EDITORIAL

Allan D Sutherland

THE MODERN MEDICAL PERIL.

 

“Coming events cast their shadows them.” As we look back at what transpired in Iowa lately we homoeopaths are excusable if we look back on those events with a shudder.

When a state so overrides its peaceable and peace loving citizens and calls out its militia to enforce the vagaries of any medical sect by the aid of the rifle, it is high time for us homoeopaths to sit up and take notice. It is but one short step from the cattle to the child, especially the school child, another short to the adult, and another short step to the homoeopath, and the time to head off that serious calamity is- RIGHT NOW.

Dr.C.H.Johnson is reported to have stated in the journal of the Michigan State Medical Society, December, 1916: “After repeated tuberculin tests, each proving negative, he got a beautiful case of acute tuberculosis.” You can always find anything you wish if you insist in putting it there. The tuberculin test for cattle is purely a political scheme, sponsored and perpetuated by politics. Politics will sponsor and perpetuate anything as long as it proves profitable, and “the public and the owner be damned.”.

Once compulsory enforcement of medicine under state militia is established for cattle it will be easy for it to get the rest of the way to us. All the wolf of fabled fame asked was to be allowed to get its nose into the crack of the slightly opened door, for it knew that the rest would be easy.

A word to the wise should be sufficient, but are we homoeopathic wise? Is homoeopathy, that has given to us so rich a legacy, in the end to be ashamed of us? If not, then let us wake up?-A. PULFORD.

There is a strong tendency on the part of those in authority to progress from one premise to another; the exercise of authority in one particular tends to show an opportunity to exercise it still further. The common practice of isolation, which is eminently necessary under the State Board of Health to control the ravages of epidemic diseases, has a tendency to engender in the minds of those empowered to such action the desire to exercise prophylactic medicine.

Much of the difficulty in the homoeopathic practice of medicine comes from the State Boards of Health, and here lies the crux of the whole matter. The rendering of specific immunity against contagious and infectious diseases is basically at variance with the principles of homoeopathic medicine. While the ordinary school of medicine has tried to standardize all immunity on a physiological basis, and on the basis of injections and inoculations with sera and vaccines, the homoeopathic physician still contends (as do some of those in the ordinary school of medicine) that there are very definite drawbacks to such procedure, and it is fundamentally opposed to the principles and philosophy of homoeopathic practice. Immunity can only be rendered safely through the administration of the potentized remedy corresponding to the virus epidemicus.

There is a conflict between the systems of medicine and there always will be so long as the two schools cannot meet on the basic and fundamental philosophy which underlies the are of healing. But the two schools have points of agreement as well as points of disagreement. All systems of medicine are being encroached upon by commercial agencies, which are striving in every possible way to enforce certain standards of immunization and preventive medicine. Almost every legislature in the country is importuned to enforce certain procedures; and bills are introduced into the state legislatures seeking to compel specified types of immunization, both for humans and for domestic animals.

Furthermore, many state legislatures have had bills introduced providing for state treatment of citizens, sponsored by commercial and industrial agencies. Some worthwhile suggestions should be made, some method be devised and definite steps taken, whereby there would be co-operation between all systems of medicine sot that they might co-operate in defeating the attempt to bring to pass state medicine. This system of treating the sick has features that are exceedingly objectionable to a great number of physicians of whatever school, and they might well join hands to oppose the enforcement of state regulated medicine.

This we deem a civic duty on the part of all schools of medicine, not only for the sake of the profession as a whole, but that we give our assistance to protect the rising generations.

There is a tendency on the part of some individual citizens to attack the physician from all possible angles, and to fasten upon him responsibilities that would make the medical profession so irksome that it would be impossible to survive. In this connection the following article by E.L. Worth, M.D., taken from the October 1931 number of Medical Economics, is provocative of serious thought:.

As we read the startling headlines which tell us of a volcanic eruption, we wonder, as many times before, why people consent to live on the sides of an active volcano,.

Dont they know that sooner or later it will blow up: that they will lose their homes and all that they possess, even if they happen must be very stupid, or at least thoughtless.

But are they any worse than the members of the medical profession to day? Medical men are living the midst of conditions which threaten to erupt and to engulf them.

Any one who reads thoughtfully must realize that the world in which we live is changing, if not advancing, with bewildering rapidity. Medical men as a class are involved in th ferment of society, but (again as a class) do not seem to see the portents- to read what the future has in store for them.

One of our ablest thinkers and writers asks the pertinent question: “Will medicine men wake up?” To answer that would be prophecy, and prophets have little honor anywhere. But it is safe to predict that unless the doctors do wake up, they will be regulated by legislative enactments which will be originated by men who are not in sympathy with the ideals of the medical profession.

To return for a moment to the foolish peasants who live on the side of a volcano. Before the eruption occurs, there are warning rumbles and tremors. These mean nothing in themselves and are disregarded; but as a sign of danger, they are ominous.

Here is a tremblor which recently agitated a certain state legislature-a bill which was introduced and which might have passed. Because it was defeated, the warning will probably be disregarded. But one who is thoughtful may look upon it as a portent of things to come. Three sections of the bill are enough to show its meaning:.

Section 1. Each medical doctor, psychiatrist, psycho- analyst, or any other kind of doctor whose testimony would be accepted in a criminally insane trial as authority for insanity shall report to the State Health Officer all cases of mental weakness diagnosed by him within one week after such case has been diagnosed.

Section 2. Any doctor failing to make such report shall be held responsible for the crime (italics ours) committed by his patient should such patient after become criminally insane; and should said doctor testify in court that to his knowledge and belief said criminal has been of unsound mind or insane for a period of time.

In the event any doctor fails to make said report but does give said testimony in court he shall be punished by not less than one year nor more than twenty-five year confinement in the state penitentiary.

Section 3. When any case of unsound mind is reported to the State Health officer, it shall be his duty to instigate all necessary proceedings to have this person isolated from society until his or her mentality has been restored. Should said state official fail to perform this duty and should such person later become criminally insane and commit a crime, said official shall be held responsible for the crime and shall be punished by not less than one year or more than five years confinement in the state penitentiary.

By why worry about this bill, you say; it is only an isolated instance. Why should we leave our homes; that was only a little earthquake!.

It is not an isolated instance. Here is the substance of a bill which was introduced in another legislature not long ago, and which also might have passed:.

1. No doctor shall make any examination of a patient without explicit permission.

2. Before making any examination, the doctor shall inform the patient whether said examination will cause pain.

3. If, in examination, the doctor shall cause pain, without having previously so informed the patient, he shall pay to the patient as damages-certain exorbitant sums which were specified.

This bill also failed to pass: only another earth tremor, nothing to fear.

Medical men must wake up and realize what such things mean. The mere fact that such bills can be introduced, and can be seriously considered by a legislature, is a prophetic sign of things to follow.

A few who can propose such laws today, my become a majority in the future. If that statement is hare to believe, remember the history of the anti-liquor legislation, which seemed so impossible of enactment for many years, only to become the law of the land. But, one may ask, who would practice medicine under such regulations? The answer is-all those would carry on who did not have independent income, and who could not afford to sacrifice their homes, their livelihood, and the welfare of their families.

How long must we wait for society to demand that those who propose to make our laws for us, shall first prove that they have cerebral equipment?.

Legislative committees, in our state associations are at present our only protection, and they would seem ineffective enough in the face of a major calamity lie state medicine.

The practice of homoeopathic medicine today faces a challenge greater than it has ever done before; but the challenge is not alone to the homoeopathic school. The very basis of the practice of medicine is threatened as it has never been before.

It is necessary for us to make the most of our sectional societies, forgetting personal antagonisms, and band ourselves together to protect the practice of homoeopathic medicine. In union there is strength; this is our urgent duty.- H.A.R.

It is not often that we find two homoeopathic organizations side by side who produce such remarkably good Hahnemannian homoeopathy at their semi-annual meetings as did the Connecticut Homoeopathic Medical Society and the Massachusetts Homoeopathic Medical Society. In October the Connecticut Society program showed an unusually large number of good homoeopathic papers, strictly Hahnemannian in type. probably the outstanding paper at this meeting was the paper on Poliomyelitis by Dr.Jeremiah T.Simonson, which was of great interest in general, and to the homoeopathic physicians in particular, as giving a solution of the situation from the homoeopathic view point where the ordinary school of the medicine admitted their defeat.

In the Massachusetts Society meeting, under the leadership of Dr.Benjamin C.Woodbury, a symptom was presented on pneumonia and influenza. This was ably conducted and showed the marked superiority of the homoeopathic treatment over other methods, as was borne out by statistical reports from carious hospitals. The paper by Dr. Plumb Brown dealing with five cases of pneumonia that were brought into the homoeopathic hospital, practically moribund from various forms of treatment, all unhomoeopathic, being promptly cured by the homoeopathic remedy, was of particular significance.

It was interesting to note that of the number of physicians present at the Massachusetts Society meeting, eleven were members of the I.H.A.

Reports from the recent meeting of the Texas Homoeopathic Society, in which come of our I.H.A. members are active, show a wonderfully good meeting, and that papers were Hahnemannian in type. The several states which have flourishing homoeopathic societies are centres which have the opportunity to disseminate homoeopathy and there is increasing call for them to use their influence to give the best type of homoeopathy. There is a demand of late for papers dealing with Hahnemannian homoeopathy, and these state societies are arising to the occasion in a most satisfactory way.- H.A.R.

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