By Ellis Barker J.
THE orthodox medical organization is promoting a Bill entitled “The Medicines and Surgical Appliances (Advertisement) Bill”. The title of the Bill is very inocuous and grossly misleading. The average individual and the average member of Parliament will imagine that it is a bill designed to deal with the well-known abuses in advertising patent medicines and surgical appliances such as trusses, etc. These advertisements produce a very large portion of the revenue of the popular press, and especially of the Sunday papers.
In reality, the aim and scope of the bill is a very different one. It does not strike at the flagrant abuses of the patent pill vendors whose advertisements yield many millions to the newspaper proprietors and who are therefore a powerful and strongly protected interest which it would be dangerous to tackle. The real object of the bill, with its tricky and deliberately misleading title, is to give an absolute monopoly of treatment to the qualified and registered doctors and surgeons.
Everyone who is familiar with the history of medicine is aware that the organized medical profession has tried times without number to obtain the monopoly of treatment, and it has never hesitated to invoke the power of the State. It has tried to use force ad to compel all the sick not merely to resort to members of the organized medical profession, but has attempted to force the population to submit to medical and surgical treatments however risky, doubtful and injurious which happened to be the fashion.
Some decades ago vaccination was made compulsory and those who refused to vaccinata their children or to be vaccinated themselves, were fined, put in prison and treated as criminals. The mischief done by compulsory vaccination cried to heaven. Countless people were infected by arm to arm vaccination. At last one of the greatest surgeons of modern times, the late Sir Jonathan Hutchinson, came forward and scandalized his colleagues by declaring in addresses and writings that arm to arm vaccination, as practised, was dangerous, that it led to spreading numerous diseases, that hundreds of innocent babies were given the most horrible diseases, among them syphilis.
Vaccination forms a large part of the income of the medical profession. The profession was outraged at Sir Jonathan Hutchinsons views. However, he continued his agitation. At last a Royal Commission was appointed to enquire into the subject and it collected more than a hundred cases of syphilis produced in babies by vaccination. How many thousands of cases of syphilis were produced by vaccination apart from those officially enumerated, and how many cases of other diseases were thus produced can only be guessed.
Compulsory vaccination has been abolished by Act of Parliament. Yet the country has not been devastated by smallpox, as was predicted by the advocates of vaccination. At present deaths from vaccination are more frequent than deaths from smallpox. Nevertheless many doctors still demand the re-introduction of compulsory vaccination. Doctors and interested serum manufacturers demand the compulsory vaccination or inoculation for numerous diseases and disorders, among them the prophylactic treatment of diphtheria, which is as speculative, risky and dangerous as was arm to arm vaccination.
Orthodox medicine is not a firmly established science but a practice based on fashion. Medical fashions change. In every age medical men have proclaimed that now medicine is perfect, and have looked with contempt upon medical methods of the past, although medical practitioners of the past also had declared that medical practice in their time was perfect. In Hahnemanns time medicine was based on the use, or rather the abuse, of bleeding, leeching and of violent purgatives and vomitives, etc., in enormous doses.
Most of the people were bled, whether well or ill. Bleeding was a routine measure. Many unfortunate patients were bled to death by the orthodox medical practitioners. When Hahnemann pointed out the danger of indiscriminate bleeding which had killed numerous kings, emperors and popes, he outraged the medical profession as much as Sir Jonathan Hutchinson, and he was treated as an outcast by his colleagues and his expulsion from the medical profession was demanded.
Bleeding has fallen into complete neglect. The modern doctor does not dare to bleed even if bleeding is called for, as in the case of people with high blood pressure and in danger of a stroke, because bleeding is no longer fashionable. Most doctors no longer know how to bleed and how to apply leeches, and a doctor who would venture indiscriminately to bleed his patients would probably now be denounced as a quack by his colleagues.
Medical practice is just as dangerous now as it was in Hahnemanns time. In Hahnemanns time patients were bled, purged and salivated to death. Now they are done to death with the products of serum manufacturers and the terrible benumbing drugs which are recklessly used upon the suffering. In view of the incertitude of medical science, it would be unsafe to give the monopoly of treatment to the medical profession which follows one fashion and then another, going from one extreme to the other, as in the case of bleeding.
In this country the principle has been established for a long time that every man is entitled to have whatever treatment he likes, whether the treatment is given by a qualified and registered medical practitioner or by a layman. In order to safeguard the public against damage, injury or worse it has been established that the lay practitioner is as much responsible for damage done, as is the medical practitioner.
Further, he must not pretend that he is a doctor. He cannot prescribe dangerous substances and poisons which the chemist will hand over only on prescription by a registered medical practitioner, and he cannot give a death certificate. If a patient dies while being treated by a layman there may be an inquest and if, at the inquest, it is established that death was due to faulty treatment, then the layman would be held liable and the consequences might be very serious.
For decades the organized medical profession has endeavoured to obtain the monopoly of treatment and it has made war even upon doctors who were not willing to follow the prevailing medical fashion of the moment. Hahnemann was boycotted because he went his own ways which proved infinitely superior to the ways of his colleagues.
Some decades ago a bill was stealthily introduced into Parliament under a title as misleading as the title of the present bill, with the object of depriving of a living all those doctors who had passed their orthodox examinations, who had followed the usual curriculum, who had become qualified and registered medical practitioners and who had subsequently adopted the homoeopathic method of treatment.
A few decades ago a homoeopathic practitioner, however eminent, was treated as a quack by his colleagues who would not consult with him, and surgeons would refuse to attend a case treated by a homoeopathic doctor. That outrageous bill might have been passed had it not been for the fact that some leading members of the House of Commons and House of Lords had been treated by homoeopathic physicians with the greatest success. The intrigue of the medical profession was foiled by the supporters of homoeopathy in Parliament.
The medical profession claims to have the monopoly of the knowledge of the art of healing. Yet laymen have been responsible for nearly all the greatest advances in the healing art. Modern medicine and surgery are based on the discoveries and practices of Pasteur, a chemist. Without Pasteur there would not have been a Lister. Psychological treatment, massage, open air treatment, hydropathy and many other most important branches of the art of healing were discovered and first practised by laymen.
I need only mention the names of such pioneers as Mesmer, Coue, Kneipp. Sir Herbert Barker has cured in a few minutes thousands of patients who had been declared absolutely incurable by the leading surgeons. Yet the organized profession has never allowed Sir Herbert Barker to demonstrate his methods to the profession and to teach the profession how to relieve the numerous sufferers who might be relieved.
It seems quite inconceivable that legislation would make it impossible for a sufferer to apply to men like Sir Herbert Barker — and other highly qualified healers –outside the ranks of the medical profession which in only too numerous instances has refused to learn from outsiders. I think it is out of the question that this bill will ever become a law and its promoters will be well advised to withdraw it. Persistence will in all probability involve them in discomfiture. England is not yet ready to accept a medical absolution.