of the United states.

Jabez P Dake