Ellis Barker J
EMINENT and open-minded medical men throughout the world have proclaimed for years that there is a crisis in medicine, that there is a revolt against orthodox medical and surgical practice, that people in ever-increasing numbers are turning away from orthodox medicine to any method of treatment which promises relief or cure without the powerful drugs usually given, the dreaded subcutaneous syringe, and the surgeons knife.
In every country the great medical organisations complain about the ever- increasing popularity of drugless treatment, of nature treatment, of osteopathy, of treatment by fasting, by diet, by prayers, by suggestion and auto-suggestion and so forth on the part of laymen, and the great medical organizations are endeavouring in every way, but in vain, to compel the masses to resort to the orthodox doctor and surgeon. The attempt to buttress and maintain an unpopular monopoly by compulsion is bound to fail.
The present tendency of orthodox medicine with its mania for dangerous subcutaneous treatments and for largely necessary operations is disastrous to the medical profession. The sound instinct of the people recoils against treatments dictated by laboratory men. The revolt of the patients against the doctors is brought out with startling clearness in the presidential address of Dr. C.D. Fisher before the Eighty-eighth Annual Convention of the American Institute of Homoeopathy in which he stated:.
In a study recently made by the Committee on the Costs of Medical Care we learn with surprise that the people who flock to drug stores for pills, powders and potions which they think they need for their ills, real or imaginary, or to ask the pharmacist or some clerk for something for such and such a condition, pay out annually dollar715,000,000, as much as is spent in a year for the services of doctors and of hospitals.
The average American spends about dollar5.50 a year for drugs and medicines. Of this only dollar1.50 is for prescriptions ordered by a doctor or through he pharmacy of a hospital. Of the annual drug bill of 715,000,000,000, 190,000,000 goes for prescriptions written by doctors, while 360,000,000 goes for “patent” medicines, or medicines with a secret formula; the balance, dollar165,000,000 is spent for home remedies such as cod liver oil, bicarbonate of soda,etc.
Can anyone deny that the making and distribution of drugs has become a big business, which spends dollar70,000,000 in advertising alone and which has made self-medication easily and definitely accessible to everyone, so much so that the survey shows that more than 70 per cent of all money expanded annually for drugs and medicines is for self-medication?.
You will be interested to know that in the United States there are about 7,500 osteopaths, 18,000 chiropractors, naturopaths, etc., and 10,000 Christian Science and similarly styled healers, making a total of 36,000 sectarian medical practitioners, equal to one-fourth of the total number of registered physicians in the country, and collecting annually from the people who flock to them the stupendous sum of dollar 125,000,000.
You will be shocked to know, as indicating another enormous drain of both money and lives, that more than dollar 100,000,000 is spent annually in this country for illegal abortions, it being estimated that doctors perform one million criminal abortions annually, while similar operations performed annually by others than physicians bring the total up to more than one and one-quarter millions.
The number of physicians held accountable for illegal operations represents an infinitesimal proportion of those who perform such operations, the criminal operations being disclosed only when there are fatalities, little or nothing being known of the instances which “maim, cripple and kill thousands upon thousands”.
The picture painted by Dr. Fisher is very disturbing to the orthodox doctors of America, but it is still more disturbing to everyone interested in personal and racial health. We cannot express an opinion as to whether the American Committee on the Costs of Medical Care from which Dr. Fisher obtained his information was correct or only approximately correct in its estimates, but there must have been some substantial reason for making the statement that “doctors perform one million criminal abortions annually.” Possibly the word “illegal” should have been used.
We hope that this statement is grossly exaggerated. At the same time, we cannot close our eyes to the fact that illegal and criminal abortions are increasing in number in a very disturbing way in many Continental countries and in England. It is a well-known fact that numerous doctors make a good living by this ghastly and sordid practice.
The revolt against orthodox medicine and surgery will eventually do a vast amount of good. In increasing numbers the people will turn from those who treat their patients as if they were fitting subjects for vivisectional laboratory experimentation on human beings. Hence homoeopathy has a most wonderful chance. No one who has experienced the blessings of the new art of healing is likely to go back to orthodox medicine.