To understand doubters we should remember that all men growing up have seasons of doubting, ignoring, forgetting. “Pity ’tis, ’tis true,” that these “cry-baby” times of homoeopathic medical men are so often, of late, inflicted upon their “brethren;” for there is much work to be done, and an ample literature is available, to teach and encourage Faint-hearts, Pliables and Ready-to-halts.
Further to understand doubters, yet another matter should be considered. A false modesty exists among doctors, oftenes paraded by the “experienced,” who occasionally announce that their wisdom, faithfulness, and medical practice, are grown so great as to have led to their discovery that patients get well, independently of medical treatment. This originated in the old school Abercrombie, Pereira and others having sincerely doubted the efficacy of drugs, it became the fashion to doubt, and an amusing array of skeptics promptly appeared in print and in the lecture-room, displaying such premature wisdom as might gain the respect of colleagues and students. Such self-abnegation digests better than similar disparagement from others.
Dr. C. Wesselhoeft reports numerous cures by thirtieth and two hundredth potencies, some of which he emphatically attributes to his prescriptions;*[Merc. Viv. and Corr., N. E. Gaz., 1866, p. 245; 1869, pp. 306, 361. See also Hahn. Mo., 1866, p. 130; Transac. Amer. Intl., 1870; “Raue’s Record,” 1870-’75, etc., etc.] then he figures at solubles, pretends to test metals,†[“The Effects of Trituration,” by C. Wesselhoeft, M.D. Boston. In 1871 (N.E. Gaz., p.277), Dr. W. remarks, “In most cases the finest chemical tests and even the spectroscope cease to show the presence of a metal after the third or sixth attenuation. Some people would say it had ceased to be present at all*** an empty nothing. Some minds may be satisfied with such arguments, but they will not stand a single moment before the least effort at reflection.” (Italics ours). Id. P.528. “The properties of copper *** recommended by Hahnemann for cholera in 1831,” in thirtieth potency and administered in thirtieth potency in Hungary, Austria, Prussia and England. “The result has proved, thousands of times, the correctness of his assertion.”] and decides that the material vehicle (conveying curative power), must be visible—that is, the mould of the statue must not be removed. The mould conceals its own creation, yet it must not be taken away that the statue may be seen. The two hundredth potency has cured, yet it cannot cure! [In 1847 Dr. Kidd cured famine-fever in Ireland with medicines moderately attenuated. He fell into tincture-giving in 1878 with no superior results yet published.]
Dr. Wesselhoeft can not “invalidate the good results achieved by others,” nor “remit a single iota” from the importance of his own cures. “The resources at the command of every physician,” diet, regimen and incidental curative agencies, aid the low potentist as well as the high.
Merely to be “aware of the arguments which will yet be brought in behalf of the clinical test,” does not annul the importance of those arguments. Taken by the horns that clinical bull will throw him; for the doctor says that the value of the clinical test will be greatly enhanced when construed according to his own propositions!
The single, final, requisite property of a curative agent is its power to cure. Highly potentized metals, chemicals, nosodes, plants, and inert substances have cured in thousands of instances. Their value depends upon such practical tests made as well upon the healthy as the sick. A confirmation of the existence of this singular and special medical power in these high preparations will, we trust, be ultimately vouchsafed by the natural sciences,*[“An alcoholic dilution of Aconite, inhaled in all dilutions up to two hundredth dc, may always and with certainty be distinguished from pure alcohol, in comparison with which the highest potency gives an increase of excitability (Osmogram) of from eighteen to thirty per cent. With Thuya four hundred, the increase was forty-four per cent. Two hundredth of Aconite and four hundredth of Thuya always give clearly different neuralanalytic curves. Of the remedies hitherto examined the high, middle and low potencies are readily distinguished from each other. While in many instances the maximum sensitiveness of an individual was greatest under the middle potencies (fifteen to thirty) it remained in all examined individuals as great in the highest as in the lowest. * * * Neuralanalysis reaches in analytical power far beyond any other known method of investigation, even spectrum analysis. The mathematically constant and most readily observed increase of the physiological action of the drug, developed through potentization, raise Homoeopathy to the rank of an exact physiologically based method of cure, in which light its systematic study may justly be established at high schools and universities, and there be presented to the judgment of every man.”—“Jaeger, on Neuralanalysis,” Abstract from Dr. Korndoerfer’s translation, Hahn. Mo., November. Of course (Eds. Hahn. Mo) prudence must be exercised— we suggest Dr. C. Wesselhoeft’s taking up Neuralanalysis, confident of their investigation, and hopeful of a staunch reconversion.] advancing in powers and means of investigation through the development of microscopy, spectroscopy and chemistry.
2d. Mental symptoms: these are practically ignored. Would it be a long step in the logic of materialism if they were to be altogether blotted out?†[No very serious attempt at this mutilation has been made so far. A Pharmaco-dynamic Parade by Rich’d Hughes. L. R. C. P., London, is now acknowledged on all sides to have been intended by its author as a caricature to be read for the entertainment of the moment, since each of its symptomatic indications depends on an appropriate pathological theory changeable from time to time by allopathic authority.] True they have helped in the work of saving life and suffering. But the microscopic cap is very loose upon them whilst the pathological cap does not fit at all.
3d. Similia Similibus Curantur: This “prejudicial axiom” is attacked by Dr. J. Heber Smith.[N.H.. Gazette, March 1874] Dr. McClatchey, [Hahn. M.O., xiii., p. 662. See also Dr. Dake, Hahn. Mo. Jan. 1879, Organon, i., pp. 56, 195] hesitating to attack, delegates courage to an imaginary philosophy not to be found in the sick room. The law of the similars is, however, in great measure supported, apparently as a matter of prudence, until the removal of the last prop shall be in order.
Finally, a few sour arguments are revived from old reviews*[A guide in the labyrinth of these discussions will be found in Dr. Moore’s excellent paper, which excepts the views of Mill, Comte. etc., upon the complicated subject of medical statistics, (see pp. 22-26. “Old and New School Therapeutics,“ F. F. Moore, M.D., Boston, 1880). Note also Prof. Stide's conclusion that statistics in medicine are valueless unless based upon “some sound medical theory.”] —logic of the sort which would prove that Napoleon never lived—and the clinical test is repudiated as evidence. The object for which a physician is supposed to be trained and placed in the community is questioned; reports of diseases relieved are stigmatized as “useless experiments,” and ordered to be abandoned, whilst intolerably abusive tirades are bestowed by H. M. Paine upon Hahnemann’s personal character.†[Trans. Am. Inst., 1878, Hom. Times, Feb. 1879.
Are doubters useful doctors? What do sick people want with them? they are not practical. Drs. S. Potter, C. Wesselhoeft, H. M. Paine, J. E. Smith and E. Guernsey forget, doubt, quibble, and in other highly original ways “test” our medical principles. They indulge in the absurd abuse which greeted the early advocates of homoeopathy,[At the recent meeting of the American Institute, Dr. E.W. Berridge’s advocacy of potentization being known to certain members, these actually voted against permitting that bad man to address the Institute as is elaborately revealed by Dr. Dake in the Hahnemannian Monthly for August. Dr. Dake’s several stages of anxiety on this score peep thro' “blocks of marble” and bureau drawers marked” no room.”] and strive to realize chimeras derived from chemical philosophy to be used as proofs to sustain their unnecessary and illogical opposition. Is all this done under the guidance and control of a desire to advance true Homoeopathy?
Will a practitioner calling himself homoeopathic gain respect from thinking men by prescribing immense mixtures, pills, and salves;§[See University Magasine, and Liverpool Mercury, quoted in Organon, Oct., 1978.] his prescriptions exhibited by treacherous druggists to the laughter of the contemptuous enemy? Is it not obvious that there are many so-called “leading homoeopaths,” who are roosting and crowing on fences?
We have in Boston, (albeit she has rivals in such possessions)*[See The Organon, i., pp. 829, 442; ii., pp. 8, 161, etc.] a collection of gems; together they constitute a diadem to deck (?) our city’s brow. Let the druggists come forward at the crowning with these mixed prescriptions. They will make a very appropriate offering. On this August occasion commendation may flow from Allopathia, in this wise:†[Of course some of those on the fence occasionally hop off and perch behind upon the allopathic car. (Wyld, Pope and others). They are not wanted however (see London Lancet, and N. Y. Hosp. Gasetle, 1879). Dosis sunt, et quantum sufficit (Ap. in altum expulsa et in se cadens Funkly-paths are a dose, whereof “Enough is as good as a feast.”] “Well done, sneakingly faithful servant, receive the left hand of our fellowship, your much desired reward — but mind! it means left, for no medical society is willing to receive you.”
|Source:||The Homoeopathic Physician Vol. 01 No. 02, 1881, pages 52-56|
|Editing:||errors only; interlinks; formatting|