“1. That it is the opinion of this Association that Homoeopathy, as propounded by Hahnemann and practiced by his followers, is so utterly opposed to science and common sense, as well as so completely at variance with the experience of the medical profession, that it ought to be in no way or degree practiced or countenanced by any regularly-educated medical practitioner.
“2. That Homoeopathic practitioners, through the press, the platform and the pulpit, have endeavored to heap contempt upon the practice of medicine and surgery as followed by members of this Association and by the profession at large.
“4. That there are three classes of practitioners who ought not to be members of this Association, namely: First, real Homoeopathic practitioners; Second. those who practice Homoeopathy in combination with other systems of treatment; and, Third, those who, under various pretenses, meet in consultation or hold professional intercourse with those who practice Homoeopathy.
“6. That the thanks of the Association are eminently due, and are hereby given, to the Presidents and Fellows of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons of Edinburgh for their determined stand against Homoeopathic delusions and impostures.
“7. That the thanks of the Association are also due, and are hereby given, to the Universities of Edinburgh and St. Andrews for their resolution to refuse their diplomas to practitioners of Homoeopathy; but the Association feels imperatively called on to express its disapproval of any school of medicine which retains among its teachers any one who holds Homoeopathic opinions.”
On the 23d of April, 1857, Dr. Horner addressed a letter to the managers of the Hull Infirmary, requesting that two wards should be granted to him. where he could prescribe Homoeopathic remedies. Of course his request was not granted. He was led to search after truth, “by the unsatisfactory and ever-varying systems of the old school of physic. and by the conviction that positive evil is inseparable from the old method of cure.”
“Impressed with this startling and well-ascertained fact-that drugs, administered to a patient, permeate every part of the human body, and then lodge for indefinite periods of time-I felt as others have felt, that this was, indeed, a subject for most serious and painful thought.”
As an additional motive for investigating, he felt that something must be done to stay the rapid spread of Homoeopathy. He found that it was extending “not amongst the credulous and uneducated, but the enlightened and higher classes of society were daily becoming its firmest adherents and determined supporters. Nor was this onward progress restricted to any town or district; but throughout England, Ireland and Scotland; and yet, for more, throughout America, Germany and France, and throughout all the States of Europe was it adopted and cherished.”
He soon saw it was not to be arrested by raillery, abuse and misrepresentation. He made many experiments with Homoeopathic remedies, both on members of his own family and persons who had been discharged from the Infirmary as cured or else incurable, and with great success. Ho afterwards administered the remedies to his patients, unknown to them, who marveled at the cure so suddenly effected after other medicines had failed. He then mentions a number of cases healed and the beneficial results be experienced.
Dr. Harper was taught to regard all practitioners of Homoeopathy as rogues or fools; but the testimony of persons whose opinions on other subjects would have been listened to as the opinions of wise men, was not to be rejected without some investigation. Although determined to make a fair trial of the merits of the new school, he hoped to prove it false.
“Medicines were gotten in secrecy and given in disguise. Books were bought secretly, and in secret they were studied. If, at any time, an Allopathic foot trod my lobby, the heretical volumes were hastily thrust into an obscure corner, and the inquirer after medical truth had to bow a welcome to his friend suspected of medical error. Why is it that obstacles all but insuperable are thrown in the way of those who, dissatisfied with the present state of practical medicine, seek to investigate, with fairness and honesty of purpose, a law of cure believed in by hundreds of medical men of whose integrity and moral worth there is no reason to entertain a doubt! If the system is false, it will not bear investigation; if true, it deserves it. Why, then, is the detection of falsehood or the discovery of truth in Homoeopathy dreaded?”
He reports a number of successful cases, consisting of Laryngitis, Pneumonia, Pleurisy, Bronchitis, Hooping-Cough, Dysentery, Cholera, Scarlatina, Dropsy, Acute Rheumatism, Ozena, Condylomata and others, and is satisfied that the recoveries were, in point of time and completeness, superior to the ordinary run of such cases under the old treatment.
“To what, then, are these results to be attributed? Imagination must be excluded as an element in the calculation; for. in no instance, was the patient aware that he received other than orthodox medicine. Besides, many of the best recoveries were among infants and very young children. Diet and regimen had no share in the favorable results; for, with the exception of the cases of diarrhea and dysentery, where the instructions were of the most general nature, no directions were given whatever.”
He will not allow that nature alone effected the cures. As in several cases nature had a good chance to make a cure, but no results were witnessed until after the administration of the remedy, when an abatement of the symptoms was at once discernable.
”Grace S -----, Act. 16, June 23, 1857.-A dwarf with large head, tumid joints, long bones curved, of high strumous parents; her father died of phthisis pulmonalis. Ever since childhood, has had a discharge of matter from the mouth during the night, which was recognized in the morning as having stained the pillow-case yellow. About four years ago, a discharge from the nose commenced, and has since continued without intermission. At intervals it is more copious than at other times; but it never ceases. It runs from the nose over the upper lip, and has every now and then to be wiped away. In color it varies; it is sometimes yellow, sometimes greenish. It is so acrid that it excoriates the upper lip. Its smell is most offensive, and occasionally so bad, that no one can go near her. During the whole course of the disease, she has used the average of twenty-five handkerchiefs a week; the mucous lining of the nose is red and inflamed in appearance. Her general health is tolerably good, but she often complains of pain referred to the occiput. One remarkable symptom has been steady during the whole course of this affection; namely, 'dreadful perspiration' every night, from the middle of the body downwards; so extreme as to require 'frequent wiping.' Aurum 3, twice a day.
”July 17.-Very much better. Her mother says she has not been so well for three years, and that the discharge has never been so small. The offensive smell is scarcely felt; and, in place of using twenty-five handkerchiefs, has only used two during the last week. The occipital pain is not nearly so intense or frequent, and the nocturnal perspiration has entirely ceased. Continue medicine.
”July 19.-Continues better; discharge comparatively slight. Two days ago there was a small discharge of blood from the nose, the first she has seen. For six days only two cloths have been used, and the second is scarcely soiled. The inflammatory redness of the mucous lining of the nose has disappeared, and the membrane presents its natural appearance. Continue Aurum once daily.
”October 6.-Continues better; the discharge has lost its purulent character, and is now principally of thick, greenish mucous. The average number of handkerchiefs used each week has been three. Omit Aurum. Kali bichrom, 1st dec. twice a day.
“November 8.-Since last report she has continued better. Her state is this: She has perhaps rather an excess of discharge of mucous from the nose, and uses four or five handkerchiefs in the course of fourteen days, instead of fifty, as formerly. There is no purulent discharge; no smell is perceptible, unless after taking cold; her general health is excellent, and she has not been so; well, her friends say, for four years.”
“That the actual time afforded to the study, has been more than quadruple that which the medical faculty of Edinburgh deemed necessary for gaining the therapeutic knowledge qualifying for their degree.”
The name of the author of the third work is not given, and we entered on its perusal with no previous conception of its character. The writer, whoever he may be, has done injustice to the old school, and has failed to do justice to the new. The stand point from which he views both is not one which we have ever occupied, nor do we think it either a philosophical or desirable one.
There will always be a disagreeable sensation connected with the sight of a youth, who, having come into the possession of an estate, toward the accumulation of which he has contributed nothing, curses those from whom he derives his inheritance, because the amount falls a few cents short of that which he supposed it to be. It is generally considered much better to. increase by one's own exertions, than to find fault with the meagerness of the sum received. Attacks upon one's alma mater are as unnatural, from a psychical point of view, as is abuse of her who bore us, from an instinctive one. Shall any of us justify ourselves for violence toward our parent, because the milk received from her in infancy failed to make giants of us in manhood ?
Indeed we have no sympathy with those who attack the science of medicine and those who have studied and practiced it through the ages, with the unreasonable and one-sided views which are prominent in the book before us. It is too much the custom to consider Allopathy as the same to day as it was an hundred years ago. There can be no greater mistake. All the shafts, therefore, aimed at Allopathy, as in this or other polemic productions, fall far short of the mark, being met as they are with the stereotyped reply: “This which you condemn is not our practice; we are Allopaths, but give us no such doses-bleed in no such manner-puke to no such degree, etc.”
Now the position, as it seems to us, which practitioners of Homoeopathy should assume, is one neither of hostility or defense. Our duty seems simply to study and to quietly cure as many as we can of those who come under our charge. Perfectly satisfied of the unexceptionable nature and the absolute truth of the law which lies at the foundation of therapeutic science, we are also sure of the equal value which contributions other than therapeutical, made by physicians before Hahnemann, possess for all practitioners of the healing art. The author of the book under criticism is wilfully mistaken in the assertion, that the profession owe to outsiders the best of their armament. In speaking of Harvey and Jenner, and the professional opposition which they received, he loses sight of the fact that they were both physicians, and that the results of their labors are professional as well as scientific inheritances.
From what has been said, it is evident that injustice has been done to the old school, and now we may easily see how .the author has failed to do justice to the new. He has failed, because “for the work of expounding or advocating the new school, he does not find in himself either inclination or qualification as yet.” This being true enough, we must regret the impulse which hurried the author into print so early. To have made as complete a thing as his subject demanded, he should have had materials ready for the erection of a new system, before calling “outsiders” to see how well he knew the weak parts and the open chinks in the old one. If our author is not too old-and there is a very fiery youthfulness in his attacks upon poor Sir John Forbes-he will, beyond question, write a book by-and-by in which will be given the particulars of his conversion to Homoeopathy. It is to be hoped that at that time he will have sufficiently informed himself as to its merits, to take some other stand in regard to it, than that occupied by him at present, i.e., one which asks for Hahnemann a fair trial, while, by his own showing, this is the very thing he himself has not yet given him.
The Homoeopathic profession is greatly indebted to Dr. E. M. Kellogg, of this city, for the laborious collection and arrangement of the mass of statistics embodied in the Minority Report, which fully sustains Gov. Pinckney, in the following conclusions, with which he sums up.
Two wards in the Hospital of Ste. Marguerite, in Paris, were under the Homoeopathic treatment of Dr. Tessier, from 1849 to 1851, ride by side with two other wards under Allopathic treatment. Their published reports show the average of 3 years treatment:-
We pass on to the statistics of particular diseases, and find the General Board of Health of Edinburgh and Leath, report the total number of cases of Cholera treated from October 4,1848, to February 1,1849, as follows,
Of the 7 Orphan Asylums in the city of New York, 6 are under the Allopathic care, and the result of 12 years treatment is 1 death in 41, or 2. 5 percent; while the Protestant Half-Orphan Asylum, under Homoeopathic treatment, shows but 1 death in 146. or 6 .8 of percent
The Nursery at Randall's Island, under Allopathic treatment, gives the four years, from 1853 to 1856, a mortality of 1 in 17, while the House for the Friendless, under Homoeopathic treatment, shows only 1 in 40.
Notwithstanding the overwhelming testimony thus adduced in support of Homoeopathic treatment, the majority of the Committee report against its introduction into Bellevue Hospital, and although the subject lies upon the table, waiting for final action, we can hardly hope for a favorable decision, at present, and those who are so unfortunate as to become subjects for Hospital treatment, in this great city, must still continue to undergo all the horrors of Allopathy.
|Source:||The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 01, 1858, pages 34-39|
|Editing:||errors only; interlinks; formatting|