THE ETHICAL IN MEDICINE

This article was found by Dr. William E. Leonard, of Minneapolis Minn., among the posthumous papers of his father Dr. William H. Leonard (Yale 53). The Paracelsian comments have particular interest for homoeopathic physicians of the present day-EDITOR, H. R.

 

The following quotations from “Paracelsus” made the text for a few observations upon the above topic:

“All diseases, except such as come from mechanical causes, have an invisible origin, and of such sources, popular medicine knows very little.

Men who are devoid of the power of spiritual perception are unable to recognize the existence of anything that cannot be seen. Popular medicines knows therefore nothing, next to nothing about any diseases that are not cured by mechanical means, and the science of curing internal diseases consists almost entirely in the removal of causes that have produced mechanical obstruction.

But the number of diseases which originate from some unknown causes is far greater than those that come from mechanical causes, and for such diseases our physicians know no cure, because not knowing such causes they cannot remove them. All they can prudently do, is to observe the patient and the patient may rest satisfied if the medicines administered to him do him no serious harm and do not prevent his recovery.

The best of our popular physicians are the ones who do the least harm. But, unfortunately, some poison their patients will mercury, others purge or bleed them to death. There are some who have learned so much that their learning has driven out all common sense, and there are other who care a great deal more for their own profit, than for the health of their patients.

A disease does not change its state to accommodate itself to the knowledge of the physician: but the physician should understand the causes of disease. A physician should be the servant of Nature and not her enemy; he should be able to guide and direct her in the struggle for life, and not throw, by unreasonable interference, fresh obstacles in the way of recovery”.

“Medicine is much more an art than a science; to know the experience of others may be useful to a physician, but all the learning in the world cannot make a man a physician unless he has the necessary talents and is destined by nature to be a physician. If we want to learn to know the inner man by studying only the outer appearance of the exterior man, we will never come to an end, because each mans constitution differs in some respect from that of another. If the physician knows nothing more about his patient than what the latter tells him, he knows very little indeed, because the patient knows only that the suffers pain.

Nature causes and cures diseases, and it is therefore necessary that the physician should know the processes of nature, the invisible as well as the visible man. He will then be able to recognize the cause and the course of a disease, and he will know much more by using his own reason than by all that the appearance of the patient may tell him”.

“Medical science may be acquired by learning, but medical wisdom is given by God”.

The above words were written by Paracelsus about three hundred years ago. He was a learned man, comprehended the ignorance of the time, and nobly attempted to correct it. These attempts brought upon him great persecution, which shortened his days and was the ultimate cause of his death. The fixedness of the thought of the day would not stand this bold arraingement and resented it to the bitter end. So the writings and philosophy of Paracelsus were lost to literature until they came to light again within a few years.

From his career, and that of many other reformers, it is obvious that evil and ignorance go together, and that the ethical is inherent in truth.

It seems strange that such characters should appear and so suddenly disappear, with nothing apparently accomplished. Yet truly, the witnesses for truth exist in all ages, whether their truth be accepted or not. This is the process of evolution, the slow grinding of the gods, slow but sure!.

“We profess to believe in Similia. Do we practice according to our profession? Either Similia is true or it is not. If we are thoroughly convinced of its truth, we should follow the law and prove it by experience afterwards.

Experiments made from observation, with no governing rules is sheet guess work, and is many times expensive to the persons practiced upon-and all this in the name of science!.

It is needful to recall the thought that has made us homoeopathists; and when we reflect upon the condition of he times, that commercialism has taken possession of medicine and is still producing an increase in the drug habit among the people, it is necessary that we adhere more closely to our law of cure.

Integrity of purpose is at stake. There should be enough of the virile, temperament to overcome our laziness and thus set aside our ignorance. We can then practice medicine under the Law of Cure”.

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