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acknowledge our indebtedness and gratitude to the Taits, the Bantocks, the Listers, the Virchows, and the Leopolds, of the older school. We have learned much from them and their confrères. We are willing to learn all that we can in the future ; but we ask in return a recognition of the indebtedness which the science of therapeutics owes to Hahnemann and his followers. Those of us who are daily and hourly administering to the sick, basing our prescriptions upon the principles promulgated by Hahnemann, know that we are pinning our faith to a law which, though not infallible, is capable, in a large percentage of cases, of doing all that can be done at the present time to promote the welfare of our patients. We cannot cast it aside without making light of our consciences, and we do not propose so doing. We believe that the interests of afflicted humanity would be better subserved by a more general application of it. Let us, therefore, present our system of medicine to the profession and to the world in its most presentable form. Let us strip it of the incongruities, which, I verily believe, have kept it from becoming the dominant system of therapeutics. Above all things, let us keep therapeutics within its proper sphere, remembering that there is a limit to the possibilities of drug action. Let us not forget the conquests of surgery, and the debt we owe to the many noted operators in the various special departments of our school, who have done so much toward dignifying homeopathy in the eyes of the public. And last, but not least, let us frankly admit that there are other methods and other laws of cure which are ours to'use if we see fit to do so, and that if we choose homeopathy in a given case it is because we think it for the best interests of our patient so to do, and not because the precepts of our school proscribe another course. I am afraid that the "conceit of omniscience” is not limited to any one school of medicine, and I cannot believe that modern medicine can afford to be less liberal than modern theology.
Such in brief, ladies and gentlemen, is the history of what I have been pleased to designate the four greatest epochs in medicine. We have seen that all were destined to promote the welfare and happiness of mankind, yet all were contested and fought by human passions and human prejudices. Such was human nature, and such is human nature. Yet the progress of human thought is making rapid strides ; the future is full of promise.
In 1592 a celebrated anti-religious professor of Padua had so little faith in the discovery of Galileo that he declined to look through the great astronomer's telescope in order to disprove the charge of " heresy ” which had been made by the church. In 1737 Galvani, when he announced his great discovery, was dubbed "the frogs' dancing-master." In 1743 Lavoisier, a
noted French scientist, declared, in discussing the possibility of ærolites: “There are no stones in the sky, and therefore none can fall upon the earth.” In 1752 Benjamin Franklin was greeted with shouts of laughter by the Royal Society of Great Britain when he declared the identity of lightening with other electrical phenomena. And as recently as 1822 Daguerre came very near being consigned to an asylum for affirming that “he could fix his own shadow on magical metallic plates.” Thus have the great sciences been evolved from the past. Such a retrospective study affords encouragement Dogmatism will never be eliminated from the human mind; but there is less of it to-day than ever before. Great innovations will ever be contended against, and the fight which homeopathy has made, and is still making, is simply in keeping with the history of
BY T. P. WILSON, M.D., CLEVELAND, O. Editor N. E. Med. Gazette :
Dr. T. C. Duncan has given us a list of axioms,* which all your readers have, without doubt, read with interest. It is almost needless to say that Dr. Duncan has been for many years an interesting and valuable contributor to our medical literature. I am not, however, disposed to let his statements go unchallenged. If his “axioms” possessed a mathematical quality, they would be self-evident and unanswerable. I do not see that one of his eight so-called “axioms” is above contradiction.
If he had designated his statements as theorems, he would have improved his classification. Take his I. “Axiom - That a change of climate offers the best chances for the cure of this disease." If this be an axiom why does it need the explanatory note that follows ? Fortunately the explanation contains something better than the “axiom": Put the consumptive or the person with weak lungs in the best climate with the best local surroundings.” Stick a pin there. The statement is undeniable. But where is that climate? “Aye, there's the rub,” as the Doctor clearly shows at the close of his article.
Take " Axiom III.—That the change should be directed by the (those] best informed on the subject.” But who can tell who is best informed ? Is it not a fact that thousands of these patients are directed to the informer's favorite resort? Isn't it an axiom that advisers, like other men, are influenced by mer
See Jan. Issue of N. E. MED GAZETTE.
cenary motives? And does not this undeniable fact go far to vitiate the “axiom” we have under consideration ? Not to follow the Doctor through to the end of his “axioms " let us suppose them to be all true. Then we can easily get at the gist of the matter, by observing, that all the Doctor says is comprehended in this : that a "change of climate" is essential to the well-being of consumptives in the early stage of their disease. But even this is not axiomatic. It is not self-evident but a truth based wholly upon empirical data. How far we are from any definite and unchangeable rule in regard to this subject we need only to quote the closing sentences of the Doctor's article. Here they are: “The great question among Eastern physicians and Eastern people, is, where to send consumptives. Minnesota, which was the resort twenty years ago, has been [proved] disappointing except to a few and at certain seasons. The Pacific Coast and Florida have also been disappointing except for certain cases. There is too much moisture. And the eyes of all have been [are) turned to the South-West.”
How any one can build axioms out of such material is not “self-evident." If a consumptive or his doctor should look through Dr. Duncan's article for reliable information as to climate, he would find quite as much disappointment as in the study of climatology.
Would it not be better to confess that the whole question is involved in empiricism ? and that we cannot lay down rules, either dogmatic or axiomatic? And if “ Eastern physicians and “Eastern people” are so much interested in this question, what's to hinder Western physicians and Western people having a like interest ? And, "where is that happy land,” called South-West ?
YALOO, THE DOUBLE-BODIED HINDOO LAD. - Dr. George Bleything, having examined the double-bodied Hindoo lad recently brought to this country, has made the following report in regard to him: “I find him to be a remarkable case of arrested development in fætal life. The boy himself is a fine, bright, well developed youth of eighteen years, and attached to the extremity of his sternum is the incomplete body of a twin. The arms are given out from the attachment to the sternum of the young man, without scapulæ. The trunk is short and incomplete, but terminates in a pelvis, with which the legs are connected. There would seem to be no separate heart in the parasite, and the pulse, both radial and axillary, is synchronous with that of the autosite. There is anchylosis of the joints in the un developed child. The young man is conscious of a sensation when this second body is roughly touched.” The parasitic growth appears to give him very little inconvenience, and he is very agile in his movements.--Boston Medical and Surgical Journal.
A NOVEL OFFENCE AGAINST A PHYSICIAN. - A recent number of Vratch quotes a statement to the effect that a St. Petersburgh physician was about to prosecute a man who had caused one of the physician's prescriptions for his deceased wife to be posted over her grave, in order to call public attention to his belief that the medicine she had taken had been the cause of her death. — Boston Med. and Surg. Jour.
CASES TREATED AT THE MASSACHUSETTS HOMEOPATHIC
[Reported by A. D. Hines, Medical Interne.] This summary presents the medical cases treated at the Hospital from January ist to April ist, 1892. Several of the cases offering features of peculiar interest, are reported, somewhat in detail, in the pages that follow.
with Otitis Media..
with Mastoid Periostitis,
TYPHOID FEVER, WITH RELAPSE. No. 662. Male; aged, II.
Sickness was ushered in, November 20, 1891, with chilly sensations, nausea, and diarrhæa; some pain in abdomen, and hunger. At close of first week much thirst, lips parched, tongue heavily coated; sordes on teeth ; mind wandering; two thin, greenish-yellow stools daily. During second week he was restless, delirious, and tried to
escape twice in one night. Near the close of the week rose-spots and sudamina appeared on the abdomen. He would sleep most of the time, making it difficult to give him nourishment by the mouth. Three fæcal evacuations daily, of a thin, mushy consistency
In the third week abdomen became tympanitic ; small pustules appeared on
on the body, and he began to cough, with no expectoration. Very hungrycries for something to eat. Mind cloudy. Speech difficult.
During the fourth week his mental condition became better. Still some cough; pain in left iliac region ; two stools dailymore nearly natural than previously ; articulation better.
During fifth week had a relapse. Temperature became higher; diarrhæa increased ; talks and cries a great deal ; some delirium.
All the symptoms became more grave during the sixth week. Dr. Sutherland began to treat the case at the close of the sixth week.
During the seventh week there was gradual improvement.
Became constipated during the eighth week, which condition was persistent till near the close of eleventh week. An enema of
warm water was used every other day, until movements became natural. Swelling of feet during